Thanks to a run of late rallies, the Los Angeles Angels are on the verge of matching their longest winning streak of the season.
The Angels will try to earn that seventh straight victory Friday night in the second of a four-game series against the visiting Minnesota Twins.
Los Angeles (56-38) has outscored opponents 39-19 while winning six in a row, and 26 of those runs have come in the sixth inning or later.
The Angels’ late-inning outbursts have fueled four straight comeback victories, including Thursday night’s 6-5 win in 10 innings over the Twins.
The Angels’ heroics have come without three starters in their lineup. Vladimir Guerrero(notes) (strained knee) and Torii Hunter(notes) (strained adductor) are on the disabled list, while Juan Rivera(notes) has missed the last five games with a tight right hamstring.
Since Guerrero and Hunter went on the DL on July 10, Los Angeles, hitting a major league-best .287 this season, has batted .321 while going 9-1.
The Angels, who have at least 12 hits in four consecutive games, last won seven straight from June 12-19.
“We’ve been running the bases well and hitting well with runners in scoring position, and this is without Juan, Torii and Vlad,” Los Angeles manager Mike Scioscia told his team’s official Web site. “It shows the depth we have.”
Since giving up six runs in an 8-5 loss to Texas on July 7, Lackey has allowed two runs over his last 16 innings. He pitched nine innings in a 1-0, 10-inning victory Sunday in Oakland, giving up three hits and one walk.
Lackey is 1-0 with a 1.69 ERA in his last two starts versus the Twins but hasn’t faced them since August. He’s 5-5 with a 3.87 ERA in 13 career starts against Minnesota.
Four unearned runs have cost Liriano opportunities to win his past two outings, and he’s given up nine overall in that span.
The left-hander won his only career start against the Angels, yielding one hit in six scoreless innings of a 7-1 win in Anaheim on May 31, 2006.
In losing four of five, Minnesota’s pitchers have posted a 7.85 ERA and the Twins have hit .239.
“We’re in one of those stretches where you have to keep battling,” manager Ron Gardenhire said. “You’ve got to work your way out of it. No one is going to give you anything. No one is going to feel sorry for you in this game.”
Mauer had three hits Thursday and is 6 for 13 (.462) over his last four games - following a 1-for-22 slump - to regain the major league lead in batting average (.363) from Seattle’s Ichiro Suzuki(notes).
With two hits and three RBIs Thursday, Jason Kubel has batted .526 (10 for 19) with 10 RBIs this season versus the Angels - his best numbers against any opponent this season.
The Twins, who swept the Angels at home from April 17-19, have lost 12 of 16 in Anaheim.