The Los Angeles Angels have done plenty of winning at home recently, but their latest victories have come from an unlikely source.
Los Angeles (68-47) is concluding a six-game homestand, where it is a major league-best 39-17. The Angels have won eight of their last nine games there, averaging 8.3 runs and batting .343.
Izturis hit a two-run homer in the eighth inning Saturday to lead Los Angeles to a 4-3 victory over the Twins (58-58). The blast came a night after the 5-foot-8, 165-pound second baseman hit his first grand slam to fuel a 10-1 win.
Izturis, who has five homers, also had a tiebreaking shot in Monday’s 4-2 victory over Boston.
“He’s come up with some big ones for us,” said Angels pitcher John Lackey, who earned his 15th win on Saturday. “The guys were kind of giving him a hard time, and I was asking him if he’s been doing some extra lifting. He’s just run into a couple of pitches pretty well. This is definitely not a home run hitter’s park, so to go out of here is a real poke.”
The Angels have won eight of their last 10 home meetings with the Twins, but are trying to sweep them there for the first time since July 11-13, 2003. They’ll hand the ball to Jered Weaver (7-5, 3.94 ERA), who is looking to build on a solid outing.
After giving up six runs and double digits in hits in each of his previous two starts, the right-hander held Boston to two runs and six hits over six innings on Monday, but didn’t earn a decision. Weaver walked two and struck out four.
“I thought he did a great job changing speeds. He got a couple of big outs with off-speed pitches when they had guys in scoring position, which is a good sign for Jered,” said Angels manager Mike Scioscia, whose team has won five of its last six overall games. “He needed everything he had to get through six innings.”
Weaver is 1-0 with a 1.93 ERA in two career starts versus the Twins, including a no-decision in a 5-2 loss on July 21 when he allowed two runs through seven innings. He opposed Boof Bonser (5-8, 4.63 ERA) in that game and will do so again Sunday.
Bonser gave up two runs through 7 2-3 innings in that contest, but also failed to get a decision. He is 0-1 with a 5.54 ERA in two career starts versus the Angels.
The right-hander is 0-6 in his last 10 starts while posting a 5.14 ERA, but has gotten an average of just 2.2 runs of support during that stretch. He gave up four runs and nine hits over seven innings in a 5-1 defeat to Kansas City on Tuesday.
“I’ve just go to do my job and not worry about what we’re doing with the bats,” said Bonser, who didn’t issue a walk and struck out three.
The 25-year-old has struggled on the road recently, going 0-5 with a 6.75 ERA and .355 opponent batting average in his last six starts. The Twins went 9-4 in Bonser’s first 13 starts, but have lost eight of his last 10 outings.
Minnesota has dropped three straight games and five of its last six— scoring a total of five runs in those losses. The Twins are trying to avoid falling below .500 for the first time since they were 30-31 on June 10.