MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Jack Mayfield hit a three-run homer and Andrew Heaney finished seven innings for his longest start of the season, leading the Los Angeles Angels past Minnesota 3-2 on Thursday night after the Twins traded away All-Star slugger Nelson Cruz.
Heaney (6-7) gave up just four hits, two walks and two runs with seven strikeouts, the left-hander’s most effective appearance in six weeks. Heaney fell behind 2-0 in the fourth on an RBI double by Willians Astudillo and a run-scoring groundout from Gilberto Celestino, but Mayfield picked him up with his big hit in the following inning.
The Twins didn’t muster much more offense than that, with Cruz — their clubhouse leader and best hitter — now conspicuously missing from the lineup after a deal that sent the 41-year-old designated hitter to Tampa Bay. First baseman Miguel Sanó paid tribute by wearing his friend’s game pants.
Twins starter Kenta Maeda (4-4) managed just fine against his most famous fellow countryman, with two strikeouts and no hits allowed for the Japanese hitting-pitching sensation Shohei Ohtani.
The problem for Maeda, who had given up only seven hits and three runs with 25 strikeouts in 16 innings over his previous three starts, was at the bottom of the order. In the fifth, José Iglesias hit his second double of the game, and Adam Eaton followed with a single.
Then Mayfield, a career .170 hitter filling in at third base with Anthony Rendon on the mend, drove a 3-2 slider into the left field seats for a 3-2 lead.
Raisel Iglesias picked up his 20th save with a perfect ninth inning.
Ohtani went 0 for 4 with three strikeouts. He won’t be on the mound in Minnesota in this series, manager Joe Maddon said. The Angels want to give Ohtani an extra day of rest, so his next start will come on Monday.
The Twins squandered a prime scoring chance in the second, when rookie Trevor Larnach was thrown out at home trying to score from first base on a double by Celestino. The throw from left field was well ahead of Larnach, who collided with Max Stassi as the catcher dropped the ball.
Larnach was reminded by plate umpire Phil Cuzzi and teammate Andrelton Simmons that he never touched home, but his last-ditch lunge at scoring was denied with a tag by Stassi. Simmons actually tried to pick up Larnach off the dirt and pull him toward the plate.
Angels: LF Justin Upton (lower back strain) was reinstated from the injured list, and OF Taylor Ward was optioned to Triple-A Salt Lake. … CF Mike Trout (right calf strain) ran the bases before the game and took part in some outfield drills, but he has not yet been scheduled for a rehab assignment.
Twins: C Mitch Garver was placed on the paternity leave list as he and his wife, Sarah, welcomed their first child, a healthy baby boy named Gamble. C Ben Rortvedt was recalled from Triple-A St. Paul to fill in.
Angels: RHP Alex Cobb (7-3, 3.96 ERA) pitches on Friday night. Cobb is 2-0 with a 0.92 ERA in three starts this month.
Twins: LHP J.A. Happ (5-5, 6.15 ERA) takes the mound for the second game of the series. Happ went seven innings in each of his last two turns after failing to go that long for 11 straight starts.
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