Twins reach .500 with shellacking of Angels, run winning streak to six games

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Oh, how quickly things can change.

At one point last week, the Twins had lost five straight games and the slumping offense was searching for answers. Through Minnesota’s first 20 games, it had only scored more than five runs twice in a nine-inning game.

And then, the MLB-worst White Sox came to town and everything seemed to come together for a Twins’ team that had been underachieving its expectations. Saturday, Minnesota’s most prolific offensive output of the season lifted them to their sixth straight win, one which put the Twins back to .500 for the first time since April 6.

The 16-5 win over the Los Angeles Angels at Angel Stadium saw the Twins score in almost every single inning, and every member of the starting lineup collect at least one hit.

“I couldn’t be happier,” manager Rocco Baldelli said. “I’m about as happy as I can be watching our team go out there and play the game and swing the bats like that.”

Carlos Santana hit his third home run in as many days, Max Kepler crushed his first of the season and Ryan Jeffers hit a blast off former Twins outfielder Aaron Hicks.

There were positive signs up and down the lineup, but perhaps one of the most encouraging signs for the Twins (13-13) was that slumping infielder Kyle Farmer reached base four times with two walks and a pair of hits, one a two-run double in the third inning to push the score to 7-2.

“It’s a huge relief,” Farmer said. “I’ve felt the same way (at the plate). It just kind of fell for me today.”

It’s been a long time coming for Farmer, who had just three hits entering Saturday’s game and was batting .064. Farmer was one of seven Twins to finish the day with multiple hits. Edouard Julien led the way with three, driving in three runs, as well.

The offensive outburst marked the sixth straight game that the Twins have scored at least five runs, and the fifth time in six games in which they’ve plated more than five.

“Guys are feeling good,” Farmer said. “I’ve always said my entire career that hitting is contagious and guys are starting to hit well, swing at good pitches and taking balls.”

It was plenty of support for Chris Paddack, who was not at his best — his velocity ticked down and he had to grind through his five innings. After Minnesota scored three runs in each of the second and third innings, Paddack gave the Angels (10-17) back two of those runs in each.

But with the offense continuing to pull away, the Twins were able to easily overcome the starter not being at his best.

“We’re winning as a team. You forget about my four earned fairly quickly,” Paddack said. “We know what we’re capable of, and it’s good to finally see some things on our side this time.”

With the offense finally starting to click, the Twins have started to see plenty of things fall on their side in recent days, putting themselves into a much different position than they were in just a week ago.

“I just like that we’re piggybacking game after game and continually doing different things, better things, playing better just as the season goes on,” Baldelli said. “I like what I’m seeing. I just want more of it.”

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