ANAHEIM (AP) — Carl Pavano pitched seven sharp innings in his season debut and Justin Morneau and J.J. Hardy each homered for the second straight game to lead the Minnesota Twins to a 4-2 victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Wednesday night.
Pavano (1-0) allowed a run and six hits, striking out six without a walk.
Jon Rauch allowed a two-out RBI single in the ninth by Mike Napoli before picking up his second save in two games.
Article continues below ...
Ervin Santana (0-1) gave up four runs and five hits in six innings and struck out four.
Angels DH Hideki Matsui was 3 for 4. He doubled in the seventh and scored on Juan Rivera’s two-out single.
Pavano, trying to bounce back from a rough 2009, escaped a bases-loaded jam in the second, retiring Napoli on a flyball and striking out Brandon Wood. He slipped a third strike past Kendry Morales with runners at the corners in the fourth, too.
The 13-year veteran right-hander, obtained in a trade with Cleveland last August, finished 2009 with a 5.10 ERA in 33 starts and tied Milwaukee’s Braden Looper for the most earned runs allowed in the majors.
Minnesota took a 2-0 lead in the fourth when Morneau followed a one-out walk to Joe Mauer with the Twins’ first hit, a drive into the right field seats on a 1-1 pitch. The three-time All-Star averaged 36.5 home runs over the previous four seasons and hit 31 last year despite missing the final three weeks because of a stress fracture in his lower back.
The Twins tacked on two more in the fifth, including Hardy’s leadoff homer to left field on a 3-2 pitch. No. 9 hitter Nick Punto followed with a triple to right-center and scored on Denard Span’s sacrifice fly.
NOTES: Rory Markas, who spent eight seasons broadcasting Angels games before dying of a heart attack Jan. 5 at age 54, was honored in a pregame ceremony that included a video tribute. Troy Markas threw a first pitch to his brother’s longtime radio partner, Terry Smith, while Markas’ other brother Gary and mother Billie looked on at the mound. … Angels RHP Scot Shields made his first appearance since May 26, 2009, pitching a scoreless ninth. The only player left from the Halos’ 2002 World Series championship club had been sidelined because of tendinitis in his left knee, which required surgery.