Los Angeles Angels starter Matt Palmer(notes) is 7-1 largely because he’s received an average of more than seven runs of support per game. That’s the kind of production the Angels have been getting during their seven-game win streak.
The Angels will try to make it eight straight Saturday when Palmer makes his first start in nearly a month and faces the Minnesota Twins for the first time.
With the Angels playing a doubleheader Tuesday at Kansas City, Palmer (7-1, 4.75 ERA) will make his first start since June 28. He has pitched well in eight appearances out of the bullpen this month, posting a 2.38 ERA.
The right-hander took advantage of generous support to go 7-1 with a 5.10 ERA in 11 starts from April 23-June 28. Los Angeles gave him an average of 7.03 runs in those outings.
Judging by how hot the Angels’ offense is, Palmer could get that kind of backing again Saturday. Los Angeles (57-38) has scored 51 runs during its win streak for an average of nearly 7.3 per game.
“Good things tend to happen when you’re putting together solid at-bats,” center fielder Gary Matthews told the Angels’ official Web site. “As a club, we’ve been having good at-bats pretty consistently, and that gives you a chance to make things happen.”
The Angels got three hits from Howie Kendrick(notes) and homers from Mike Napoli(notes), Robb Quinlan(notes) and Jeff Mathis(notes) in a 6-3 win Friday. Kendrick has four straight multihit efforts, going 9 for 15 (.600) with four RBIs in that span.
The home team has won all five meetings this year, with the Twins sweeping three games at the Metrodome from April 17-19.
Minnesota (48-49) has lost three straight to fall to 3-5 on this 10-game road trip. The third-place Twins have dropped four games behind AL Central-leading Detroit, which swept a doubleheader from the second-place Chicago White Sox on Friday.
This is the first time since June 24 that Minnesota has dropped under .500.
“Other than Mauer who put some good swings out there, we didn’t have much else going on,” manager Ron Gardenhire said. “We were pretty much shut down.”
The Twins have lost five straight road games started by Nick Blackburn(notes) (8-4, 3.44), who is 0-2 with a 4.24 ERA in that span. Blackburn allowed season highs of seven earned runs and 13 hits over five innings Monday and did not receive a decision in a 14-13 loss at Oakland.
The right-hander is making his second career start against the Angels. He gave up six runs over 4 2-3 innings in a 7-5 loss on Aug. 23, 2008.