ANAHEIM (AP) – Dan Haren took a one-hitter into the eighth inning before giving up Jim Thome’s 598th career home run, rookie Mark Trumbo had a homer and four RBIs and the Los Angeles Angels beat the Minnesota Twins 7-1 on Thursday night in the rubber game of the three-game series.
Haren (12-6) allowed five hits, struck out six and walked none before Scott Downs pitched the ninth. The three-time All-Star right-hander allowed fewer than three earned runs for the 15th time in 24 starts this season, and is 8-1 in those games.
Thome’s leadoff homer to center field on a 1-2 pitch was the first of four consecutive hits by the Twins, who homered five times in Wednesday night’s 11-4 win.
But center fielder Peter Bourjos threw out Danny Valencia at the plate as he tried to score on a single by Tsuyoshi Nishioka. Valencia appeared to have the throw beaten, but Jeff Mathis was able to block him off the plate with his foot. Francisco Liriano (7-9) gave up seven runs and 10 hits in five innings and struck out five.
The left-hander faced a lineup made up of right-handed batters — including switch-hitters Maicer Izturis, Alberto Callaspo and Erick Aybar.
Liriano is 5-5 with a 4.37 ERA in 14 starts since his no-hitter against the White Sox on May 3 at Chicago. Liriano gave up a season-high seven runs for the third time.
It was the fourth time in his past eight starts that he failed to reach the sixth inning, and only the fourth time this season the Angels scored more than four runs in support of Haren while he was still in the game.
The second inning was a frustrating one for Twins second baseman Michael Cuddyer, whose inability to complete a double play led to two two-out runs. He fielded Trumbo’s grounder toward the middle, got the force himself on Howie Kendrick and then made a wide throw to first that pulled Joe Mauer off the bag.
Trumbo advanced on a wild pitch and came home on a bloop double to left-center by Bourjos, who scored from second when Cuddyer raced toward the hole to flag down Mathis’ infield hit and attempted a difficult off-balance throw to the plate that had no chance against the speedy Bourjos.
Trumbo, who leads the Angels with 21 homers and 61 RBIs, made it 5-0 in the third with a drive into the upper tier of the double-decker bullpen in left field after Liriano walked his first two batters of the inning.
Bourjos bunted his way on in the fourth, made it to third on Mathis’ dribbler to Liriano at the left of the mound and scored on Izturis’ bloop single to right. Trumbo drove in another run in the fifth with an infield single to make it 7-0.
The 25-year-old first baseman has a chance to become the first rookie in Angels history to lead the club in both homers and RBIs at the end of a season. The only rookie to lead them in homers was Tim Salmon, with 31 in 1993. Ken Hunt had a team-high 84 RBIs in their inaugural 1961 season, and Wally Joyner led the way with 100 RBIs in 1986.