6/2: Twins Power Past Angels 11-5 Behind Early Offense and Solid Pitching

This is a photo of Joe Mauer -- definitely not bunting.

The Minnesota Twins defeated the Los Angeles Angels on Friday night 11-5 in the second game of the four-game series. The Twins’ hitting was on point early as Joe Mauer, Robbie Grossman and Max Kepler each had two-run home runs on the way to an early 6-0 lead. Kyle Gibson was very effective and continued to help the Twins since being called up from Rochester.

Molitor had not been happy with Gibson’s start to the season, so this is a relief for the Twins. After a horrible outing in early May, Gibson knew that he was going to persevere.

“He’s putting us in a bad spot more times than not,” Molitor told the Pioneer Press.

Gibson was not going to let his slow start define him. He struck out six batters in 5.2 innings while allowing just two runs.

“That’s what we think he can be. It’s not like he hasn’t done it. At times, he’s just gotten away from those things. He’s a thinker on the mound, sometimes to a fault,” Molitor told the Star Tribune.

Gibson joked that the success came from providing the team with famous In-N-Out burgers before the game. Unlikely hitters for the Twins also produced offensively helping them overcome the Troutless Angels.

“In N-Out might have hits in it, because even I got a hit tonight,” Chris Gimenez joked.  

Mauer continued to impress by helping the Twins offensively with four hits. He increased his batting average to .294 — his highest mark since the 2013 season.

“It was one of those nights where I got good pitches to hit and didn’t miss them. The night before I got a couple good pitches and missed, so it was good to come back today and get them,” Mauer said.

Randy Rosario made his MLB debut in the eighth inning in relief. Rosario was efficient in the eighth, when he protected the 11-2 lead over the Angels. Although the ninth inning was a bit bumpy, he ended up finishing the game to help the Twins record their second straight victory.

— Scott Jordahl

[Star Tribune, Pioneer Press]

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