Minneapolis, MN – Joe Mauer finished 4-for-5 with a solo home run, three RBI and two runs scored to lead the Minnesota Twins to an 8-2 victory over the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in the opener of a three-game set Monday at Target Field.
Trevor Plouffe tallied two hits, including a solo homer, and Pedro Florimon added a pair of RBI and a run scored for the Twins, who snapped a five-game skid.
"It was a good night," Mauer said. "The ball was carrying better. The balls I hit carried pretty good. I've been disappointed a few times this season, but tonight it was flying a little bit better."
Kevin Correia (1-1) limited the Angels to eight hits and two runs over seven frames to earn the victory. The right-hander struck out five and walked one.
Peter Bourjos and Brendan Harris each stroked solo shots to account for Los Angeles' offense, while starter Joe Blanton (0-3) was touched for four runs on nine hits over 4 2/3 frames for the Halos, who had won two straight.
"It's early," Blanton said of his team's struggles. "You can only say that for so long, but three starts in, I think you look at history and guys will turn around and start going into seven innings and hopefully be able to stay here."
After both teams plated a run in the first and third innings, Plouffe led off the bottom of the fourth with a towering fly ball into the left-field seats to give the Twins the lead for good.
Mauer followed an inning later with a leadoff blast of his own to make it a two-run game before the Minnesota catcher knocked in another run with a single in the sixth to push the Twins' lead to 5-2.
Minnesota then broke the game open with a three-run eighth, as Aaron Hicks worked a leadoff walk, stole second, and found third on LA reliever Mark Lowe's wild pitch.
Brian Dozier followed with a walk before Florimon stroked a double to left to score Hicks and Dozier for a 7-2 lead.
Mauer capped his offensive outburst two batters later, as his single to center scored Florimon to account for the final margin.
Bourjos launched the fifth pitch of the game over the wall in left-center field to give the Halos an early 1-0 lead, but the Twins answered in the bottom half when Mauer scorched a one-out double before scoring on Ryan Doumit's two-out single.
LA again led briefly in the third when Harris started the frame with his first homer of the season.
The Twins countered in the bottom half though, as Darin Mastroianni led off with a single and stole second before scoring on Justin Morneau's double to tie the game at 2-2.
All players and on-field personnel wore No. 42 on their uniforms to celebrate Jackie Robinson Day. Sixty-six years ago, Robinson played in his first major league game, breaking the color barrier in baseball ... Minnesota outfielder Oswaldo Arcia, who was recalled on Monday, smacked a single in the second for his first major league hit ... Minnesota went 5-for-14 with runners in scoring position and left eight on base ... LA went 0-for-5 with men in scoring position and stranded six baserunners.