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Texas continued to thrive against right-handed starters, improving to 42-30 after knocking around Twins righthander Nick Blackburn for nine runs _ six earned _ and 11 hits in 2 2-3 innings.

Texas is only 17-14 against lefty starters. Hamilton entered Tuesday night’s game batting .350 against righthanders and only .188 against lefties.

Despite the evidence, the players have few explanations for the disparity.

“That’s something we don’t think a whole lot about,” Young said. “I don’t know what’s behind it. A lot of times, those things are pretty coincidental.”

The Twins‘ bullpen was so drained that manager Ron Gardenhire had outfielder Michael Cuddyer pitch the eighth.

Texas loaded the bases with one out against Cuddyer, who managed to work out of the jam.

Washington said he encouraged his hitters to maintain their intensity against Cuddyer.

“Because he’s a position player, he’s got no business on that mound,” Washington said. “I don’t want him going back and talking about how he got me out. … It’s time to pad your stats. I’m gonna give up because there’s a position player on the mound? No. That’s the attitude you’ve gotta have. But give Cuddyer credit, he got out of it.”

Gardenhire had trouble sleeping after watching his team allow 10 or more runs for the 12th time this season and the most by the Twins since giving up 23 to the Kansas City Royals in 1974.

“There’s no sense in going over a game like that,” Gardenhire said on Tuesday. “It wasn’t a fun game to sit through.”

His hope for the Rangers heading into Tuesday night’s game?

“They’ve got to be tired,” Gardenhire said. “We wore ‘em out last night.”