ANAHEIM, Calif. (CBSLA/AP) — Alex Cobb hadn’t pitched in 16 days while he waited for a blister on his right middle finger to heal. By the time another blister started to form in his comeback start, Cobb and the Los Angeles Angels already were well on their way to a win.
Phil Gosselin homered and hit a three-run double in the first two innings, and Cobb pitched five strong innings in the Angels’ 7-1 victory over the Minnesota Twins on Thursday in the first game of a makeup doubleheader.READ MORE: Millions In Counterfeit Cialis Pills, Knock-Off Designer Apparel Seized At Port
And when the Angels win, fans win a free medium fries at a participating Southland McDonald’s restaurant with a $1 purchase Friday.
Angels win, you win!
Visit a participating SoCal McDonald’s tomorrow for your FREE medium fries with a one dollar ($1) minimum purchase. Download and register on the McDonald’s App! pic.twitter.com/tjMRfNzRbY
— Los Angeles Angels (@Angels) May 20, 2021
Taylor Ward added a two-run homer for the Angels in the opener of a doubleheader necessitated by a COVID-19 outbreak among the Twins while they were in Anaheim last month, forcing the postponement of two weekend games.
Cobb (2-2) yielded four hits and a run in his first start since missing 14 games while his blister calmed down. Cobb, who was pulled after just 57 pitches, has allowed just one earned run over 10 innings in his last two starts.
“As the game went on, you start to get more of that aggressive nature,” Cobb said. “You just get in the flow of the game and small cues come back to you, and you start feeling a lot better.”
Cobb came out after just 57 pitches because of a new blister concern, manager Joe Maddon said. Cobb called it “a little hot spot,” but didn’t seem overly worried.
“I thought he kept getting better,” Maddon said. “I love it when his curveball is active. A different part of the year, different circumstances, he might have gone at least another inning. But with a really fresh bullpen in a seven-inning game, it didn’t make sense.”
Gosselin’s four RBIs matched the best total of his nine-year big league career, and the Angels won for just the third time in nine games despite resting major league homer run leader Shohei Ohtani and using slugger Jared Walsh for only the last two innings.
Rob Refsnyder drove in the only run for the Twins, who have lost nine of 11. The makeup doubleheader forced them to fly from Minneapolis to Orange County and back to Cleveland in a rough two-day span.
Slugger Nelson Cruz was hit on the left wrist by a pitch in the sixth inning. He stayed in the game, but wasn’t expected to play in the nightcap due to a bruised wrist.
Lewis Thorpe (0-2) yielded five hits, two walks and one earned run over four innings for the Twins, but Los Angeles scored three unearned runs in the second when Gosselin’s bases-clearing double followed third baseman Josh Donaldson’s error.
Thorpe was the Twins’ 27th man for the doubleheader, and the Australian left-hander admitted after his third big league start of the season that it’s difficult to go up and down from Triple-A.READ MORE: Ladera Ranch HOA Refuses To Allow Pride Event At Neighborhood Park
“It’s tough, but I’ve got to do it and I’ve got to get better at it,” Thorpe said. “I feel part of the team, but not really. It’s just tough coming up one day at a time. It is what it is.”
Gosselin hit his first homer for the Angels in the first inning, but Miguel Sanó singled and scored for Minnesota in the second on a sacrifice fly by Refsnyder, who is from nearby Laguna Hills.
Gosselin’s four RBIs matched his career high set Sept. 1, 2015, for Arizona at Colorado — also in the first game of a doubleheader.
Ward hit his third homer of the season off Tyler Duffey in the fifth.
Ohtani got his first day off of the season after pitching into the fifth inning and going 1 for 3 at the plate Wednesday against Cleveland. Ohtani’s velocity was noticeably down on the mound, although the two-way star refused to attribute it to fatigue from overwork.
Minnesota manager Rocco Baldelli was to watch the second game of the doubleheader from a suite under suspension after Duffey threw behind the White Sox’s Yermín Mercedes on Tuesday. The Twins apparently were responding to Mercedes’ homer on a 3-0 pitch while Chicago had an 11-run lead a day earlier.
Duffey was given a three-game suspension, but he appealed, which allowed the Angels to pound him for four hits and three runs in the fifth.
Twins: RHP Kenta Maeda, who has a minor groin injury, and the players on Minnesota’s injured list didn’t make the one-day trip to the West Coast. … Byron Buxton (hip) has started doing light running.
Angels: Rookie reliever Chris Rodriguez (right shoulder) threw a bullpen session this week. He should return soon, Maddon said.
Twins: José Berríos (3-2, 3.74 ERA) starts the second game of the doubleheader.
Angels: Griffin Canning (3-2, 4.78 ERA) starts the second game of the doubleheader.MORE NEWS: Long Beach Acura Grand Prix To Return In Sept. With Full Crowds
(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)