MINNEAPOLIS - Facing one of the league's more powerful lineups in the Los Angeles Angels, the Minnesota Twins outhit them for the second straight night and came away with the win. Led by Joe Mauer, who went 4-for-5 for the second consecutive game, the Twins pounded out 15 hits at home and beat the Angels 8-6.
The Angels made a valiant attempt at comeback late when Mike Trout knocked in two runs in the ninth and the tying run came to the plate in the name of Albert Pujols. Pujols hit a shot off third baseman Trevor Plouffe's foot, and shortstop Pedro Florimon grabbed the carom and fired to first for the final out.
The Twins, who have been out-hit in most games this season, put double-digit hits up on the scoreboard for the second-straight night against the Angels. They scorched Angels starter Jason Vargas for nine hits in 3.1 innings and six more off the bullpen.
Twins starter Mike Pelfrey lasted five innings, giving up four earned runs on seven hits in his second win of the season. Pelfrey received a huge assist by pitcher Anthony Swarzak, who struck out four batters in 3.1 scoreless innings of relief.
The Angels' hitters had some early success against Pelfrey, tapping him for three runs in third. But the big three of Trout, Pujols and Josh Hamilton went a combined 3-for-11 and couldn't get enough big hits to make a difference.
Mauer did make a difference, however, knocking in three runs for second straight game. He now has nine hits in his last eleven at bats and has raised his average to .386.
The Angels have had problems with brief outings from their starters and Vargas didn't solve them. He threw 90 pitches in 3 1/3 innings, including 57 in the first two.
The patient Twins jumped on Vargas for three runs, four hits and two walks in the first two innings.
Joe Mauer continued his torrid hitting (eight hits in his last nine at-bats) with two early hits and two RBI to give the Twins a 3-0 lead.
After retiring the first six Angels batters, Pelfrey gave up a leadoff single to Iannetta, a double to Jimenez and a walk to Romine to set the table. The Angels scored three runs to tie it on a Bourjos fielder's choice, a Trout single and a Pujols base hit to left.
The Twins kept after Vargas, however, getting to him for a single, double and sacrifice fly to take back the lead.
The Angels tied it in the fourth with three singles and two ground balls that the Twins could not convert into double plays.
The Twins answered with three straight singles to regain the lead and knock Vargas out in the fourth. They scored two in the fifth on a bases-loaded single by Dozier for a 7-4 lead.
NOTES: Game-time temperature at Target Field was 45 degrees -- the second warmest game of the season. ... Twins left fielder Josh Willingham was ill for his second consecutive game but was available to pinch hit if needed. ... The Angels have won nine of the previous series against the Twins and have won five of the past seven games and 11 of the last 16 coming in. ... Coming into the game, the Angels were hitting at .129 (12 for 93) with runners in scoring position.