Gallo, Griffin guide Rangers past Twins

MINNEAPOLIS -- Joey Gallo crushed a three-run homer, and A.J. Griffin cruised through six innings in his return from the disabled list as the Texas Rangers beat the Minnesota Twins 4-1 on Thursday to open a four-game series.

Gallo's 29th homer of the year was another towering shot for the big slugger, who has eight homers in his past 13 games.

Griffin (5-2) allowed just two hits and a walk, surrendering one run and striking out four batters. Keone Kela and Matt Bush each pitched a scoreless inning in relief, and Alex Claudio finished with his fifth save in six chances.

Minnesota starter Adalberto Mejia (4-5) gave up four runs on seven hits and three walks in four innings.

Mejia didn't appear long for the outing after walking the first batter he faced, Delino DeShields, and allowing back-to-back hits by Elvis Andrus and Nomar Mazara. Mazara's single to center plated DeShields.

However, Mejia recovered to strike out the next three batters on his way to five consecutive strikeouts.

The Rangers finished off Mejia in the fourth.

Mike Napoli doubled and Carlos Gomez walked before Gallo hit a towering homer to the second deck in right-center field. The homer was estimated at 430 feet, just the third-longest homer for Gallo in the past three days.

Gallo has four homers in the past three games. Two of the blasts at home were tracked at 456 feet and 460 feet.

Griffin was back after missing more than two months with a left intercostal strain. The only blemish on his line came in the third. He walked Robbie Grossman to lead off the inning, and Grossman scored from first on Byron Buxton's double to left field after DeShields slid fielding the ball.

NOTES: Minnesota LHP Glen Perkins pitched an inning for Class A Fort Myers as he recovers from shoulder surgery last season. Manager Paul Molitor said Perkins would likely move his rehab to Double-A Chattanooga if all went well on Thursday. ... To make room for RHP A.J. Griffin's return to the roster, Texas optioned RHP Clayton Blackburn to Triple-A Round Rock. Griffin takes the open spot in the rotation after RHP Yu Darvish was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers. ... Twins RHP Trevor May (Tommy John surgery) played catch for the first time since undergoing surgery. ... Molitor announced that RHP Kyle Gibson would be recalled to fill in the open rotation spot after LHP Jaime Garcia was traded this week. Gibson will start Saturday.
Texas RangersRangers100300000490
Minnesota TwinsTwins001000000131
WP:A.J. Griffin (TEX)
LP:Adalberto Mejia (MIN)
Season Series
.251Batting Average.253
4.3Runs / Game4.9
9Home Runs8