Twins Power Past Angels
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — The power numbers have not always been there for the Minnesota Twins this season, but they hit three home runs Friday night.
Joe Mauer, Robbie Grossman and Max Kepler each hit a two-run shot to lead the Twins to an 11-5 win over the Los Angeles Angels.
For Mauer, his fourth home run was one of his four hits on the night. He has hit in 11 of his last 12 games against the Angels (.423).
"He just seems like he's on everything right now," Twins manager Paul Molitor said.
For the third consecutive game, the Angels' Albert Pujols remained at 599 career home runs while going 0 for 4 with two early strikeouts. He has now gone 15 at-bats without a home run.
"The last couple, he hit two bullets but just didn't get them up," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "He hit the ball hard. He'll settle in and be fine."
Kyle Gibson, in his third start since a brief minor-league demotion, turned in his best game of the season for Minnesota. Gibson (2-4) took a shutout into the sixth inning before tiring and giving up two runs. He allowed six hits in a season-high 5 2/3 innings while throwing 98 pitches - also a season-high.
"I'm just trying to be in the zone a little more, and when I miss, miss over the plate but down or up," the right-hander said. "It's something I really tried to focus on today, more balls that started in the strike zone."
JC Ramirez (5-4) suffered his worst start of the season for the Angels, giving up the seven runs and eight hits in 4 1/3 innings. In his previous seven starts, the converted reliever had a 2.35 ERA and the Angels had won six times.
Ramirez said he actually felt better than he had all season.
"I knew a day like this was coming," Ramirez said. "It's not every time going to be good, good, good. I just have to keep my head up and I think work extra for my next start."
Mauer started the two-run homer parade for the Twins in the first inning with his fourth home run of the season. Grossman and Kepler both hit their two-run shots in the third to give Gibson an early 6-0 lead.
"That's huge for a starting pitcher," Gibson said. "Then the offense did a good job of adding on in the third inning."
The Twins added to their lead with a four-run eighth, two coming on a double from Byron Buxton. They finished with 15 hits.
Danny Espinosa hit a two-run homer for the Angels in the ninth.
The Twins came to Anaheim on a four-game losing streak, but have won the first two games of the four-game series against the Angels.
Twins: C Chris Gimenez was scratched from the pregame cow-milking contest because he was starting in the game. INF Edwardo Escobar filled in, but lost to Angels reliever Blake Parker. Escobar later struck out against Parker in the ninth. ... LHP Jason Wheeler was traded to the Dodgers for cash.
Minnesota's first baseman started the year slowly, .225 in the first 21 games, but hit .346 in 22 May games even before Friday's outburst. Said Gibson: "He's been on a tear the last month and a half. It's been fun to watch."
Twins: RHP Ervin Santana (7-2) looks to continue his strong start Saturday against the Angels. In nine of his previous 11 starts, he has allowed one or no earned runs. His 1.75 ERA is the best in baseball.
Pre-game coverage begins at 8:30 tonight on Newstalk 1340 KROC AM