Despite starting the season on the disabled list, right-hander Kelvim Escobar looked like he was in midseason form in his first start of the year.
Escobar, who missed the beginning of the season because of a sprained right elbow, made his season debut on Sunday, allowing just two hits over six innings in the Angels’ 1-0 win over Oakland.
“It was very exciting,” Escobar said. “I felt good since I warmed up in the bullpen. One thing I told myself was to relax and just pitch and keep the team in the ballgame. I was pitching aggressively and pounding the strike zone.”
Escobar went 11-12 with a 3.93 ERA last season, his first with the Angels after signing a three-year, $18.75 million deal that previous offseason. The Venezuelan right-hander led the team with 191 strikeouts, good enough for fourth in the American League.
He threw 82 pitches against the A’s, striking out seven and giving up two harmless singles—the fewest hits he has allowed in a game with Los Angeles. However, the Angels didn’t manage to score a run until he had already left the game, leaving him without a decision.
“I always tell myself, keep the team in the ballgame,” Escobar said. “You can’t worry about how the other guy is pitching.”
The Twins beat the Angels 7-4 on Friday for their fourth straight win. Michael Cuddyer had two doubles and three RBIs for Minnesota, which came back from a 4-1 deficit.
The Twins have come from behind to win in 11 of their 14 victories this season.
“That game didn’t look like our ballgame, it really didn’t,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. “But we kept hanging around.”