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Anaheim at Minnesota

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L.A. Angels (4-6)0000305109121
Minnesota (5-7) «10100117x11131

Kubel caps cycle with grand slam, Twins rally past Angels

CBSSports.com wire reports
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MINNEAPOLIS -- Jason Kubel's ear-to-ear smile was just as rare as the feat that prompted it.

Kubel has finally taught himself how to relax in his third season as a regular for Minnesota, and this was a fine way to loosen up: Hitting for the cycle with a go-ahead grand slam.

 Angels lose Vlad for at least a month

Kubel completed the ninth cycle in Twins history in dramatic fashion to cap a seven-run rally in the bottom of the eighth inning and lift Minnesota past the Los Angeles Angels 11-9 on Friday night.

Jason Bulger (0-1) intentionally walked Justin Morneau to load the bases, a move that will fire any batter up. But Kubel stayed calm and let a curveball go by for strike one.

The next one was right where he wanted it, and it landed in the upper deck.

"They're going to have to start respecting him, man, as a hitter," said Denard Span, whose two-run double cut the Angels' lead to 9-7. "The guy had 20 home runs last year, but keep walking Morneau and pitch to him and you'll get your feelings hurt."

Kubel singled, doubled and tripled in his first three at-bats before striking out with a runner on third in the seventh. With Los Angeles leading 9-4, Scot Shields relieved Jose Arredondo with one out in the eighth and gave up an RBI single to Mike Redmond. He walked Nick Punto to load the bases before Span's double.

Bulger entered and struck out Brendan Harris, who earlier homered, but Kubel made the Angels pay for putting Morneau on. The 26-year-old outfielder was frustrated with himself for not doing more to help out the lineup, now that he's been hitting behind the 2006 AL MVP, but he maintained a level head once he saw what the Angels were doing.

"It used to really fire me up, and I used to get myself out," said the normally stone-faced Kubel. "So I just stayed calm and just knew what the circumstances were and just went from there."

Joe Nathan pitched a perfect ninth for his second save, punctuating a wild night at the Metrodome that started with 7½ innings of more bad baseball by the home team.

The Twins have been behind in all 12 games, rallying to win five, while keeping manager Ron Gardenhire plenty busy. He's written out 12 different lineups and made almost a month's worth of trips to the mound this week with his pitching staff struggling to get in a groove.

Matt Guerrier (1-0) picked up the victory in relief after having a hand in a five-run, two-out rally by the Angels in the seventh that gave them an 8-3 lead. The Twins were beat up by the Toronto Blue Jays earlier in the week, and after Thursday's lopsided loss Gardenhire urged his players to stay positive and stay together.

"To come back and get that win after being down like that, that's exactly what we talked about last night," Gardenhire said. "There's no quit. These guys are going to play. It's a nine-inning ballgame, and they played a full nine."

Nick Blackburn allowed four runs and eight hits in 6 1/3 innings for Minnesota.

Angels starter Dustin Moseley gave up two runs in three innings before elbow stiffness ended his night. He's been filling a rotation spot while Kelvim Escobar, John Lackey and Ervin Santana recover from injuries. The biggest blow came before the game, though, when cleanup hitter Vladimir Guerrero was placed on the 15-day disabled list due to a torn muscle in his chest.

"It's part of baseball," third baseman Chone Figgins said. "That's why you have guys in the minor leagues. That's why you have guys on the bench. They help the team get the team on track."

Notes

  • Lackey (forearm) and Santana (elbow) are feeling great, manager Mike Scioscia said, after their most recent bullpen sessions and will throw again this weekend. They're still on track to be back next month. Escobar (shoulder) might be a little longer.
  • New reliever Juan Morillo joined Minnesota during the game. Kubel and Delmon Young were greeting him in the clubhouse afterward, when Young pointed a thumb toward Kubel and said, "He's the hero."
  • This was only the fourth cycle in the Metrodome's 28-year history. The others: Kirby Puckett in 1986, Paul Molitor in 1991 for the Milwaukee Brewers, and Travis Hafner in 2003 for the Cleveland Indians.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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What a night for Jason Kubel. His grand slam highlights a Twins rally and completes the cycle. (AP)
What a night for Jason Kubel. His grand slam highlights a Twins rally and completes the cycle. (AP)

Players of the Game
Minnesota

J. Kubel
AB 5
R 2
H 4
HR 1
RBI 5
Anaheim

H. Kendrick
AB 4
R 0
H 2
HR 0
RBI 2
 
Los Angeles Angels
Chone Figgins, 3B5230000 .306
Howie Kendrick, 2B4022013 .233
Maicer Izturis, DH5101022 .188
Bobby Abreu, RF3100201 .317
Torii Hunter, CF3111102 .313
Kendry Morales, 1B5122013 .243
Mike Napoli, C4111111 .273
Juan Rivera, LF4110112 .290
Erick Aybar, SS5122000 .200
Totals38912956  
Batting
2B - Torii Hunter (4, Blackburn)
SF - Torii Hunter (2)
SH - Howie Kendrick (2)
RBI - Howie Kendrick 2 (8), Maicer Izturis (2), Torii Hunter (6), Kendry Morales 2 (3), Mike Napoli (6), Erick Aybar 2 (3)
2-OUT RBI - Kendry Morales 2 (2), Mike Napoli (3), Erick Aybar 2 (2)
SB - Chone Figgins (6, 2nd base off Blackburn/Redmond), Maicer Izturis (1, 2nd base off Guerrier/Redmond), Bobby Abreu 2 (5, 2nd base off Blackburn/Redmond, 2nd base off Crain/Redmond)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Bobby Abreu 1
E - Rafael Rodriguez (1, Throwing)
Los Angeles Angels
Dustin Moseley 3522111 4.30
Justin Speier 2000040 2.45
Rafael Rodriguez (BS,1) 1.1421100 3.86
Jose Arredondo 1122120 7.20
Scot Shields0233100 7.20
Jason Bulger (BS,1; L,0-1) 0.2122111 27.00
IBB - Morneau by Jason Bulger
WP - Jose Arredondo (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Dustin Moseley 54-32, Justin Speier 27-19, Rafael Rodriguez 27-16, Jose Arredondo 21-13, Scot Shields 14-5, Jason Bulger 14-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Dustin Moseley 4-3, Rafael Rodriguez 2-2
Batters Faced - Dustin Moseley 14, Justin Speier 6, Rafael Rodriguez 9, Jose Arredondo 5, Scot Shields 3, Jason Bulger 4
Minnesota Twins
Denard Span, CF-LF5122020 .304
Brendan Harris, 2B4112022 .389
    Alexi Casilla, 2B0000000 .214
Justin Morneau, 1B3200201 .319
Jason Kubel, LF5245011 .306
    Carlos Gomez, CF0000000 .103
Michael Cuddyer, RF5120003 .255
Brian Buscher, DH3000121 .273
Joe Crede, 3B3111100 .194
Mike Redmond, C4021002 .273
    Jose Morales, PR-C0100000 .222
Nick Punto, SS3210111 .276
Totals3511131158  
Batting
2B - Denard Span (2, Shields), Jason Kubel (2, Moseley), Michael Cuddyer (3, Moseley)
3B - Jason Kubel (1, R. Rodriguez)
HR - Brendan Harris (1, Moseley), Jason Kubel (2, Bulger)
SF - Brendan Harris (1)
RBI - Denard Span 2 (8), Brendan Harris 2 (2), Jason Kubel 5 (10), Joe Crede (3), Mike Redmond (2)
2-OUT RBI - Jason Kubel 5 (7), Joe Crede (2)
SB - Michael Cuddyer (1, 2nd base off Arredondo/Napoli)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
E - Denard Span (1, Misplayed grounder)
Minnesota Twins
Nick Blackburn 6.1844230 5.71
Jesse Crain 0.1244300 7.50
Matt Guerrier (W,1-0) 1.1211020 8.10
Joe Nathan (S,2) 1000010 2.25
IBB - Abreu by Nick Blackburn, Abreu by Jesse Crain
WP - Matt Guerrier (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Nick Blackburn 106-68, Jesse Crain 30-15, Matt Guerrier 24-16, Joe Nathan 6-6
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Nick Blackburn 7-9, Matt Guerrier 2-1, Joe Nathan 1-1
Batters Faced - Nick Blackburn 29, Jesse Crain 6, Matt Guerrier 7, Joe Nathan 3
Game Information
Attendance - 24168
Game Time - 3:15
Temperature - 69
Umpires - Home - Brian Knight, First Base - Mike Winters, Second Base - James Hoye, Third Base - Randy Marsh