ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Samuel Deduno gave up two runs and four hits in seven innings to lead the Minnesota Twins to a 4-3 victory over the Los Angeles Angels Monday night at Angel Stadium.
Deduno (6-4) gave up a couple of early runs, but shut the Angels down in his final four innings of work to earn the victory and help lift the Twins to their fifth win in their last six games.
The loss dropped the Angels 11 games behind Oakland in the American League West, and 9 1/2 games behind Baltimore for the second wild-card spot.
The Twins had 12 hits in the game, including three by Joe Mauer and two each from Clete Thomas and Aaron Hicks. Thomas drove in two runs with a solo home run and RBI double.
The Angels made things interesting in the eighth inning when they scored one run on Collin Cowgill's pinch-hit RBI single that cut the Twins' deficit to 4-3. With two on and two out, Chris Iannetta followed with a drive to deep left field, but Thomas made a home-run saving -- and game-saving -- catch.
Then in the ninth, singles by J.B. Shuck and Mike Trout put the potential tying and winning runs on base. But Twins closer Glen Perkins struck out both Albert Pujols and Howie Kendrick to earn his 24th save of the season.
Angels starter Joe Blanton (2-13) lasted only 3 2/3 innings, giving up four runs on nine hits and two walks in losing his third consecutive start. His 13 losses lead the majors, and put him on pace for 21 losses for the season. There has been only one 20-loss pitcher (Detroit's Mike Maroth in 2003) in the last 33 years.
The Angels took a 1-0 lead in the first inning on Kendrick's sacrifice fly, but the Twins took the lead in the second inning with a little help from Kendrick.
Kendrick bobbled the ball while making the pivot at second base on a potential double-play grounder. The Twins took advantage with two-out, RBI doubles by Thomas and Hicks to go up, 2-1.
Trout's RBI single in the third inning scored Erick Aybar and tied the game at 2, but the Twins again responded in their next at-bat.
The Twins got a solo homer from Thomas and an RBI double from Doug Bernier to take a 4-2 lead. Blanton then intentionally walked Mauer, and unintentionally walked Justin Morneau to load the bases, and his night was finished.
NOTES: Angels RF Josh Hamilton was scratched from the lineup because of a sore right ankle and is listed as day-to-day. He went 2-for-11 with a double and two RBIs in the series vs. Oakland over the weekend. ... Angels LHP Jason Vargas, who underwent surgery to remove a blood clot near his left armpit last month, will see a doctor Tuesday hoping to be cleared to begin throwing off the mound. If he's cleared, he'll still need two weeks to regain arm strength and stamina before pitching again in the majors. ... Trout singled in the third inning to extend his hitting streak to a career-best 14 games. ... Bernier started at shortstop, his first start in the majors in more than five years. Bernier last started a major-league game on June 19, 2008, for the Colorado Rockies. He appeared in Sunday's game against the Indians as a defensive replacement. ... Entering Monday's game, Perkins had not allowed a run in his last 18 appearances (18 innings), going back to May 29, the longest active streak in the majors. During that stretch, opposing batters are hitting .161 (9-for-61) with 20 strikeouts against him.