Los Angeles (57-48) at Minnesota (59-45)

Light Snow Currently: Minneapolis, MN
Temp: 34° F
  • Game info: 8:10 pm EDT Tue Aug 3, 2004
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The Minnesota Twins have put together quite a run in taking over the AL Central.

The Anaheim Angels could be on the verge of doing the same thing in their division.

Two of the hottest teams in baseball meet when the Angels visit the Twins for the second time this season.

Minnesota was tied with Chicago atop the AL Central on July 18, but has since won 11 of its last 13 to take a five-game lead over the White Sox in the division.

On Sunday, Johan Santana outpitched Pedro Martinez and the Twins rallied for two runs against Boston’s bullpen in the eighth inning to come away with a 4-3 win.

“We’ve got a pretty good run here,” Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire said. “We’re winning a lot of baseball games and doing a lot of good things. … This is the time of year you better play good. Hopefully, we’re rising to the occasion.”

Anaheim, meanwhile, has won three straight and eight of its last 11 to go from six games behind in the AL West to 2 1/2 -games back of the Oakland Athletics.

The Angels won their third consecutive one-run game on Sunday, beating the Seattle Mariners 3-2 behind Bartolo Colon. The right-hander won his fifth straight start, and Robb Quinlan homered and doubled in the go-ahead run in the sixth inning to lead Anaheim.

Quinlan has a 13-game hitting streak, the longest by an Angels’ rookie since catcher Bengie Molina had one of 14 games in 2000. He is batting .342 and has 18 RBIs, 17 of them since the beginning of July.

“Robb’s been one of our most productive hitters, maybe our most productive hitter, over the last three weeks,” Anaheim manger Mike Scioscia said. “He stepped up. He’s getting the opportunity and he’s making the most of it.”

Vladimir Guerrero, the Angels’ home run and RBI leader, played despite discomfort in his left shoulder after getting hit by a throw while running from second to third on Saturday. His ground-rule double in the sixth followed a leadoff single by Garret Anderson, who came home on Darin Erstad’s sacrifice fly to tie the score at 2.

Anaheim won two of three in Minnesota earlier this season to improve to 19-12 at the Metrodome since 1998.

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Starting Pitchers

J. Lackey StL vs. C. Silva Bos
14-13 Record 14-8
4.67 ERA 4.21
144 K 76
60 BB 35
1.39 WHIP 1.43