Peter Bourjos and Bobby Abreu clubbed back- to-back homers in the second inning, as the Los Angeles Angels went on to beat Minnesota, 9-3, in the second portion of a three-game series at Target Field.
Bourjos added an RBI triple for the Angels, who had dropped four of five coming in. Trevor Bell gave up three runs on four hits and a career-high six walks in 4 1/3 innings. Francisco Rodriguez (1-3) limited the Twins to one hit in 2 2/3 innings of relief to pick up the win.
“This is a really a good bounce back game, from what we did in the batter’s box to running the bases,” said Los Angeles manager Mike Scioscia.
Michael Cuddyer stroked a two-run single in a three-run first for Minnesota, which had won 10 of its last 11 home games. The Twins began the day with a 4 1/2-game lead over the Chicago White Sox in the American League Central. Chicago is scheduled to play a double-header against Kansas City on Saturday.
Twins starting pitcher Kevin Slowey (11-6) departed after three innings because of a strained right triceps muscle. He gave up four runs on seven hits versus Los Angeles, one outing after tossing seven hitless innings against Oakland.
Minnesota placed him on the disabled list after the game.
The Twins spotted Slowey a three-run lead in the first inning. Denard Span led off with a walk and swiped second before Joe Mauer drew a one-out walk. Both runners came home on Cuddyer’s two-out single. Cuddyer took second on a walk to Jim Thome and scored on Delmon Young’s base hit.
Los Angeles quickly countered with a four-spot in the second. Back-to-back singles by Hideki Matsui and Erick Aybar put runners on the corners to start the inning. Mike Napoli followed with a sacrifice fly. One out later, Bourjos tied the game with a blast to left field for his first career major league home run. Abreu’s 15th home run of the season put the Angels in front.
A two-out RBI triple by Bourjos extended the lead to 5-3 in the fifth.
Minnesota loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the inning, but Jason Kubel was gunned down at the plate attempting to score on Young’s fly ball to center.
The Angels tacked on two more runs in the sixth. Jeff Manship, who replaced Slowey on the mound, was lifted in favor of Ron Mahay with two outs and a runner on first. Matsui then hit a ball to center that couldn’t be reeled in by Span. Torii Hunter scored easily and Matsui wound up on third because of the error. Aybar followed with an infield single to plate Matsui for a 7-3 Los Angeles advantage. Mahay was injured on the play and left the game.
Jeff Mathis tripled home Napoli in the ninth and scored when Minnesota shortstop J.J. Hardy misplayed a grounder off the bat of Bourjos.
Mahay landed on the DL with a shoulder injury. The Twins recalled pitchers Nick Blackburn and Anthony Slama from Triple-A Rochester…Abreu joined Alex Rodriguez and Vladimir Guerrero as the only active players with at least 15 home runs in each of the last 13 seasons (1998-2010)…Howie Kendrick and Aybar both had three hits for the Angels…The Twins still lead the season series, 4-2.