|L.A. Angels (4-6)||0||0||0||0||3||0||5||1||0||9||12||1|
|Minnesota (5-7) «||1||0||1||0||0||1||1||7||x||11||13||1|
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.
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."
|What a night for Jason Kubel. His grand slam highlights a Twins rally and completes the cycle. (AP)|
|Players of the Game|
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|Los Angeles Angels|
|Chone Figgins, 3B||5||2||3||0||0||0||0||.306|
|Howie Kendrick, 2B||4||0||2||2||0||1||3||.233|
|Maicer Izturis, DH||5||1||0||1||0||2||2||.188|
|Bobby Abreu, RF||3||1||0||0||2||0||1||.317|
|Torii Hunter, CF||3||1||1||1||1||0||2||.313|
|Kendry Morales, 1B||5||1||2||2||0||1||3||.243|
|Mike Napoli, C||4||1||1||1||1||1||1||.273|
|Juan Rivera, LF||4||1||1||0||1||1||2||.290|
|Erick Aybar, SS||5||1||2||2||0||0||0||.200|
|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|
|Outfield Assists - Bobby Abreu 1|
|E - Rafael Rodriguez (1, Throwing)|
|Los Angeles Angels|
|Rafael Rodriguez (BS,1)||1.1||4||2||1||1||0||0||3.86|
|Jason Bulger (BS,1; L,0-1)||0.2||1||2||2||1||1||1||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|
|Denard Span, CF-LF||5||1||2||2||0||2||0||.304|
|Brendan Harris, 2B||4||1||1||2||0||2||2||.389|
|Alexi Casilla, 2B||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.214|
|Justin Morneau, 1B||3||2||0||0||2||0||1||.319|
|Jason Kubel, LF||5||2||4||5||0||1||1||.306|
|Carlos Gomez, CF||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.103|
|Michael Cuddyer, RF||5||1||2||0||0||0||3||.255|
|Brian Buscher, DH||3||0||0||0||1||2||1||.273|
|Joe Crede, 3B||3||1||1||1||1||0||0||.194|
|Mike Redmond, C||4||0||2||1||0||0||2||.273|
|Jose Morales, PR-C||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||.222|
|Nick Punto, SS||3||2||1||0||1||1||1||.276|
|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|
|E - Denard Span (1, Misplayed grounder)|
|Matt Guerrier (W,1-0)||1.1||2||1||1||0||2||0||8.10|
|Joe Nathan (S,2)||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||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|
|Attendance - 24168|
|Game Time - 3:15|
|Temperature - 69|
|Umpires - Home - Brian Knight, First Base - Mike Winters, Second Base - James Hoye, Third Base - Randy Marsh|