MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Pinch-hitter Chris Iannetta’s sacrifice fly in the ninth inning lifted the Los Angeles Angels to a 5-4 victory over the Minnesota Twins on Thursday night.
David Freese broke out of an 0-for-21 slump with two doubles and an RBI, and Howie Kendrick and Erick Aybar each had two hits and an RBI to help the Angels bounce back from a two-game sweep in Houston. Huston Street earned his 36th save in 38 chances to give the Angels a five-game lead in the AL West over Oakland.
Eduardo Nunez hit a three-run homer and Kyle Gibson shrugged off a poor fourth inning to go seven for the Twins. But All-Star closer Glen Perkins (3-2) gave up a leadoff double to Freese to start the ninth and couldn’t strand him.
Pinch-hitter John McDonald bunted pinch-runner Tony Campana over to third, and Iannetta hit a fly ball deep enough to left to get Campana home.
The Angels put four on the board in the fourth inning, aided by a fielding mishap from the Twins on a double by Kendrick. Left fielder Jordan Schafer fielded the ball off the wall and threw it to second base, but no one was there to catch it. Infielders Nunez, Brian Dozier and Joe Mauer all anticipated Schafer would go home with the throw, and it allowed a second run to score on the play as Kendrick moved up to third base.
Kendrick scored on a single by Aybar, and Freese added a double to make it 4-0.
Hector Santiago was in trouble for most of his outing, leaving the bases loaded in the second and two on in the third before Dozier drove in Danny Santana to get the Twins on the board in the fifth. Nunez’s drive landed in the left-center bullpen in the sixth to tie the game.
Santiago gave up four runs on eight hits with three walks and three strikeouts in five innings. Joe Smith (6-2) pitched one inning for the win, and Street nailed down his 12th save since arriving from San Diego in a trade.
Gibson gave up four runs and seven hits.
Angels: LHP Joe Thatcher threw to hitters briefly in the Target Field batting cages as he continues to work his way back from a sprained left ankle.
Twins: LHP Tommy Milone will skip his next scheduled start because of what the team is calling a tired arm. Milone has had a difficult time since joining the Twins’ rotation, going 0-1 with a 7.84 ERA in five starts. Milone told the team he’s had the same issue in the past and usually is able to turn things around after skipping one start. LHP Logan Darnell will likely get the nod in Milone’s place.
The Angels send RHP Matt Shoemaker (14-4, 3.14 ERA) to the mound Friday night against struggling Twins RHP Ricky Nolasco (5-10, 5.96). Shoemaker has thrown 23 1-3 consecutive scoreless innings, the second longest streak by an Angels rookie behind Bob Lee’s 27 straight in 1964. Shoemaker was chosen AL pitcher and rookie of the month for August.
Nolasco was tagged for eight runs in five innings against Baltimore in his most recent start and hasn’t won since July 1.
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