MINNEAPOLIS -- Twins manager Paul Molitor said he could tell there was a difference in his team on Saturday, a day after it snapped a nine-game losing streak to open the season.
His players were looser and more relaxed, as the weight of the 0-9 start dissipated. It certainly showed in the eighth inning, as Oswaldo Arcia and Byung Ho Park crushed back-to-back homers off reliever Joe Smith to lift the Twins to a 6-4 win over the Angels at Target Field. Park's monster blast landed above the batter's eye in center field, joining Jim Thome as the only other Twins player to accomplish the feat.
It was the second time in a row the Twins erased an early deficit and won with late-game heroics, as Park delivered the go-ahead RBI double in the eighth on Friday before teaming up with Arcia for their consecutive blasts on Saturday. It was the first time the Twins had back-to-back homers since Aug. 15, 2015.
"I thought we came back out after our first win swinging the bats better from the start of the game," Molitor said. "We found a way to get a couple there. Arcia, like we saw in Spring Training, when he stays on the ball, he can hit it to all fields. And that was a beautiful swing. And Park, not too dissimilar from his first home run in Kansas City. It was a breaking ball, and he didn't miss it."
It was a confidence-booster for Arcia, who hit 20 homers two years ago before struggling last season, appearing in 19 games. He's been relegated to a fourth-outfielder role this season, but with youngsters Eddie Rosario, Miguel Sano and Byron Buxton struggling offensively, he could find more playing time if he keeps it up.
"It felt good, but it felt even better that we got those two runs in the eighth," Arcia said through translator Carlos Font. "That's all that matters. We wanted to get another win after that losing streak."
Molitor said he'll continue to try to work Arcia into the lineup based on matchups, and he was pleased to see him drive in a run with a single in the first and that his homer went to left-center field. But he also struck out with two runners in scoring position with one out in the fifth.
"To get back-to-back games allowed him to get back on his feet," Molitor said. "He had a nice at-bat in the first inning and had the homer late. He's still learning."
Park is still learning as well, as he's adjusting to facing Major League pitchers, but Molitor said he's looked more comfortable recently. If he can get going and display the power he showed on Saturday, it would be a major boost to an offense that has had trouble scoring runs early this season.
"It feels great to win a second game in a row," Park said through translator J.D. Kim. "Yesterday, we broke the losing streak. And today we won, so it's a two-game winning streak. It was great to hear the music in the clubhouse again."