Speedy Bourjos homers, drives in 4 runs to lift Angels to 9-3 win over Twins
MINNEAPOLIS – Peter Bourjos hit his first major league home run and added a triple and four RBIs to lead the Los Angeles Angels to a 9-3 victory over the Minnesota Twins on Saturday.
The speedy center fielder also threw out Jason Kubel at home plate in his best day since being promoted from Triple-A on Aug. 3. Erick Aybar added three hits and an RBI for the Angels, who had fallen into third place in the AL West during a recent stretch of poor play.
Kevin Slowey (11-6) lasted just three innings for the Twins, allowing four runs on seven hits and two walks, before leaving with discomfort in his right triceps. The Twins said he would be re-examined on Monday, but it was the second time this season he's had pain in his pitching arm.
Slowey has been bothered by elbow tendinitis recently as well, which is why manager Ron Gardenhire decided to pull him after seven innings of his last start even though he had a no-hitter going at the time.
Things didn't go nearly as smooth on Saturday, even though he took the mound in the second inning with a 3-0 lead.
Michael Cuddyer had a two-run single and Delmon Young followed with an RBI single off Trevor Bell to get the Twins off to a good start.
Francisco Rodriguez (1-3) allowed one hit in 2 2-3 innings of relief for the win.
The Angels rallied in the second, getting four runs and six hits.
Bourjos was brought up from Triple-A Salt Lake to add some sizzle to the Angels' veteran outfield, and he has not disappointed in the speed department.
Even his home run trot is fast. Bourjos hit a line drive toward the left-field wall and was practically rounding second before the ball landed in the seats for a two-run homer. Bobby Abreu followed with a solo homer to make it 4-3.
Down 5-3, the Twins loaded the bases with one out in the fifth. But Bourjos caught a fly ball from Young in center field and threw out Kubel at home plate to end the inning.
Bourjos has covered plenty of ground in the outfield since he was called up, but he entered the game hitting just .146 with two RBIs in 14 games.
The Twins pitching staff took a bit of a beating on Saturday. They surrendered 16 total hits and also lost lefty reliever Ron Mahay in the sixth inning. He stumbled off the mound trying to field a dribbler from Aybar and injured his right shoulder. Mahay will also be re-evaluated on Monday.
NOTES: Angels manager Mike Scioscia said RHP Joel Pineiro (left side) threw on flat ground from 120 feet and also threw some curveballs on Saturday. "We're all very encouraged with where he is now," Scioscia said. "If his progression is steady, we're optimistic." There is still no timetable for his return. ... Abreu's homer joined him with Alex Rodriguez and Vladimir Guerrero as the only active players with at least 15 home runs in 13 straight seasons. ... Bourjos hit 13 homers in Triple-A this season.