Angels edge Twins
By Dan Myers
MINNEAPOLIS — A pinch-hit sacrifice fly by Chris Iannetta with one out in the ninth inning was the difference as the Los Angeles Angels defeated the Minnesota Twins 5-4 Thursday night at Target Field.
The victory pushed the Angels lead atop the American League West standings to five games over the idle Oakland Athletics.
With the game tied at 4 heading to the ninth, Angels third baseman David Freese doubled into the left field corner. Tony Campana pinch ran for Freese and John McDonald’s pinch-hit sacrifice bunt moved him to third to set up Iannetta’s deep fly ball to left field. Twins left fielder Aaron Hicks’ throw reached catcher Kurt Suzuki on the fly, but was high and a split second behind Campana’s head-first slide.
Angels closer Huston Street worked around back-to-back singles in the bottom of the ninth, getting a flyout, a strikeout and another flyout for his 25th save of the season, and 12th with Los Angeles.
Angels righty Joe Smith worked a scoreless eighth inning to get the win and improve to 6-2. Twins closer Glen Perkins allowed the single run in the ninth and dropped to 3-2 with the loss.
The Angels used two walks to kick-start a four-run fourth inning. Second baseman Howie Kendrick and Freese had RBI doubles and shortstop Erick Aybar singled in a run.
Minnesota missed opportunities to get on the board in the early going, leaving the bases loaded in the second inning and stranding two runners in the third.
A double by second baseman Brian Dozier scored center fielder Danny Santana with one out in the fifth inning to pull the Twins within three at 4-1.
NOTES: Twins LHP Tommy Milone, whose next scheduled start was to be Sunday, will be skipped in the rotation because of “dead arm” symptoms. Milone, acquired from the Oakland A’s on July 31, is 0-1 with a 7.84 ERA in five starts with Minnesota. He was 6-3 with a 3.55 ERA for the Athletics in 16 starts this season before the trade.