Trevor Plouffe had a double, a homer and four RBIs and Scott Diamond pitched six scoreless innings to lead the Minnesota Twins to an 11-3 victory over the Chicago Cubs on Saturday.
Diamond (5-1) allowed seven hits and struck out five and Joe Mauer added three hits and two RBIs in his return from a sprained right thumb for the Twins, who have won nine of their past 11 games.
Jeff Samardzija (5-4) gave up eight runs and nine hits in 3 2-3 innings, tying his shortest outing of the season for the Cubs, who have lost 20 of their past 24 games.
Alfonso Soriano hit a two-run homer in the eighth for the Cubs, his 12th long ball in the past 24 games.
For the first six weeks of the season, the Twins and Cubs were vying for the title of the worst team in baseball. But after starting the season 15-32, the Twins have shown some signs of life thanks in large part to the surprising emergence of Diamond in their starting rotation.
The former Rule 5 draft choice struggled mightily in the minors...