Angels 3, Twins 1
MINNEAPOLIS (AP)—The Anaheim Angels shut down Minnesota’s offense for the second day in a row.
Michael Cuddyer homered for Minnesota, its only run in the last two games. The Twins lost consecutive home games for the first time this season.
“It’s just two games,” said Torii Hunter, who went 0-for-4, dropping his batting average to .231. “You’re bound to do that. Good pitching will beat good hitting every time. There was good pitching on each side, and you saw what happened.”
Troy Percival retired Henry Blanco on a routine fly with the bases loaded to end it. Chone Figgins tripled and scored in the first inning for the surging Angels, who have won eight of 10. Their 11-5 road record is the best in the major leagues.
Lackey (2-3) allowed six hits in seven innings, striking out five for his second straight win. Twins starter Johan Santana also went seven innings, giving up a run on five hits, with two walks and six strikeouts.
“We knew going into this series that we were going to be facing some good pitching,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “We focused on coming out and getting strong starts from our staff, and we were able to get those in this series.”
Percival worked the ninth for his seventh save in eight chances. He’s never allowed an earned run in 39 2-3 career innings against the Twins, converting 20 of 21 save opportunities.
“We’re getting closer against Percival, and maybe we’ll get a run against him soon,” Doug Mientkiewicz said.
The teams locked in a tight game for the second straight day. Anaheim won 1-0 Saturday with a run in the ninth inning, but took only two batters to score another run Sunday. Figgins led off with a triple to left-center, and Darin Erstad’s hard grounder to first base drove in the run.
Cuddyer homered in the fourth to tie it, a 425-foot shot to center, but only one more Twins hitter reached base until the ninth.
For the second straight game, Anaheim’s Francisco Rodriguez pitched a perfect eighth and Percival closed it out.
“That’s better than the Yankees pitched against us in the playoffs,” Mientkiewicz said. “When guys hit their spots, they’re tough to hit. Rodriguez never seems like he throws the ball over the white part of the plate.”
Santana held the Angels in check, but Anaheim again rallied against Minnesota’s bullpen. Figgins led off the eighth with a single against J.C. Romero (1-1) and stole second as Erstad struck out. Vladimir Guerrero was intentionally walked, and both runners moved up on Troy Glaus’ groundout.
Guillen fell behind 0-2 against Romero, but after taking two more close pitches for balls, he punched a high fastball to right field to drive in both runners.
“J.C. was going at him in a big situation,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. “He didn’t throw the ball down the middle. (Guillen) just whacked one over his head.”
Guillen had just one hit on Sunday, but it was the biggest of the game.
“He’s been swinging the bat better than his numbers indicate,” Scioscia said. “He’s been hitting it hard. Today, that was a great at-bat. He got in a hole but fought his way back.”
The Twins’ offense hopes to do the same this week on a trip to Seattle and Oakland.
“We’ve been looking for that big hit, that broken-bat hit or bloop hit or whatever we could get, but it just didn’t work out,” Hunter said. “But I giveguys credit when credit is due, and they pitched good the last two days.”
Minnesota’s Luis Rivas snapped an 0-for-23 skid with an infield single in the third inning. … Twins LF Shannon Stewart was scratched from his second consecutive start with a sore left wrist. … Figgins started in place of SS David Eckstein, who hasn’t played since straining his groin Tuesday in Detroit. … The Angels finished their nine-game road trip with a 7-2 record, sweepingOakland and winning two of three against both Detroit and Minnesota.