ANAHEIM -- Jason Castro's two-run single off Jose Alvarez in the ninth inning highlighted a three-run outburst that propelled the Twins to a 4-2 come-from-behind victory over the Angels in Thursday night's series opener at Angel Stadium.
One inning after Kole Calhoun slammed his second home run of the night to put the Angels in front, 2-1, the Twins rallied to erase the deficit behind two hits, a pair of walks and a costly error by first baseman Jefry Marte. Alvarez recorded the first out by inducing a groundout from Max Kepler, but Jorge Polanco then skied an infield popup that Marte could not reel in.
Eddie Rosario followed with a double to left field, and Eduardo Escobar intentionally walked to set up Castro's clutch hit. Minnesota then added an insurance run after Halos closer Bud Norris issued a bases-loaded walk to Joe Mauer.
• Alvarez stumbles after subbing for Norris
"We hung in there," said Twins manager Paul Molitor, whose club snapped a four-game losing streak and improved to 15-5 on the road. "We got a little bit of a break on the popup there. We got some good at-bats from our lefties to find a way to take the lead."
Twins left-hander Adalberto Mejia and Angels right-hander Alex Meyer delivered strong starting performances for their respective clubs, with six innings of one-run ball apiece.
"You can focus a lot in the ninth inning -- obviously, we dropped the popup and we walked a couple guys, but this game was lost in a lot of different ways," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "We had some opportunities, and it's a shame because Alex pitched a great game."
• Meyer's effort provides Angels a silver lining
Miguel Sano, who returned to the Twins' lineup after missing two games with an illness, finished 2-for-3 with a solo home run, and the third baseman initiated a 5-4-3 triple play in the fourth inning.
Angels slugger Jose Pujols, who hit his 599th career home run on Tuesday, is still seeking No. 600 after going 1-for-4 with a single.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Calhoun goes deep twice: In the bottom of the eighth, Calhoun snapped a 1-1 deadlock by crushing a first-pitch curveball from Taylor Rogers to right-center field for his seventh homer of the season. The 29-year-old right fielder also tied the game at 1 with a homer off Mejia in the sixth. Both of Calhoun's homers came against southpaws, securing the third multi-homer effort of his career.
"I've been putting pretty good swings on the ball lately and not getting anything to fall," Calhoun said. "Seems like I'd been hitting the ball right at people, so it's nice to get a couple tonight."
Twins get trippy: With the Twins ahead, 1-0, in the fourth, Pujols and Yunel Escobar strung together back-to-back singles off Mejia to put runners on first and second with no outs for Marte. But Marte bounced a grounder to Sano, who stepped on third and flipped it to second baseman James Dozier before Dozier fired to Joe Mauer at first in time to complete the 5-4-3 triple play. It was Minnesota's first triple play since May 27, 2006.
"I thought about it before the pitch came that there was a possibility there could be a triple play," Sano said. "We worked on it early in the day, fielding ground balls close to the line. I had it in mind, and it was the perfect pitch."
• Twins multiply, turn triple play vs. LA!
UPON FURTHER REVIEW
The Twins challenged a play in the sixth, when Andrelton Simmons was ruled safe after shortstop Polanco bobbled the ball before throwing to first. But after a review, the call on the field was overturned. Calhoun homered on the next pitch, so it saved the Twins a run.
The Angels unsuccessfully challenged a play in the ninth, as Rosario doubled with one out and Polanco had to dive back into third after taking a wide turn, narrowly beating Escobar's tag. Replay was inconclusive and the call was allowed to stand.
"I never thought about it as a triple play. When it was hit, I thought it was going to be a double play. But it was awesome to get the triple play." -- Mejia
Twins: Right-hander Kyle Gibson (1-4, 7.85 ERA) is set to start for the Twins in the second game of the series on Friday at 9:07 p.m. CT. Gibson has struggled this year, but held the Rays to two earned runs over 5 1/3 innings on Sunday.
Angels: Right-hander JC Ramirez (5-3, 3.38 ERA) will take the mound on Friday as the Angels and Twins continue their four-game series at 7:07 p.m. PT at Angel Stadium. Ramirez will be making his first career appearance against Minnesota.
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