Twins 12, Angels 6

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MINNEAPOLIS (AP)—The Minnesota Twins put a couple of bad games behind them and patiently hit their way into sole possession of second place in the AL Central.

Rookie Michael Ryan hit a three-run homer, Cristian Guzman had a three-run triple and the Twins beat the Anaheim Angels 12-6 on Tuesday night.

Moving within a game of the division-leading Chicago White Sox and a game ahead of Kansas City, Minnesota built a 12-1 lead after four innings and finished with 14 hits in support of Kyle Lohse (12-10).

The Twins gave up 21 runs in its previous two games—both losses.

“This team doesn’t look back,” Ryan said. “We didn’t cry about yesterday’s game or let that carry over until today.”

Shawn Wooten went 2-for-3 with two runs scored and two RBIs for Anaheim, which lost for the first time in four games on its road trip.

Corey Koskie went 3-for-5 with two runs, Torii Hunter was 2-for-3 with three runs and Matthew LeCroy went 2-for-3 with two walks and an RBI for the Twins.

Minnesota knocked out Anaheim starter Aaron Sele (7-10) in a six-run third by waiting on his curveball instead of trying to swing too hard—a common problem for them.

“We stayed on the ball, drove the ball all over the field and ran around the bases pretty good,” manager Ron Gardenhire said. “That was a lot of fun to see.”

The big hits came from the bottom two batters in the order, where Ryan and Guzman were assigned.

With Hunter on second and two outs in the second, A.J. Pierzynski was nicked by a pitch on his toe and Ryan hit a 1-1 pitch for his second career homer— and second in as many games—to put the Twins up 3-0.

After LeCroy drove in a runs with a single, Jacque Jones hit an RBI double and Hunter added an RBI single, Sele walked Ryan to load the bases with two outs. Guzman cleared the bases with a triple—his 12th—down the right-field line that sent Sele to the dugout with a 9-1 deficit.

The nine runs tied a career high, the most he’s given up since he pitched for Texas on May 16, 1999, against Baltimore.

Sele, who has won only once in his last nine starts while still recovering from offseason shoulder surgery, gave up eight hits and walked one and struck out two in 2 2-3 innings.

“I haven’t been doing anything consistent all year long,” Sele said. “I programmed myself for a long year, and it’s been a long year.”

Facing Kevin Gregg in the fourth, the Twins added three more runs with an RBI triple by Koskie, a double-play groundout by Jones that scored Koskie and an RBI single by Pierzynski—the last Twins starter to get a hit.

Lohse lasted seven innings, giving up a career-high 12 hits, four runs and a walk while striking out one. He won for the sixth time in seven starts.

“If you can scatter 12 hits, I guess that’s what I did,” Lohse said.

“It’s frustrating, but it’s kind of been that way all year,” Wooten said. “When we’ve hit the ball, we’ve given up lots of runs. And when our pitching has been solid, it seems like we lose 2-1. It’s a bad trend.”

Brad Thomas, making his first appearance since 2001, gave up two runs in the eighth on RBI doubles by Adam Riggs and Chone Figgins that pulled the Angels to 12-6.

Jesse Orosco—acquired in a trade Sunday—made his Minnesota debut in the ninth, allowing two hits in a scoreless inning. The crowd of 13,307 was on its feet for the final out, cheering for the 46-year-old as if he were clinging to a one-run lead.

“They get excited when he’s out there,” Gardenhire said. “That’s a prettygood story.”


Dustan Mohr replaced Hunter in CF in the top of the fifth after Hunter hit his chin hard on the dirt during a head-first slide into second base the previous inning. … The Angels called up OF Barry Wesson from Triple-A Salt Lake. … Anaheim OF Darin Erstad, who has battled a hamstring injury all year long and began a second stint on the disabled list Aug. 9, did some running before the game. He’ll be evaluated again when the team returns home this weekend to play Kansas City. … Twins 1B Doug Mientkiewicz, who sat out for the second straight game, had his sore wrist examined by a hand specialist Tuesday. Mientkiewicz, who plans to have surgery in the offseason, probably won’t play until the weekend. … Guzman returned to Minnesota’s lineup after twisting his back on Saturday. He made a leaping catch of Figgins’ liner to SSto end the sixth.

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