MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Kole Calhoun’s liner eluded shortstop Eduardo Escobar’s glove in the 12th inning, allowing Dan Robertson to score the go-ahead run from third, and the Los Angeles Angels held on to beat the Minnesota Twins 4-3 to gain ground in the AL wild-card race.
Escobar knocked the ball down and tried to throw home to get Robertson, but the throw was late as Los Angeles won the first game of the split doubleheader and pulled even with Minnesota in the race for the second wild-card spot. The two teams trail Houston by 1 1-2 games.
The early game was part of a doubleheader as a makeup to Friday’s postponement.
Mike Morin (3-1) struck out the only two batters he faced in the 11th. Huston Street earned his 37th save.
Blaine Boyer (3-5) allowed an unearned run in 1 1-3 innings in the loss.
Robertson reached base to lead off the 12th on an error by Minnesota second basemen Brian Dozier. Chris Iannetta walked, and Ryan Jackson sacrificed the runners to second and third. With the infield drawn in, Calhoun lined a ball to Escobar.
Miguel Sano’s 17th homer tied the game in the bottom of the seventh when the big rookie slugger hit a two-run shot to the second deck in center field above the bullpens.
Minnesota missed a chance for more in the inning. After Sano’s home run, Trevor Plouffe and Torii Hunter singled. But Plouffe was thrown out trying to score on Kurt Suzuki’s bunt attempt.
Sano came to bat in the bottom of the eighth with a runner on second, but was intentionally walked for the first time in his career. Plouffe struck out to end the inning.
Los Angeles also missed on opportunities, leaving four runners in scoring position in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings.
Starters Kyle Gibson and Andrew Heaney cruised through the first five innings.
Los Angeles’ Taylor Featherston had the first hit of the game in the top of the third off Gibson, who allowed three runs on five hits and three walks in 6 1-3 innings.
Heaney held Minnesota without a hit through five but ran into trouble in the sixth when Eddie Rosario led off with his major league-leading 14th triple. Heaney gave up two earned runs and left after walking Joe Mauer to lead off the seventh. Trevor Gott entered and allowed Sano’s home run.
Twins: All-Star closer Glen Perkins appeared in a game for the first time since Sept. 1, making his return from back spasms. Perkins struck out the only batter he faced, Calhoun, with two runners on in the seventh. . RHP Trevor May also made his return to the lineup after missing two games with a sore right hip. He pitched a scoreless eighth.
The finale of the four-game series will have Minnesota rookie RHP Tyler Duffey (3-1, 3.72) facing RHP Matt Shoemaker (7-9, 4.31) for the Angels. Duffey has allowed just four earned runs in 17 innings at home this season and beat Detroit in his last outing by allowing one run in 6 1-3 innings. Shoemaker will make his first start since Sept. 1 after dealing with right forearm tightness.
(© Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)