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Three two-run homers lift Twins over Angels

MLB.com

ANAHEIM -- The Twins flashed their power against the Angels on Friday night, launching three home runs off JC Ramirez to cruise to an 11-5 win at Angel Stadium.

Joe Mauer, Robbie Grossman and Max Kepler crushed two-run shots to build a six-run lead for the Twins by the third inning and secure their second straight victory over the Halos.

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ANAHEIM -- The Twins flashed their power against the Angels on Friday night, launching three home runs off JC Ramirez to cruise to an 11-5 win at Angel Stadium.

Joe Mauer, Robbie Grossman and Max Kepler crushed two-run shots to build a six-run lead for the Twins by the third inning and secure their second straight victory over the Halos.

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"I was just trying to get a fastball up because he's got pretty good sink," said Mauer, who went 4-for-5 with three RBIs. "Got a couple good pitches to hit and didn't miss them."

Ramirez lasted only 4 1/3 innings, allowing seven runs on eight hits in the worst outing of his burgeoning career as a starter. The 28-year-old converted reliever had a 1.74 ERA in his previous three starts, but he struggled from the outset against the Twins, surrendering a two-run homer to Mauer in the first inning. He gave up two more homers in the third before Miguel Sano chased him from the game with an RBI single in the fifth.

"I feel really good, I just tip the hat," Ramirez said. "They were able to hit my stuff today."

Minnesota produced more than enough run support for right-hander Kyle Gibson, who allowed two runs on six hits while walking two and striking out six over 5 2/3 innings. Gibson kept the Angels scoreless through five innings before conceding two runs in the sixth.

The Twins broke open the game by scoring four runs off Angels reliever Deolis Guerra in the eighth. Mauer collected four hits and three RBIs in a vintage showing for Minnesota.

Video: MIN@LAA: Mauer collects four hits, drives in three

Albert Pujols, who has been sitting on 599 career home runs since Tuesday, came up short in his quest for No. 600, finishing 0-for-4.

"I think his first couple at-bats tonight, there's no doubt, he was coming out of his swing a little bit," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "He was swinging hard. But his last couple, he settled in. He hit two bullets, just didn't get them up. He'll settle in and be fine."

Video: MIN@LAA: Pujols plates Simmons on double play

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Grossman, Kepler go deep in the third: After Mauer's homer put the Twins ahead, 2-0, in the first, Ramirez appeared to get back on track with a 1-2-3 second. But he stumbled again in the third inning, yielding a one-out single to Brian Dozier followed by a two-run blast to right-center field from Grossman. Ramirez couldn't avoid further damage, as Sano later singled with two outs to set up Kepler's two-run homer, extending Minnesota's lead to 6-0.

Video: MIN@LAA: Kepler clobbers two-run homer to right

Angels get on the board: The Angels cut the deficit to 7-2 by scoring a pair of runs off Gibson in the sixth. Eric Young Jr. led off the inning with a double and Andrelton Simmons walked to bring up Kole Calhoun, who delivered an RBI single to center. Gibson then induced a 5-4-3 double play from Pujols, which allowed Simmons to score from third. Yunel Escobar and Luis Valbuena kept the inning alive with a double and a walk, respectively, prompting Twins manager Paul Monitor to lift Gibson in favor of Alex Wimmers. Martin Maldonado then lined out to end the inning.

Video: MIN@LAA: Calhoun drives in Young with single

"Gibson threw the ball well," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "I thought he threw better, but he kind of lost it there in the sixth with the bloop double, a base-on-balls and a couple well-hit balls. But overall, he did a good job."

ROSARIO MAKES DEBUT
Twins left-hander Randy Rosario, recalled from Double-A Chattanooga on Thursday, made his Major League debut, throwing a scoreless eighth inning before allowing three runs in the ninth on an RBI double from Martin Maldonado and a two-run homer from Danny Espinosa. His first career strikeout came against former Twins outfielder Shane Robinson, and he retired Pujols on a hard grounder to third to end the eighth.

Video: MIN@LAA: Roasrio gets Robinson for first career K

WHAT'S NEXT
Twins: Right-hander Ervin Santana (7-2, 1.75 ERA) is set to face his former team when the Twins play the Angels in the third game of the series on Saturday at 9:07 p.m. CT. Santana, who pitched with the Angels from 2005-12, allowed one earned run over seven innings in a no-decision against the Astros on Monday.

Angels: Right-hander Matt Shoemaker (4-3, 4.26 ERA) will face the Twins in the third game of the series on Saturday night at 7:07 p.m. PT at Angel Stadium. Shoemaker is 1-1 with a 4.61 ERA in four career starts against Minnesota.

Watch every out-of-market regular-season game live on MLB.TV.

Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast.

Maria Guardado covers the Angels for MLB.com.

Kyle Gibson, Robbie Grossman, Max Kepler, Joe Mauer, Albert Pujols, JC Ramirez