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Must C Crushed: Morneau launches one to right field

MINNEAPOLIS -- It had been quite some time since Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau homered in the same game.

The Twins' version of the M&M Boys last went deep on the same day back on July 6, 2010, and had never done it at Target Field.

But that changed on Thursday, as Mauer hit a three-run homer to help the Twins overcome a six-run deficit while Morneau hit a go ahead two-run homer in the bottom of the eighth inning in a wild 10-9 win over the Angels at Target Field.

"We've done it before, but it doesn't matter what ballpark," Morneau said. "But yeah, they were both big times in the game. It was 6-0 when Joe hit his, and it kind of got us going. So to come up in the eighth inning, we had a lot of opportunities early, it's why this game is great, you get another chance, and I was lucky enough to take advantage of it. Obviously our chances of winning are better when we both homer, but it's not going to happen all the time. But it's a good feeling."

Mauer, who went deep for just the second time in a span of 115 games at Target Field dating back to 2010, said he couldn't even remember the last time the pair hit long balls in the same game.

"We definitely have had our share of injuries over the years," Mauer said. "So it was good to go out there and square some balls up that left the park."

Morneau's two-run blast off right-hander Rich Thompson led the Twins to their second consecutive come-from-behind win over the Angels, who had just taken back the lead with a run in the top of the eighth. Danny Valencia added an RBI double and scored on a single from Luke Hughes to help give Minnesota just its second series win dating back to Aug. 18, 2011.

"I just didn't get the job done," Thompson said. "I left a fastball up and [Morneau] did what he has to do with it. That's why he's their guy."

The insurance runs proved to key, as Matt Capps allowed two runs in the ninth before picking up his second straight save.

"If I get 65 of them this year and every one of them is like that, I'll be happy," Capps joked.

But the story of the day was the offense, as every starter recorded a hit and the Twins had 20 hits for the first time since producing 20 on July 26, 2010, in Kansas City.

"We're fired up to score some runs," Mauer said. "We had 20 hits and 10 runs, and hadn't been scoring a whole lot of runs. So to hit one good and have it leave the park here is definitely a good feeling."

The Twins trailed by six runs early in the game, only to tie it up in the seventh inning. Josh Willingham led off the frame with his Major League-leading fourth homer of the season.

Hughes later provided a pinch-hit sacrifice fly against left-hander Scott Downs before Denard Span brought home a run with an infield single. It was Span's fourth hit of the game, but it was also a scary play as he stepped on Downs' foot at first base. Downs ended up leaving the game as a result.

Mauer set the stage for the comeback, giving the Twins three runs on just one swing of the bat with a three-run homer off Angels starter Dan Haren in the fifth inning.

The long ball came after the Angels jumped out to an early 6-0 lead against Francisco Liriano, who struggled in his second outing of the year. The left-hander gave up five runs in the second, and ended up surrendering six runs (five earned) on seven hits over five innings. "He had the real one bad inning," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "But at least he got through five, which saved us a little bit out in the bullpen, which we needed desperately."

Liriano, though, was bailed out by the offense, and now the Twins head into their three-game series against the Rangers with momentum on their side.

"It definitely gives us a lot of confidence," Span said. "We lost our first four games and here comes Anaheim, and they're one of the best teams in the league. So to win the series is a big confidence booster for us. We need that right now." Comments