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CWS@MIN: Correia gives up two runs over six innings

Minnesota has lost three in a row, but the Twins have a ways to go before they reach Texas' level of problems -- the Rangers have now lost eight straight games, and Friday's pitching matchup doesn't look promising.

Twins starter Kevin Correia has finally settled into a groove.

The 33-year-old veteran began the year with a 6.80 ERA through his first eight starts, but he has gone 3-3 with a 3.21 ERA over his past seven outings to solidify his spot in the rotation.

"I've made some slight adjustments and I've been steadily getting a little better, but I think the ball's just kind of bouncing my way more than it had," Correia said. "And I think I'm getting into less trouble."

Correia (4-8) will take the mound for the Twins when they begin a three-game series against the Rangers on Friday in Arlington.

Correia has seen his season ERA drop to 5.02, and has been especially sharp in his past three starts. Before shutting down the White Sox on June 21 (six innings, one earned run), he flustered the Red Sox on June 16 (six innings, one earned run) and the hot-hitting Blue Jays on June 10 (six innings, no earned runs).

Rangers starter Nick Tepesch (2-3, 4.38 ERA) does not currently have much momentum on his side. He gave up four runs in five innings against Oakland on June 18, including a two-run frame in the fifth that allowed the A's a lead that would last for the victory.

"Any time your team puts up runs, your job is to have a quick inning and put up zeros," Tepesch said. "I didn't do that. I felt pretty good, but I was in a lot of deep counts and they saw a lot of pitches. Any time the hitters see a lot of pitches, it makes your job harder."

Tepesch has not secured a win in his past four starts, but his most recent victory did come against the Twins at Target Field on May 26 (6 2/3 innings, two earned runs).

Twins: Polanco has small window to prove himself
Minnesota recalled 20-year-old Jorge Polanco from Class A Advanced Fort Myers on Thursday. Starting pitcher Yohan Pino was sent back down after a subpar start Wednesday (five earned runs in three innings) to allow manager Ron Gardenhire another bench option.

Polanco -- the first Twins player called up from Class A since Jim Eisenreich in 1982 -- was hitting .289/.363/.404 for the Miracle, but his stay figures to be short; both Eduardo Nunez and Trevor Plouffe are eligible to return to the MLB club on Monday.

In short, he'll have a small window of opportunity to make a good impression.

"I saw him in Spring Training, and we all know he's very talented and one of our prospects," Gardenhire said. "He can swing it. He's a little loose defensively, which some young players happen to be. But he has a lot of really good skills. So it's exciting."

Rangers: Slide getting nasty
Texas has lost eight straight games, the franchise's longest skid since losing eight in a row in August 2005.

What do the Rangers need to do to end this slump?

"Guys getting some base hits and getting some base hits with runners in scoring position," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "That's what it's going to take."

They didn't do much of that Thursday, only putting up three hits in a 6-0 loss to the Tigers.

Worth noting
• Correia's ERA against the Rangers (2.45 in four career starts) is his best against any team (minimum two starts).

• After collecting eight strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings against Houston on May 14 (his first start of the season), Tepesch's strikeout rate has dropped dramatically. He is averaging only 2.67 K's a game in his six starts since then.

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