One inning after Max Kepler simply overran a fly ball to right, Robbie Grossman took a poor line in left field and allowed another Angels drive to drop.
With a little help from the Minnesota outfield, Los Angeles snapped right out of its latest slump.
C.J. Cron and Jett Bandy drove in three runs apiece and Hector Santiago pitched six strong innings in the Angels’ 10-2 victory over the Twins on Wednesday night.
Jefry Marte drove in two more runs for the Angels, who took two of three from the AL-worst Twins. After losing seven of their previous eight to fall into last place in the AL West, the Angels have won consecutive games for the first time in June.
”We kind of had a little rough patch there,” Cron said. ”But the win yesterday was good for us, and then today we had good pitching, good defense and good hitting.”
They also had two multi-run rallies aided by those glaring misplays by Minnesota’s corner outfielders.
”You would like, even in defeat, to play more soundly,” Minnesota manager Paul Molitor said. ”Some of the basic things, you need to do.”
The Angels’ five-run fifth inning was extended when Kepler ran past Bandy’s catchable two-out fly ball down the right field line, letting two runs score and allowing Andrelton Simmons to follow up with an RBI single.
Cron added two more RBIs in the three-run sixth when Grossman couldn’t track down his drive to the left-field fence, allowing another catchable ball to fall in for a double.
Los Angeles didn’t get a hit until the fourth inning, when a two-run rally started with Eduardo Nunez’s error on Mike Trout’s grounder.
”We obviously had some defensive slip-ups there,” Molitor said. ”The fifth inning was really our downfall. We had a chance to minimize things and keep it respectable, but they broke it open.”
Santiago (4-4) reversed his recent run of poor starts, yielding two hits and two walks during his first victory in six appearances since May 15. He had allowed 25 runs in his previous five starts, possibly endangering his spot in the rotation if the Angels didn’t already have five potential starters out of action due to significant injuries.
”I definitely needed a start to get things going,” Santiago said. ”I needed this for sure after the last five or six games. Hopefully I can keep it going.”
Tyler Duffey (2-6) gave up six hits and six runs while pitching into the fifth inning of his third loss in four starts for the Twins, who have lost five of seven.
Joe Mauer reached base in his 27th consecutive game with an RBI single in the eighth for Minnesota.
Trout scored three runs without getting a hit for the Angels, drawing two walks and reaching base on an error.
Albert Pujols’ RBI single in the sixth was the 2,724th hit of his career, tying Roberto Alomar for 60th place on baseball’s career list.
Cron delivered a bases-loaded RBI single in the fifth to chase Duffey, and Marte drew a bases-loaded walk from Taylor Rogers.