Twins pull away from Angels to snap 5-game losing streak
Minnesota's last win came nearly a week ago
MINNEAPOLIS — A losing streak that started Monday in Cleveland, continued through a trip to Kansas City and persisted once returning home, finally came to its conclusion on Saturday.
The Twins snapped their five-game skid with an 11-hit effort combined with strong performances from their bullpen arms in Saturday’s 8-4 win over the Los Angeles Angels at Target Field.
Minnesota took the lead in the middle innings, breaking open a tied game with a Jermaine Palacios sacrifice fly in the fourth inning before Gary Sanchez launched a loud three-run home run to left-center field in the bottom of the fifth to help the Twins (74-78) pull away for good.
Sanchez also drove in a run in the first inning, finishing the day with four runs batted in while Jose Miranda and Gio Urshela each had three hits in the win. Luis Arraez, who is in a race for the batting title alongside Boston shortstop Xander Bogaerts and New York Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge, finished the day with a pair of hits and two runs scored.
“It was a good win,” manager Rocco Baldelli said. “We went out there and scored a bunch of runs. We had a lot of good at-bats today. We found ways to get on top of some fastballs in a good way today. Lot of guys had some good efforts for us on the offensive side.”
The Twins paired the offensive outburst with a nice night on the mound, as Griffin Jax, Caleb Thielbar, Michael Fulmer and Jorge Lopez all put up zeroes after starter Joe Ryan’s early departure.
“Any time I’m not going past six, it’s kind of annoying,” Ryan said. “Definitely frustrating to put that on the bullpen. They’ve been throwing a lot this year. That’s always going to be tough.”
But the Twins’ bullpen, which was relatively rested, responded well to the challenge. At one point, the group of relievers down 11 straight batters before Jhoan Duran allowed a single to Mickey Moniak in the ninth inning. Duran was the only reliever to allow a hit — and run — in the game. Mike Trout’s sacrifice fly plated the fourth run for the Angels (66-86) before Duran retired Shohei Ohtani to end the game.
Ryan, who was pulled after four innings, marking one of his shortest starts of the season, allowed three runs on four hits. That after recording the longest start of his career the last time out — 7 2/3 innings — and throwing seven no-hit innings in the start before that.
“Today, I don’t know if it was weather, I don’t know if it was just a little bit of a different feel for him out on the mound, but he didn’t quite look the same as he did the last two starts,” Baldelli said. “I think he was maybe fighting some things.”
All three of those runs came in the third inning, knotting the game at 3-3. Angels stars Trout and Ohtani provided the offense, with Trout’s double off Ryan driving in the Angels’ first run of the night and Ohtani’s single right after plating two more runs.
“To get the win is huge,” Ryan said. “But personally, it’s definitely frustrating. … As a team, good energy back in the clubhouse feels great.”
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