- Associated Press - Friday, September 18, 2015

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Off a disappointing, extra-inning loss a day earlier, the playoff hopeful Minnesota Twins were hoping to bounce back against another team fighting for a postseason berth.

Starting pitcher Tommy Milone found a way to make Thursday another long night.

Minnesota scored five times in the first inning to chase Los Angeles Angels starter Hector Santiago, but Mike Trout hit a grand slam to cap a six-run second and Los Angeles went on to beat the Twins 11-8.

Torii Hunter and Aaron Hicks went deep for Minnesota (75-71), which trails the Houston Astros by 1½ games in the crowded AL playoff race. But Milone lasted just 1 1-3 innings despite being staked to that five-run lead. Milone gave up five runs, four hits and three walks as the Twins lost their third straight home game.

“It’s embarrassing the way I pitched out there tonight,” Milone said. “I put my teammates, the bullpen in a bad position.”

Taylor Featherston and Chris Iannetta also homered and Huston Street picked up his 36th save for the Angels (74-72), who pulled within 2½ games of Houston in the race for the second AL wild card.

Trout greeted rookie reliever A.J. Achter, who entered after Milone walked Kole Calhoun with the bases loaded, with a long home run to right-center field. Trout finished with two homers, three walks and five RBIs.

“We had a long night last night and those kind of things, it was good to see us bounce back and get off to a good start, but it got ugly,” Minnesota manager Paul Molitor said. “We just couldn’t contain. It’s disappointing to squander a five-run lead right out of the chute like that.”

After the game, Molitor wouldn’t commit to Milone making his next start. Milone lasted just 3 2-3 innings in his previous start.

“I’m not sure how that’s going to play out,” Molitor said. “We’ve got him scheduled for the Cleveland series. Like we’ve said all along, it’s kind of more in pencil. We’ll see what happens.”

Minnesota’s Joe Mauer drove in the first run of the game with a single that extended his streak of reaching base to a career-high 37 games. Hunter hit a three-run homer and Kurt Suzuki added an RBI double to put the Twins up 5-0.

Santiago gave up five runs on five hits in 2-3 of an inning.

“You jump out early and get five runs and just all hell broke loose after that,” Hunter said. “It just was no fun out there.”

RUNNING ROOKIE

Eddie Rosario tripled as part of the Twins‘ big first inning. Rosario leads the majors with 13 triples, which are the most by a rookie since Ray Lankford had 15 for the Cardinals in 1991.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Twins: RHP Phil Hughes was shaky earlier this week in his return from a back injury, so Molitor said he will not start through the next two series. Molitor said Hughes will be available in the bullpen this weekend.

UP NEXT

The Twins send RHP Mike Pelfrey (6-9, 4.09) to the mound for Game 2 to face LHP Andrew Heaney (6-3, 3.32). Pelfrey gave up one run in 5 1-3 innings in his last start, a no-decision against Kansas City on Sept. 9. Heaney will be making his first career start against the Twins. He is 3-1 with a 2.11 ERA on the road this season.

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