Jake Cave in Twins dugout

Patchwork Twins lineup outlasts Angels

Mauer heads to rehab assignment while Twins go to Detroit

June 11, 2018 - 5:30 am
Categories: 

Twins manager Paul Molitor said he needed to be creative without being foolish when crafting a lineup from a roster racked with injuries. On Sunday, it worked.

Loran Morrison and Jake Cave both homered and Fernando Romero gutted out five innings on the mound in the Twins' 7-5 win over the Los Angeles Angels.

The win snapped the Angels' six-game winning streak and allowed the Twins to finish up a 6-5 home stand.

"We got some nice hits there," he said. "The more you balance it, takes the pressure of some of the guys who've king of been some of our go-to guys."

Those guys he's talking about are Joe Mauer and Byron Buxton, who are both close to returning from the DL. Jason Castro is out for the year with a knee injury, while Jorge Polanco is still serving out a drug suspension.

Add to that Brian Dozier taking a rare day off.

And then there's the struggling Miguel Sano. The third baseman went 0-for-4 with a strikeout to watch his batting average dip to .206.

Trailing 3-2 after four innings, Cave singled home the tying run in the fifth and came home on Ehrie Adrianza's triple to put the Twins ahead to stay. 

Cave hit his second career major league homer in the sixth to give the Twins a cushion that was needed when the Angels rallied for two runs in the ninth off Fernando Rodney.

The Twins' closer, working a non-save situation, got Zack Cozart to pop out with two runners on to end the game.

Romero (3-2) allowed two runs on five hits, walking two, while striking out five.

Angels starter Nick Tropeano (3-4) was tagged with the loss.

Albert Pujols drove in three runs for Angels, giving him 1,954 career RBI. He's now seventh all-time in career runs batted in, passing Hall of Famer Stan Musial. 

Mike Trout went 0-for-5 to finish the season series against the Twins with a batting average of .091 (2-for-22),  his lowest average against any opponent this year.

With the Twins off on Monday, the roster gets closer to full strength with Mauer headed to Rochester for a rehab assignment. The first baseman has been out since May 19 with neck strain and a recurrence of concussion symptoms.

"Joe had another good day," said Molitor. "He's going to meet up with (the Red Wings) and try to get him games on Tuesday and Wednesday, see how it goes."

Mauer will be the Red Wings' designated hitter when they play at Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

The Twins begin a six-game road trip on Tuesday in Detroit. They play in Cleveland starting Friday.