- Associated Press - Tuesday, June 14, 2016

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) - The Los Angeles Angels’ injured list is growing almost daily. Their losses are multiplying accordingly.

And now they’ve added defensive ineptitude to their woes while falling into last place in the AL West.

Trevor Plouffe hit a three-run homer, Byron Buxton and Robbie Grossman also went deep and the Minnesota Twins beat the slumping Angels 9-4 on Monday night.

Johnny Giavotella homered and tied a career high with four hits for the Angels (27-37), who committed three errors while falling behind Oakland and into last place for the first time since the season’s opening week. With reliever Cory Rasmus the latest addition to their ridiculous list of injuries, the Angels dropped to a season-worst 10 games below .500 with their eighth loss in 10 games.

“The guys that are left are a good team,” manager Mike Scioscia said. “I know we’re going to play better. I know we’re going to become a better team. At times, it’s tough to be patient, but we’re going to get our rotation in order in the next couple of weeks, and that’s going to get our bullpen where it needs to be.”

Jered Weaver (5-6) allowed eight hits and six runs in six innings, taking his fifth loss in seven starts. The veteran right-hander has allowed 18 homers this season, most in the majors.

In an encapsulation of the Angels’ troubles, Minnesota got three runs on one hit in the third. Grossman walked and Joe Mauer reached on Giavotella’s throwing error at second base before Plouffe put his fifth homer into the bullpens beyond left field.

“It’s all kind of irrelevant,” Giavotella said after his impressive offensive game. “The story tonight is our defense. I made an error to put us in a hole, and we couldn’t get out of it. That loss is on me. We can’t give teams extra outs.”

Veteran reliever Al Alburquerque allowed three runs in the seventh in his Angels debut, although shortstop Gregorio Petit’s two errors were also culpable. Alburquerque became the 41st player to get on the field this season for the injury-plagued Angels, who were booed by the home crowd during that ugly inning.

Mike Trout went 1 for 4 as the Angels’ designated hitter one day after sustaining a bruised thumb when he was hit by a pitch from Cleveland reliever Tommy Hunter.

Mauer had two hits while reaching base for the 25th consecutive game for the AL-worst Twins in their highest-scoring performance of the season.

Ricky Nolasco (3-4) yielded three runs over six innings in his second victory since April 21 for Minnesota, which won consecutive games for the second time in June. Although they’re still 6 1/2 games behind Los Angeles for the AL’s second-worst record, the Twins got off to an encouraging start on their brief West Coast trip.

“We had a fairly complete game,” manager Paul Molitor said. “Defense was good for the most part. We got a nice, solid start, and the bullpen did their job. It’s not a lot of nights when we’ve been able to compliment all areas of our game. I don’t know if it’s one of our best games, but we haven’t had many games where we’ve had leads of five, six runs going in late, so in that sense, it might be right up there.”

Plouffe, a San Fernando Valley native batting cleanup for the Twins, hit his second homer in a week after going a month without a home run.

Buxton put the Twins up 6-3 in the sixth with his first homer since last Sept. 30, clipping the top of the short fence in the left-field corner.

Grossman added a solo shot in the seventh.

Giavotella hit his first homer since May 14 in the ninth.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Twins: Minnesota closer Glen Perkins will get a second opinion on his injured shoulder Tuesday in California, Molitor said.

Angels: Rasmus went on the 15-day disabled list with a right groin strain, the latest injury to befall the Angels’ pitching staff. Los Angeles recalled right-handers Alburquerque and A.J. Achter.

UP NEXT

Twins: Ervin Santana (1-6, 4.77 ERA) takes the mound again in the ballpark he called home for eight years.

Angels: Jhoulys Chacin (1-2, 4.42 ERA) threw an exceptional four-hitter in his last home start May 30, striking out 10.

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