Morneau, Hardy homer again for Twins in 4-2 win

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.

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.

Updated April 8, 2010