Twins try to continue turnaround against Angels

The Twins turned the page on August in a big way Friday night and it cost the Angels a game in the American League West divisional race.

After getting routed in the opener of a this three-game series, Los Angeles will try to rebound tonight against Minnesota behind ace Jered Weaver.

The Twins posted a miserable 7-21 record last month, but closed August with a win and then rolled to a 13-5 victory over the Angels last night. Jason Kubel had three hits, drove in two runs and scored twice, while Trevor Plouffe hit a solo homer and crossed the plate three times.

Danny Valencia, Luke Hughes and Drew Butera each drove in two runs and Carl Pavano earned his first win since July 7 after allowing three earned runs over 6 2/3 frames.

"The guys put together some great at-bats," said Pavano. "The Angels are aggressive, but I was able to keep the ball down in the zone and keep them off-balance."

Minnesota's big night on offense came despite Joe Mauer getting scratched from the lineup due to an upper respiratory infection. He recently returned to action after missing six games with a sore neck.

In extending his hitting streak to 12 straight games, Erick Aybar smacked two triples, drove in a run and scored once for the Angels, who fell to 4 1/2 games back of the Rangers for first place in the AL West after their fourth loss in six games.

Tyler Chatwood dropped his fourth straight decision as he was touched for six runs and five hits with five walks in just 3 2/3 innings. He got the call in place of Weaver, who had his start pushed back to Saturday so he could attend the funeral of his grandfather.

"We were behind in most of the counts and that is what happened to Tyler early," said Angels manager Mike Scioscia. "When you walk nine guys and give them scoring opportunities all night, it's going to be rough."

Weaver takes the hill after pitching on three days' rest for the first time in his career on Sunday in Texas. Though the righty said he felt good before the game, he was hammered for seven runs on eight hits and four walks over six innings of a 9-5 loss, losing for the third time in four decisions.

"I don't think I missed a spot in the bullpen," Weaver said. "Come out to the mound and wasn't quite there. Obviously, I was battling all night and tried to keep us in the game."

Weaver is 15-7 with a 2.28 earned run average in 28 starts this year and did not get a decision versus the Twins on May 28 despite nine scoreless innings of two-hit ball. The Angels lost that game, 1-0, in 10 innings, leaving the 28-year-old with a 4-2 mark and 3.34 ERA lifetime versus Minnesota.

Going for the Twins is Brian Duensing, who snapped a five-start losing streak with a win over the Tigers on Sunday. The southpaw pitched to an 8.65 ERA over his skid before allowing just three earned runs over six frames of an 11-4 triumph, his first since July 27.

Duensing is 9-13 with a 5.09 ERA in 27 games this year, including a 3-6 mark and 3.86 ERA in 12 outings on the road.

The 28-year-old lost to the Angels back on Aug. 2 to begin his five-game slide, giving up five runs over six innings. Mark Trumbo tagged him for a three-run homer in the fourth and Torii Hunter added a solo shot the following inning. That helped to drop Duensing to 1-1 with a 3.72 ERA lifetime in this matchup.

The Angels have won four of seven over the Twins this year.