Angels 10, Twins 2
MINNEAPOLIS (AP)—The Anaheim Angels know that getting back to the postseason and defending their World Series title this season is a longshot. But they’re sure they’ll have an impact on the playoff race.
Scott Spiezio hit a grand slam and John Lackey (9-13) pitched seven solid innings as the Angels beat the Twins 10-2 on Monday. Bengie Molina and Garret Anderson also homered for the Angels, who won their third in a row.
“We’re just trying to get back to .500 and finish on a positive note,” Lackey said.
Michael Ryan hit his first major league homer for the Twins, who fell two games behind idle Chicago in the AL Central and lost an opener for the first time in 10 series.
And it was Spiezio and Lackey, two stars in Anaheim’s AL championship series win over Minnesota last year, keying the victory in the Angels first appearance at the Metrodome since Game 2 of the ALCS.
Anaheim won both games over the weekend in a rain-abbreviated series with Kansas City, which is also two games back of the White Sox.
“We’re looking in-house to see what we can do,” manager Mike Scioscia said of being playoff spoilers. “A lot of people are out of the lineup. We’re looking ahead. We’re not looking outside the organization.”
Spiezio, who batted .353 for the Angels in the ALCS last year, hit his fifth career grand slam, off Kenny Rogers in the third inning.
“Usually when I hit home runs right-handed, they come late in the season and in bunches,” Spiezio said.
He had to leave the game after being hit on his right elbow with a pitch from Rogers in the sixth. He played one more inning before being replaced by Robb Quinlan.
“I hoped it would stay numb, but when the feeling came back, it hurt,” Spiezio said. “The doctor moved it around and said it would be OK.”
Lackey—who beat the Twins in Game 4 of the ALCS—gave up two runs on five hits and three walks, and struck out four.
Rogers (11-7) allowed six hits in seven-plus innings and struck out four. His wildness cost him in the third.
Wilson Delgado reached base despite striking out, when Rogers’ pitch bounced past catcher A.J. Pierzynski for a wild pitch. Chone Figgins followed with a walk, and two outs later, Rogers walked Tim Salmon.
Spiezio followed by hitting the first pitch into the left-field seats for his 15th homer.
“My job is to minimize the damage and keep us in the game,” Rogers said. “I gave it away on one pitch.”
Molina put Anaheim up 1-0 in the second with his 14th homer, and Anderson hit his 29th to lead off the eighth to make it 6-2.
Twins center fielder Torii Hunter was ejected by plate umpire Phil Cuzzi after Hunter argued a called third strike in the second. Hunter yelled at Cuzzi on his way back to the dugout, then charged after Cuzzi when the umpire ejected him. Hunter had to be restrained by Twins coaches Jerry White and Steve Liddle.
“It happens,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. “He just thought the ball was outside, and it was a strike. Torii got upset with him. I thought Phil did a good job today.”
Anaheim scored five runs in the last two innings to put the game out ofreach.
The Twins added bullpen depth by acquiring left-hander Jesse Orosco from the New York Yankees on Sunday for a player to be named later, and recalling right-hander Adam Johnson from Triple-A Rochester. Both players were with the team Monday and are eligible for the postseason roster. … Delgado, who started at shortstop, was called up from Triple-A Salt Lake before the game. The Angels made room by moving Brad Fullmer from the 15-day DL to the 60-day DL. … The Angels have won six of their last seven on the road. … TheTwins have given up 21 runs and eight homers in the past two games.