MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Albert Pujols had two hits and two RBIs, and Garrett Richards was one out away from his second complete game this season as the Los Angeles Angels beat the Minnesota Twins 5-2 to sweep Saturday’s day-night doubleheader.
Mike Trout and Chris Iannetta added solo homers for Los Angeles (76-72), which won its third straight in the series and pulled a game ahead of Minnesota (75-73) in the AL wild-card race.
Entering the nightcap, the two teams trailed Houston by 1 1/2 games for the second wild card. Houston hosted Oakland on Saturday.
Richards (14-11) gave up five hits and two runs, including a solo homer to Trevor Plouffe. Huston Street saved both games of the doubleheader and has 38 saves. Mike Pelfrey (6-10) allowed four runs on nine hits for Minnesota, which has lost five in a row at home.
Los Angeles took the first game of the doubleheader 4-3 when Kole Calhoun’s liner eluded shortstop Eduardo Escobar’s glove to allow Daniel Robertson to score from third in the 12th inning.
Pujols snapped a career-long, 0-for-25 slump with a single in the fourth and then broke a scoreless tie in the sixth with a two-run double off Pelfrey.
Richards allowed just one hit through the first six innings and retired 13 batters in a row before Plouffe led off the seventh with his 21st home run of the season.
Trout led off the next inning with his 38th homer, extending his career-best mark for a season.
The first game of the split doubleheader was a makeup of Friday’s rainout.
In Game 1, Robertson led off the Angels 12th by reaching on second baseman Brian Dozier’s error.
“Bad play by me,” Dozier said, later adding: “We always think we should make every play. We’re hard on ourselves, so that’s good.”
Robertson eventually got to third, and he scored when Escobar knocked down Calhoun’s liner and threw late to the plate. Escobar was playing in and had trouble making the catch with shadows lingering over the infield because of the 12:10 p.m. start.
“Kole hit a rocket,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “They cracked the door open, but we still had to finish it off and I thought we executed well.”
Mike Morin (3-1) struck out the only two batters he faced in the 11th.
Blaine Boyer (3-5) allowed an unearned run in 1 1-3 innings in the loss. 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.
Twins: All-Star closer Glen Perkins pitched in Game 1, his first appearance since Sept. 1, making his return from back spasms. He 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 in the first game.
The finale of the four-game series on Sunday 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.
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