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Los Angeles at Minnesota

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L.A. Angels (4-10)0031000026100
Minnesota (6-7) «03112010x8151

Mauer's 4 hits, 3 RBI lead Twins past Angels

CBSSports.com wire reports
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MINNEAPOLIS -- Minnesota Twins manager Ron Gardenhire has watched Joe Mauer chew up opposing pitchers for so long that sometimes he has to remind himself that hitting isn't as easy as Mauer makes it look.

Now is one of those times.

Mauer had another four hits and three RBI to lead the Twins to an 8-6 victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Tuesday.

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"I've seen him hit his whole career," Gardenhire said. "We've seen him do this. I keep saying it's incredible, and it is. At this level, to keep swinging and get those hits and rack them up like that, it is incredible. That will never change. He's just an amazing hitter."

Mauer sprayed four singles into the Target Field outfield, making him 8 for 10 in the series through two games and raising his average to .386. Brian Dozier added two hits and two RBI in his first career game batting leadoff for the Twins.

Left-hander Jason Vargas (0-2) gave up five runs and nine hits with two walks in just 3 1/3 innings for the Angels, who are off to another slow start after spending big in the winter to chase a championship. They have lost 10 of their first 14 games thanks in large part to poor starting pitching.

Mike Trout had two hits and three RBI, including a two-run double in the ninth off Glen Perkins. But shortstop Pedro Florimon grabbed a ricochet off third baseman Trevor Plouffe's glove to get Albert Pujols to end the game and give Perkins his third save.

Mike Pelfrey (2-1) gave up four runs and seven hits in five innings for the Twins. He was shaky again in his first season back from Tommy John surgery, but Mauer took care of the offense.

One night after the star catcher homered among his four hits to help the Twins break out of a season-long offensive funk, they hurt Vargas with long at-bats.

Mauer picked up a pair of two-strike singles up the middle in the first two innings, the last of which scored two to give Minnesota a 3-0 lead. He singled again in the fourth inning, giving him six straight hits in the series.

Even his lone out of the night was a loud one, a screaming line drive at left fielder Trout's knees in the fifth inning. He came back with one more RBI single in the seventh to make it 8-4.

"When he gets hot," Dozier said, "nobody can really stop him."

It was the second time in his career that the three-time AL batting champion has had at least four hits in back-to-back games. He also did it June 26-27, 2006, against the Dodgers.

"I'm seeing the ball pretty well," Mauer said with typical understatement. "I'm just trying to hold on to that feeling."

The last thing the beleaguered Angels pitching staff needed was another short outing from the starting pitcher. But that's exactly what they got from Vargas, who needed 90 pitches to get 10 outs.

Trout picked up just his third RBI of the season on a hard-hit single and Pujols followed with one of his own to tie the score 3-3. Vargas left with one out in the fourth after Justin Morneau scorched a base hit that took a wicked hop off first baseman Mark Trumbo's shoulder and gave the Twins a 5-4 lead.

"There's not one magic cure for all the guys that are struggling right now," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "Everybody has their own unique set of circumstances and they're going to have to make adjustments according to their own game on what they need to do. I think we have some really good pitchers that just aren't throwing the ball well right now."

Twins outfielder Wilkin Ramirez left the game in the fifth inning after being hit in the back with a pickoff attempt by Williams. Ramirez is listed day to day.

Notes

  • Angels RHP Ryan Madson threw 40 pitches off the mound before the game as he gets closer to a return from Tommy John surgery. Manager Mike Scioscia said everything went well and the next step is for Madson to throw a simulated game, most likely when the Angels return home on Friday.
  • Twins CF Darin Mastroianni was a late scratch because of a sore left ankle.
  • Twins slugger Josh Willingham missed his second straight game due to illness.
  • RHP Vance Worley (0-2, 10.50) will pitch for the Twins against RHP Tommy Hanson (1-1, 6.55) in the season finale on Wednesday night.
 
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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Joe Mauer collects four singles in the Twins' victory, raising his batting average to .386. (AP)
Joe Mauer collects four singles in the Twins' victory, raising his batting average to .386. (AP)

Players of the Game
Los Angeles

M. Trout
AB 4
R 0
H 2
HR 0
RBI 3
Minnesota

J. Mauer
AB 5
R 0
H 4
HR 0
RBI 3
 
Los Angeles Angels
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Peter Bourjos, CF5101014 .220
Mike Trout, LF4023110 .300
Albert Pujols, DH5011002 .280
Josh Hamilton, RF4000012 .200
Mark Trumbo, 1B4020011 .310
Howie Kendrick, 2B4100012 .264
Chris Iannetta, C4120010 .250
Luis Jimenez, 3B4220010 .438
Andrew Romine, SS2001100 .083
   a- J.B. Shuck, PH1110000 .333
Totals37610627  
a-singled for Romine in the 9th
Batting
2B - Mike Trout (6, Perkins), Luis Jimenez (3, Pelfrey)
RBI - Peter Bourjos (3), Mike Trout 3 (5), Albert Pujols (8), Andrew Romine (1)
2-OUT RBI - Mike Trout 2 (3)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
DP - Trumbo
Los Angeles Angels
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Jason Vargas (L,0-2) 3.1955200 6.75
Jerome Williams 3.1633210 4.32
Dane De La Rosa 1.1000110 1.50
WP - Jerome Williams (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Jason Vargas 90-62, Jerome Williams 62-35, Dane De La Rosa 17-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jason Vargas 3-7, Jerome Williams 3-5
Batters Faced - Jason Vargas 21, Jerome Williams 17, Dane De La Rosa 5
Minnesota Twins
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Brian Dozier, 2B4122102 .189
Joe Mauer, C5043002 .386
Justin Morneau, 1B5021005 .288
Trevor Plouffe, 3B5000014 .227
Ryan Doumit, DH4220101 .200
Chris Parmelee, RF5010012 .237
Wilkin Ramirez, LF2121000 .333
    Eduardo Escobar, PR-LF2210001 .412
Aaron Hicks, CF2200202 .044
Pedro Florimon, SS2011100 .348
Totals36815852  
Batting
2B - Ryan Doumit (4, Vargas)
SF - Wilkin Ramirez (1), Pedro Florimon (1)
RBI - Brian Dozier 2 (6), Joe Mauer 3 (7), Justin Morneau (7), Wilkin Ramirez (2), Pedro Florimon (5)
2-OUT RBI - Brian Dozier 2 (4), Joe Mauer 3 (4)
Team LOB - 11
Fielding
DP - Dozier-Florimon-Morneau
E - Trevor Plouffe (2, Throwing)
Minnesota Twins
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Mike Pelfrey (W,2-1) 5744220 7.30
Anthony Swarzak (H,1) 3.1220040 1.04
Glen Perkins (S,3) 0.2100010 3.86
Pitches-Strikes - Mike Pelfrey 96-55, Anthony Swarzak 45-36, Glen Perkins 14-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Mike Pelfrey 6-6, Anthony Swarzak 5-2, Glen Perkins 1-0
Batters Faced - Mike Pelfrey 23, Anthony Swarzak 13, Glen Perkins 3
Game Information
Attendance - 23299
Game Time - 3:30
Temperature - 45
Umpires - Home - Paul Nauert, First Base - Andy Fletcher, Second Base - Sam Holbrook, Third Base - Chris Conroy