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Twins halt home losing streak

The SportsXchange

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Los Angeles Angels and Minnesota Twins made up their game postponed from frigid April by playing in sweltering weather Monday at Target Field.

In a see-saw game, the Twins finally went ahead in the seventh inning when the Angels' bullpen struggled, and they held on for a 6-3 win to snap their team-record 10-game home losing streak.

"We all know we've lost a few ball games in a row here at home," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "To get a win . . . the people that showed up here were cheering pretty hard. Our guys were playing pretty hard, too. Big win. [Josmil] Pinto and guys like that had a super, super night. The bullpen did a really nice job coming in -- a lot of them. Pretty exciting ball game -- big win. We needed a win."

The Twins hit Angels starter Jered Weaver, but he was able to scatter nine hits across six innings with minimal damage. He gave up three runs and two walks with five strikeouts.

"Jered didn't have his best stuff." Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "He had a little stiffness in his forearm that came up during the game. It doesn't look like it's anything that's going to be serious. He mixed and matched and changed speeds. [Trevor] Plouffe got a big two-out hit to tie the game. Outside of that, he pitched a good ball game."

But when Cory Rasmus relieved Weaver, he got in a bit of trouble. Rasmus walked Brian Dozier, who moved to third on a fielder's choice error in which a Grant Green throw to second ended up in left field. Rasmus intentionally walked Ryan Doumit to load the bases and then Dozier scored on Plouffe's sacrifice fly to right.

"Grant looked like he dropped back and was trying to open up to second base and yanked it down a little," Scioscia said of the error. "I thought he had the right play going to second base, but he just wasn't able to get a ball there that Erick [Aybar] could handle."

After Rasmus walked Chris Colabello, Buddy Boshers came in to relieve him and walked Pedro Florimon, scoring Oswaldo Arcia for a 5-3 Twins lead.

"We were within a pitch of just giving up one run," Scioscia said. "The walk obviously hurt with bases loaded. We've just got some young pitchers that lost their release point and opened it up a little."

In the eighth, Pinto hit his third double of the game and scored on Doumit's single to right.

Twin starter Pedro Hernandez was effective early, pitching three scoreless innings, but he started to falter in the fourth. He threw 89 pitches in 4 2/3 innings, giving up three runs on eight hits and one walk with three strikeouts.

The Twins bullpen took over for Hernandez and shut down the Angels hitters (who collected 12 hits in the game) the rest of the way. Minnesota relievers pitched 4 1/3 scoreless innings, with Casey Fien getting the win and Glen Perkins picking up his 33rd save.

"The bullpen did a real nice job -- we went through a bunch of them," Gardenhire said.

The Twins opened the scoring in the bottom of the third after Florimon reached on a bunt single. Pinto then doubled off the center-field wall to score Florimon.

The Angels responded in the fourth with two runs. Mark Trumbo led off with a single and moved to second on Chris Iannetta's single to right. Trumbo scored on Kole Calhoun's second hit of the game, a double to right. Iannetta scored on Green's grounder to third, with Plouffe making a great play to get the out.

"He's confident right now," Gardenhire said of Plouffe. "He's feeling good at the plate and he's seeing the ball really well. He's made some nice plays defensively. That one backhand down the line, that was a really nice play. He's playing good baseball for us."

In the fifth, Hernandez walked Mike Trout and gave up a single to Trumbo that moved Trout to third. Trout scored on Josh Hamilton's two-out double down the right-field line, knocking Hernandez out of the game.

The Twins fought back in the bottom half of the inning to tie the game. Pinto walked and moved to third on a double by Doumit, and Plouffe scored them both with a single to center.

NOTES: The game was a makeup from April 17, when it was raining, sleeting, blowing and snowing at Target Field. ... Scioscia and Gardenhire are the two longest-tenured active managers in the AL. ... The Twins hold a 5-1 lead in the season series.
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