Published April 12, 2012
MINNEAPOLIS – It's not often that Torii Hunter looks bad in the outfield, especially when he's playing in Minnesota.
The former Gold Glover took an ugly tumble in the seventh inning on Wednesday night, and it cost the Los Angeles Angels.
Hunter went face-first into the right-field corner wall while chasing a ball down the line, and the stumble allowed Chris Parmelee to race around for a tying triple that set up the winning run in the Twins' 6-5 victory over the Angels.
Leading 5-3 with runners on first and second and two outs, Parmelee ripped a pitch from Hisanori Takahashi (0-1) down the line. Hunter gave chase and tripped, allowing the ball past him and the slow-footed Parmelee to reach third. Jamey Carroll followed with his second hit of the day and the Twins (1-4) hung on for their first win of the season.
"I was punch drunk, felt like Mike Tyson hit me," said Hunter, who played for the Twins for 11 years. "But I got up man, it took everything in my body to get up. ... I should've stopped the ball at all costs. I tried to and it just didn't work out. That's my fault."
Josh Willingham homered and Matt Capps picked up his first save of the season for the Twins, who had scored six runs total in their first four games.
Peter Bourjos hit a three-run, inside-the-park homer and Albert Pujols went 1 for 4 with an RBI for the Angels. Jered Weaver gave up five runs and seven hits with seven strikeouts in six innings.
Angels trainers rushed out to check on the dazed Hunter after the play was over, as did Pujols.
"I knew he was OK when he threw the ball in," Pujols said. "He's a strong man."
Angels manager Mike Scioscia said Hunter would be evaluated again on Thursday morning before the series finale, but thought he would be OK.
"He had to get to the ball," Scioscia said. "If he plays it soft into the corner, two runs are going to score and it might end up being a triple anyway. So he was trying to cut it off and it looked like the ball just took a funny hop on him."
Hunter had no doubt he will be able to play.
"Oh yeah, I'm a beast," he said. "Beast mode."
The Angels had the tying run on second with one out in the ninth, but Capps got Vernon Wells to ground out to shortstop and Alberto Callaspo to pop out to end the game.
"It's nice to finish on top for a change," Capps said with a chuckle. "0-4 to start the season is never fun, but nobody in here is going to panic or throw in the towel or anything like that."
Jeff Gray (1-0) got the last out of the seventh to get the win.
Carl Pavano gave up five runs and seven hits in 6 2-3 innings and Joe Mauer had an RBI single for the Twins.
Weaver wasn't as sharp as his opening outing, when he struck out 10 with no walks in eight shutout innings. He gave up a towering homer to Willingham in the fourth inning that gave the Twins their first lead of the season at 3-1.
Then, in a flash, it was gone.
With two on and two out in the fifth, Bourjos hit a rocket to left field, and Willingham slammed into the wall trying to track it down. Almost before center fielder Denard Span could get over to help, it was already over and the Angels regained the lead at 4-3.
"Peter, when he opens up those burners, it's fun to watch," Scioscia said.
NOTES: The Angels announced before the game that RHP Michael Kohn is scheduled to have Tommy John surgery on Thursday and will miss the entire season. Kohn appeared in 14 games as a reliever last season. ... The inside-the-park homer was the first allowed by the Twins since Curtis Granderson did it for the Yankees on Aug. 21, 2011. ... Capps picked up his first save since July 10. ... The Twins send LHP Francisco Liriano (0-1, 11.25 ERA) to the mound to face RHP Dan Haren (0-1, 8.44 ERA) in the series finale.