Angels 8, Twins 2

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MINNEAPOLIS (AP)—Smarting a little bit from a string of four losses in five games, the Los Angeles Angels needed something good to happen in Minnesota.

Kelvim Escobar was better than good.

Escobar struck out 10 in 6 2-3 innings and Chone Figgins had a home run and two RBIs to lead the Angels to an 8-2 victory over the Twins on Tuesday night.

“We need to pitch at the level he pitched at tonight on a consistent basis to help our offense have a chance to do something,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said.

Escobar (2-1) struck out the side twice and scattered seven hits and Orlando Cabrera added three hits and two RBIs for the Angels, who continued their recent dominance at the Metrodome.

Lew Ford had two hits and scored two runs for the Twins, who have lost six of their last seven home games to the Angels.

“Our guys battled,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. “Their guy was just a little better.”

Twins starter Carlos Silva (1-2) again had trouble getting his standout sinker to work. Long known for keeping the ball on the ground, Silva allowed 10 flyouts and two homers in his last start, a 6-5 victory over Oakland.

The Angels had 12 hits, including Figgins’ second homer of the season, and 12 flyouts in 8 2-3 innings Tuesday, a sign that Silva’s sinker still hasn’t started sinking.

After the Angels tacked on two of their three ninth-inning insurance runs to chase Silva, the frustrated pitcher barked at home plate umpire Jerry Meals as he exited. Meals ejected Silva and then Gardenhire, who came to Silva’s aid.

When Silva entered the clubhouse, he slammed his chair against his locker and disappeared into a back room for about 25 minutes. He reappeared more composed, but clearly still upset with the performance.

“It is frustrating when you give all you’ve got and you still give up eight runs,” Silva said. “When you know you have your stuff and still nothing’s working, it’s tough.”

The Twins offense was able to bail out Silva against the Athletics, but not against Silva’s countryman Escobar on Tuesday night. Both were part of a record seven Venezuelan starters across the major leagues on the night.

After allowing a one-out single to Cabrera in the first, Silva retired seven in a row before running into trouble in the fourth.

Figgins led off the inning with a single, and Cabrera followed with an RBI double. Garret Anderson singled home Cabrera to give the Angels a 2-1 lead.

Los Angeles added three more in the fifth, two on Figgins’ drive that hit off the upper deck facing in right and gave the Angels a 5-1 lead.

“With my type of swing I just try to drive the ball and sometimes I may hit a line drive a little too high,” Figgins said. “That at-bat, I just did.”

The Twins opened the bottom half with three straight hits, including an RBI single by Juan Castro that made it 5-2 and had runners on first and second with nobody out.

But Escobar got Luis Castillo and Joe Mauer looking with tough inside pitches and Tony Batista to ground out to short to keep the damage to a minimum.

“He’s learning pretty good how to pitch,” Batista said of Escobar. “He won the game today.”

Escobar then struck out the side in the sixth to earn his eighth career 10-strikeout game, and got the first two outs of the seventh before yielding to former Twin J.C. Romero, who was roundly booed in his first appearance in the Metrodome since being traded in the offseason.

Against his first hitter, Castillo, home plate umpire Jerry Meals charged Romero with a ball after the reliever went to his mouth. Romero walked Castillo, but got Mauer to fly out to center to end the inning.

“I was able to get the punchouts,” Escobar said. “It’s always good when you’re able to put guys away.”


Angels 1B Casey Kotchman broke an 0-for-12 skid with a single to center in the fifth. … Angels RF Vladimir Guerrero entered the night batting .429, but went 0-for-5. … Twins DH Rondell White received a standing ovation after a single in the sixth inning, just his fourth hit in his last 43 at-bats. … Twins CF Torii Hunter went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts and is hitless in his last 11 at-bats.

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