Halos stay hot, top Twins for 7th straight win
ANAHEIM -- Johnny Giavotella and Kole Calhoun combined for six hits, C.J. Wilson escaped trouble over five innings and the Angels continued to roll in Southern California on Wednesday night, beating the Twins, 5-2, to increase their season-best winning streak to seven games.
Huston Street finished it off by recording his 300th save, making him the 27th closer to reach the milestone.
The Angels, still two games ahead of the Astros in the American League West, are a season-high 14 games above .500 and have won 17 of their last 20, tying a franchise record for their best 20-game stretch. The Twins have dropped four in a row and are now 7 1/2 back of the Royals in the AL Central.
Chris Iannetta hit a solo homer in the second -- his fourth in the last eight games -- and Calhoun contributed RBI singles in the third and fifth inning against Twins starter Mike Pelfrey. In the seventh, Albert Pujols came through with an RBI double, giving the Angels a three-run lead and tying him with Bobby Abreu and Charlie Gehringer for 21st place on the all-time doubles list, with 574.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
It starts at the top: Giavotella and Calhoun, the top-of-the-order hitters who bat directly in front of Mike Trout, each went 3-for-4. Giavotella hit a triple to straightaway center field in the fifth and scored three runs. Calhoun drove in two runs and is batting .339 (22-for-65) with six homers and 17 RBIs in July.
"Those guys, they got it going," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "We did well with runners in scoring position, we set the table well. We gave a couple outs up, but for the most part good clutch hitting by Johnny and Kole."
Dozier drives in two: After singles from Aaron Hicks and Danny Santana, the Twins pulled off a double steal to set the stage for a two-run single from Brian Dozier. Wilson fell behind Dozier, who was able to to line a 3-1 changeup to center. But it was the lone hit for the Twins with runners in scoring position, as they went 1-for-9 in those situations.
"We had baserunners throughout but we had just the one hit with runners in scoring position with Dozier bringing home a couple," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "The at-bats were a little bit better overall. We had Wilson at 100 pitches through five and got to the bullpen. But we just couldn't find a way back in."
Trout-like: Daniel Robertson raced to the warning track in center field and caught a Trevor Plouffe liner just before smashing into the wall to start the fourth inning. Robertson suffered some soreness in his right trapezius muscle on the play, prompting him to be replaced by Trout, who started at designated hitter, three innings later. Robertson is day-to-day and doesn't expect the injury to be serious.
Twins leave 'em loaded: Minnesota had a prime scoring opportunity in the fifth with the bases loaded and two outs, but Eddie Rosario grounded out to end the scoring threat. It was another failed chance for the Twins, who left 12 runners on base.
"The struggle tonight was kind of funny, because I had enough stuff to get ahead in the count, but I didn't have enough stuff to finish the guys." -- Wilson on his start, which saw him throw 105 pitches in five innings of two-run ball
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
The Twins' two-run third inning -- a product of Dozier's two-run single -- marked the first time the Angels had trailed in a game in 11 days, a span of 57 innings with the All-Star break wedged in the middle. Their deficit lasted about 10 minutes; the Angels reclaimed the lead with two runs in the bottom half.
Street's 25th save of the season gave him 300 for his career. The 31-year-old right-hander became the second-youngest pitcher to reach the milestone, trailing only former Angels closer Francisco Rodriguez. He reached the 300-saves mark with the fifth-fewest save opportunities ever (347). Street was making his first appearance since July 8, when he suffered a groin injury while recording save No. 299 in Colorado. More >
Taylor Featherston was ruled safe at second base by umpire D.J. Reyburn on a pickoff play by Pelfrey in the sixth inning, but the Twins challenged the play. After a review, Featherston was ruled out and it helped Pelfrey get out of the jam.
The Twins challenged another play in the sixth, and it saved them a run, as Calhoun was ruled safe at home by umpire Kerwin Danley on a sacrifice fly from Featherston with the bases loaded. But after the review, the call was overturned and Calhoun was ruled out to end the inning.
Angels third baseman David Freese suffered a non-displaced fracture on the tip of his right index finger in the fourth inning, upon getting hit by Pelfrey's fastball. Freese suffered a similar injury to his right middle finger in early May of last year and missed 18 days. He'll hope for a similar timeline. More >
"I went into the X-ray thinking I broke my thumb," Freese said. "I hate talking timelines with injuries, but if it's about the same, it's positive."
Twins: Right-hander Ervin Santana makes his return to Anaheim to start in the series finale on Thursday afternoon at 2:35 p.m. CT. Santana, who played with the Angels from 2005-12, has posted a 3.66 ERA in three starts this year after serving an 80-game suspension for the use of a performance-enhancing drug.
Angels: Garrett Richards opposes Santana and looks to build on a shutout against the Red Sox on Saturday. The 27-year-old right-hander has a 2.17 ERA over his last seven starts, giving up just 13 runs (12 earned) in 49 2/3 innings. Richards gave up two runs in 7 1/3 innings in his only start against the Twins last year.
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