MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Rookie Tyler Duffey allowed three hits in seven shutout innings, Eddie Rosario and Joe Mauer hit two-run homers, and the Minnesota Twins beat the Angels 8-1 Sunday to pull even with Los Angeles in the AL wild-card race.
A day after the Angels swept a day-night doubleheader to pass the Twins in the wild-card standings, Duffey (4-1) struck out seven and walked one to stop Minnesota’s five-game losing streak. Torii Hunter put the Twins ahead with a solo homer in the second off Matt Shoemaker (7-10).
Both teams are 2½ games behind Houston for the AL’s second wild card. The Angels had scored 20 runs in winning the first three games of the series, but just five batters reached base against Duffey.
Jett Bandy homered with two outs in the ninth against Glen Perkins, his first major league hit.
Shoemaker allowed just one run over his previous two starts but hadn’t pitched since Sept. 1 due to forearm tightness.
Hunter led off the second with his 21st homer and Rosario’s homered boosted the lead to 3-0 in the third.
Aaron Hicks’s RBI single in the fourth chased Shoemaker, who gave up four runs and six hits in 3 2-3 innings.
Cam Bedrosian and Cory Rasmus each forced in runs with bases-loaded walks in the fifth, and Mauer hit his ninth homer in the eighth, a 419-foot drive against Wesley Wright.
Casey Fien pitched out of a bases-loaded jam in the eighth for Minnesota.
Angels: Manager Mike Scioscia said INF Johnny Giavotella, who is dealing with a medical condition affecting his vision, would head to Arizona on Sunday to begin working with the team’s instructional league staff. Scioscia hoped Giavotella would hit against a pitcher by Wednesday. . Scioscia said it was still too early to tell the extent of RHP Joe Smith’s sprained ankle. Smith tripped at the team hotel on Saturday.
Twins: Left-handed starter Tommy Milone has a “bit of a tired shoulder,” and manager Paul Molitor said Phil Hughes — who pitched out of the bullpen on Saturday — would most likely take his spot in the rotation, starting Wednesday’s game against Cleveland.
Angels: Los Angeles opens a three-game series at Houston on Monday, sending RHP Jered Weaver (7-11) to the mound against Astros LHP Dallas Keuchel.
Twins: Minnesota has a day off before RHP Ervin Santana (5-4) opens a three-game series against Cleveland. Santana is 3-10 against the Indians.