Created: 04/28/2013 5:00 PM KSTP.com
Kevin Correia pitched eight sharp innings, Justin Morneau homered and the Minnesota Twins beat Texas 5-0 Sunday, handing the Rangers consecutive losses for the first time this season.
Correia (3-1) gave up six hits, struck out two and walked one. He allowed only one runner to reach third base while lowering his ERA to 2.23.
Correia has pitched at least seven innings in each of his first five starts for the Twins after going seven or more only three times all of last season.
The soft-tossing veteran signed a two-year, $10 million contract with Minnesota in the offseason and has been the Twins' best starter. Using a fastball that rarely broke 90 mph and a variety of offspeed pitches, Correia retired his first seven batters and set down 11 of the last 12.
Alexi Ogando (2-2) allowed three runs on four hits over six innings.
Ogando looked just as sharp as Correia before walking Josh Willingham in the sixth. On the very next pitch, Ogando hung a slider and Morneau lined it into the right-field bleachers for his second home run, giving the Twins a 3-0 lead.
Twins manager Ron Gardenhire was ejected in the seventh after arguing with third base umpire Alfonso Marquez about a force play on a bunt.
Gardenhire kicked the dirt around home plate and angrily took off his sunglasses as he walked off the field to a standing ovation from the Target Field crowd.
The fans remained fired up after Jamey Carroll lined a single up the middle that scored Aaron Hicks and made it 4-0 immediately after the ejection.
Brian Dozier followed with another RBI single off Joe Ortiz, one of three relievers Texas used in the inning.
Mitch Moreland and Lenoys Martin each had two hits for Texas.
NOTES: It was Gardenhire's first ejection this season and the second time he's been tossed by Marquez in his career. ... Correia has one career shutout, against the Reds on April 18, 2011, when he pitched for the Pirates. ... At 49-25, the Rangers have the best April record in baseball since 2011. ... Five of Ogando's six starts this season have come on the road. ... Twins star Joe Mauer was 0 for 15 in the series, dropping his average from .366 to .302. ... The Twins start a 10-game road trip at Detroit on Monday with Mike Pelfrey on the mound. Despite getting 8.47 runs of support per nine innings, Pelfrey is just 2-2 with a 7.94 ERA. ... The Rangers are off Monday and host the White Sox on Tuesday. Yu Darvish is scheduled to start the series opener.
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