Angels 8, Twins 3
MINNEAPOLIS (AP)—After two days of sputtering against Minnesota, the Angels’ powerful offense finally got going.
The Angels, who came in leading the AL with a .285 batting average, scored just three runs despite getting 21 hits in losing the first two games of the series. They hit into six double plays Tuesday and stranded eight runners in each of the past two games. But by the time they chased starter Terry Mulholland in the fourth inning Thursday, the Angels had broken through for seven runs.
“We don’t have a lot of guys we rely on to hit home runs,” Anaheim manager Mike Scioscia said. “Our offense is based on running the bases well, executing and hitting with runners in scoring position. That’s the way our offense has to work.”
The Angels scored three times in the third, when Anderson and Vladimir Guerrero hit consecutive RBI singles and Guillen followed with a sacrifice fly. They added four runs in the fourth to put it away, with Josh Paul’s RBI double keying the rally.
Mulholland (3-4) had pitched at least five innings in each of his four previous starts this season. He left after allowing seven runs—five earned— and nine hits in 3 2-3 innings.
“They kind of jumped us and we got behind,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. “We were hoping we could do something fun here and sweep ‘em, but it didn’t work out.”
Aaron Sele made sure of that with another fine performance against the Twins. Sele (7-0) allowed three runs and five hits in seven innings, running his record against Minnesota to 16-4 with a 3.36 ERA in 22 career starts.
“I’m just trying to throw the ball, be consistent with it, throw my innings and give my team a chance to win,” Sele said. “They’ve had some pretty good clubs here. I just try to repeat quality pitches and mix it up.”
Sele matched his longest outing of the year and became the first pitcher in Angels history to win his first seven decisions in a season.
“He’s like a dart thrower,” Gardenhire said. “He cuts the ball, can make it sink and he’s got that slow curveball. … They gave him a cushion, which sure helps.”
Torii Hunter hit his 14th homer for the AL Central-leading Twins, who had won four in a row.
“You can’t expect us to sweep these guys,” Hunter said. “Sele’s a good pitcher. He hit his spots, in, out. Good curveball … 84 (mph) looks like 94. It sneaks up on you. That’s scary.”
Anderson, who was 0-for-8 in the first two games of the series, had his first four-hit game of the season, getting singles in his last four at-bats.
“Garret was pitched tough the last couple of nights, but even when he’s pitched tough, he has the ability to hit the ball to all fields,” Scioscia said. “That’s what you saw today.”
The Twins committed three errors, including one by shortstop Jason Bartlett, making his first major league start. After Mulholland was replaced by Jesse Crain with two on and two outs in the fourth, Bartlett booted a grounder by Guerrero, loading the bases. Guillen followed with a two-run single to put Anaheim on top 7-0.
“Terry couldn’t hit his spots, we missed some plays—put it all together and they beat us today,” Gardenhire said.
Despite the loss, Minnesota has won six straight series and 13 of its last 16 games. … Anaheim rookie 3B Robb Quinlan stretched his hitting streak to 16 games with a single in the fourth inning. … Crain made his major league debut, pitching 1 1-3 scoreless innings.