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Updated: April 11th, 2012 10:00pm
Twins no longer winless after equaling season run total against Angels

Twins no longer winless after equaling season run total against Angels

by Phil Mackey
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MINNEAPOLIS -- Chris Parmelee's triple tied it, and Jamey Carroll's single secured the Minnesota Twins' first win of the season -- a 6-5 victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Wednesday night.

The skinny

The Twins scored only six runs in the first four games of the season.

They needed all six of those to beat Jared Weaver and the Angels on Wednesday.

Trailing 5-3 in the bottom of the seventh, Parmelee ripped a two-run triple into the right-field corner off lefty Hisanori Takahashi to tie the game. Shortly after, Carroll drove him in with an opposite-field single off Latroy Hawkins.

"I was looking for something up, and something to get just that guy from second in," Parmelee said. "I wasn't trying to do too much right there. I was just trying to get that guy in from second. I happened to bring in (another)."

Glen Perkins struck out Albert Pujols to end the eighth inning, and Matt Capps tallied his first save of the season.

Heading into Wednesday the Twins were the only team in baseball yet to tally a victory.

The Twins' first lead of the season lasted very briefly.

Josh Willingham blasted a two-run homer between the left-field foul pole and the facing of the third deck off Weaver to put the Twins up 3-1 in the bottom of the fourth inning. It was his third home run of the season and the first time in any game this season the Twins have pulled in front.

The Angels wasted no time charging back in the top of the fifth. Vernon Wells singled with one out, and Chris Iannetta singled with two outs to put men on the corners. Outfielder Peter Bourjos followed with a three-run, inside-the-park home run when Willingham was unable to corral a fly ball that bounced off the left-field wall.

Willingham faded back and attempted to make an over-the-shoulder catch against the wall, but he couldn't get there in time. The ball bounced off the wall back toward the infield, and Willingham bounced off the wall to the ground.

By the time center fielder Denard Span could pick the ball up and throw it in, Bourjos flew around third base and slid into home for a three-run, inside-the-park home run that put the Angels back in front, 4-3.

Pavano eventually left after 6 2/3 innings, allowing five earned runs on seven hits, including an Iannetta RBI double in the seventh. He struck out three, walked nobody and threw 101 pitches (70 strikes).

Weaver allowed three earned runs on seven hits in a walk while striking out seven in six innings.

"It looked like after we took the early lead, they come back and jump us right away, that can normally knock your socks off," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "But credit to the guys out there. They didn't quit. They kept battling and we got a win today."

Turning point

With runners on first and second and nobody out in the seventh, Parmelee smashed a hard groundball past Pujols down the first-base line off Takahashi.

Right fielder Torii Hunter ran over to field the ball along the foul line but face-planted into the padded wall, allowing the ball to trickle all the way into the corner.

Parmelee wound up on third base with a game-tying triple, and a trainer ran out to check on a dazed Hunter, who remained in the game.

"It was just a bad bounce and tried to stop it, my body angle just changed, just something that happens in baseball a lot," Hunter said.

"I was punch drunk. I felt like Mike Tyson hit me. But I got up, man. It took everything in my body to get up. I said, 'Get up, get up,' I was telling myself. I got up and I ran after the ball, a little drunk but I got it in. I should have stopped the ball at all costs. I tried to and just didn't work out. That's my fault."

Parmelee knew he likely had a double, but didn't realize what happened at first.

"To be honest, when I rounded second and I was going to third, I didn't know whether I was going to get thrown out or not, because I didn't see him hit the wall," Parmelee said. "When Steve Liddle kept bringing me, I was like, 'Oh man, am I going to get an inside-the-park home run here?' But I got shut down real quick."

Gardenhire had right-handed bats available on the bench if he wanted to play the platoon split (right-handed hitters own a .722 OPS off Takahashi, as opposed to .635 for lefties). But he chose to stick with Parmelee.

"I let him face lefties all spring," Gardenhire said. "I think he stays on the ball really good, and he stays on lefties really good."

Numbers game

0: The number of innings the Twins had led for this season until Willingham's home run in the fourth.

9: Consecutive batters retired by Pavano to start the game.

1: Career triples for Parmelee.

0-for-14: Personal streak snapped by Carroll with a double in the fourth inning. "On the way home from the game the other day, I got a video from my wife," Carroll said. "My kids are four, and they really enjoy the game of baseball, but my son was upset. My wife asked him why he was upset, and he's like, 'I just want dad to get a hit.' He was crying. He was also a little tired at the time too, but he asked my wife if I got a hit today, and she said no. I think that threw him over the edge. But the funny thing is every day in spring training when I'd put him to sleep, he'd be like, 'Dad, maybe you can get a homer tomorrow.' So it's progressed down to, 'At least you can get a hit.' So he's starting to understand me as well." Carroll played the video for teammates prior to Wednesday's game. "It was actually what I needed the other day."

2: Hustle doubles for Hunter.

Health report

• RHP Scott Baker will undergo season-ending surgery to repair his right flexor pronator tendon.

• RHP Kyle Waldrop (strained elbow) is scheduled to throw a bullpen session this weekend.


"With velocity, guys have to make decisions. My slider's been good this year. It was real bad in spring training, but I just had maintained that once my arm caught up to it my slider would catch up with my fastball, and I can run my fastball in there. And if they see it out of my hand, they've got to decide, 'Am I going to swing or am I not going to swing?' And they don't have a lot of time to react."
-- Perkins, talking about striking out Pujols on a slider down and in.

On deck

Thursday: vs. Angels, 12:10 p.m. LHP Francisco Liriano (0-1, 11.25 ERA) vs. RHP Dan Haren (0-1, 8.44)

Phil Mackey is a columnist for He co-hosts "Mackey & Judd" from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekdays on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
Email Phil | @PhilMackey | Mackey & Judd