ANAHEIM -- Rookie Justin Anderson has made a stunning rise over the last month, ascending from Double-A to the Majors and quickly entrenching himself as a reliable arm in the back end of the Angels' bullpen.Anderson found himself thrust into yet another high-leverage spot Friday night, entering the game in
ANAHEIM -- Rookie Justin Anderson has made a stunning rise over the last month, ascending from Double-A to the Majors and quickly entrenching himself as a reliable arm in the back end of the Angels' bullpen.
Anderson found himself thrust into yet another high-leverage spot Friday night, entering the game in the eighth inning to face the Twins with the Angels leading by two runs. The 25-year-old right-hander promptly struck out two over a perfect inning, giving manager Mike Scioscia the confidence to send him back out for the ninth for the first save opportunity of his young career.
But the move backfired. Anderson and veteran Jim Johnson ultimately faltered, allowing the Twins to score three runs in the ninth to emerge with a 5-4 win over the Angels, evening their four-game series at Angel Stadium.
"We definitely felt like Justin had enough to get through that ninth," Scioscia said. "But unfortunately it didn't work."
The Angels took a 4-2 lead into the ninth on the strength of Justin Upton's fourth home run in as many games and strong pitching from left-hander Tyler Skaggs, but Eddie Rosario brought the Twins within one by crushing a misplaced slider from Anderson to right-center field for his second home run of the night.
Anderson then struck out Robbie Grossman swinging before yielding a double to Logan Morrison. Scioscia decided to intentionally walk Max Kepler to put the go-ahead run on base and then brought in Johnson to face pinch-hitter Mitch Garver.
"Matchup situation," Scioscia said. "Think we have J.J. who can come into the game, much better matchup against [Garver and] Bobby Wilson to try to hold that lead and possibly get that ground-ball double play."
Garver promptly shot a hanging breaking ball from Johnson down the right-field line to tie the game, and Wilson followed with a sacrifice fly to left field to bring in the go-ahead run from third, giving the Twins a 5-4 lead.
"Three more outs, we would have won that game," Anderson said. "We've been playing really good baseball right now. Everybody is just clicking right now as a team. I felt fine going back out there. I just didn't get the job done."
Twins closer Fernando Rodney surrendered a one-out single to Martin Maldonado to put the tying run on first in the bottom of the ninth, but Zack Cozart and Michael Trout both lined out to end the game. The ball that Trout hit rocketed off his bat at 118 mph -- the Angels' hardest-hit ball since Statcast™'s introduction in 2015 -- but it was snagged by shortstop Gregorio Petit.
The Angels squandered a strong effort from Skaggs, who yielded two runs on six hits while walking two and striking out seven over six innings. Skaggs continued an impressive run for the Angels' rotation, which has posted a 2.14 ERA (14 runs over 59 innings) over the club's 10 games this month.
"I thought Tyler had a good game, good command of the fastball," Scioscia said. "Though his changeup wasn't as effective tonight, he still pitched with all his pitches and gave us a chance to win, no doubt."
The Twins jumped out to a 1-0 lead after James Dozier homered in the first inning, but the Angels erased the deficit by scoring three runs in the third. Kole Calhoun led off the inning with a single to left field -- his first hit since May 3 -- and advanced to third on Maldonado's ensuing single before scoring on Cozart's forceout to tie the game. Upton then crushed a high fastball from Twins starter Lance Lynn to the bleachers in right field for a two-run homer that gave the Angels a 3-1 lead.
The 30-year-old left fielder has homered in five of his last six games and six of his last nine, giving him 10 home runs on the season. He's batting .351 (13-for-37) with six home runs and 14 RBIs over his last nine games.
The Angels threatened again in the fifth after Maldonado singled and Upton walked to put runners on first and second with two outs. Twins manager Paul Molitor had left-handed reliever Taylor Rogers warming in the bullpen with lefty slugger Shohei Ohtani on deck, but he decided to come out to the mound to talk to Lynn, who convinced Molitor to leave him in the game.
Ohtani, who batted cleanup in place of Jose Pujols for only the second time this season Friday, followed by lining a low fastball on the outside corner for an opposite-field single that loaded the bases. Lynn then walked Andrelton Simmons to force in a run and extend the Angels' lead to 4-1. Molitor subsequently replaced Lynn with Rogers, who induced an inning-ending groundout from Luis Valbuena.
Rosario launched a solo home run off Skaggs to make it 4-2 with two outs in the sixth.
"I didn't think my fastball command was that good tonight, but I battled," Skaggs said. "Just some timely pitches, defense really helped me out today. Got a little tired towards the end, but overall I thought it was really good."
Calhoun finished 2-for-4 Friday to record his first multi-hit game since April 11.
Angels right-hander Nick Tropeano (1-2, 3.42 ERA) is expected to be activated off the disabled list and start opposite Twins righty Kyle Gibson (1-1, 3.49 ERA) on Saturday night at 6:07 p.m. PT at Angel Stadium. Tropeano, who missed one turn in the rotation due to right shoulder inflammation, last pitched May 1, when he fired 6 1/3 scoreless innings against the Orioles.
Maria Guardado covers the Angels for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook.