ANAHEIM -- Hector Santiago pitched six innings of one-run ball and the Angels' offense took it from there, notching 12 hits and six walks in a 10-2 rout of the Twins in Wednesday's series finale from Southern California.The Angels (29-37) have won two in a row for the first time
ANAHEIM -- Hector Santiago pitched six innings of one-run ball and the Angels' offense took it from there, notching 12 hits and six walks in a 10-2 rout of the Twins in Wednesday's series finale from Southern California.
The Angels (29-37) have won two in a row for the first time since the end of May, while the Twins (20-45) have dropped five of their last seven.
"I think what you're seeing the last 20 games or so is we're attacking the ball better and pressuring other teams," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "Our turnaround is going to happen when our rotation gets in order, and that will help to get our bullpen roles where they need to be. But on the offensive side, we have some guys who are starting to contribute."
The Angels pulled away in the fifth, an inning that saw them bat around and plate five runs. With the bases loaded and one out, C.J. Cron hit an RBI single, Jefry Marte worked a walk and, with two outs, Jett Bandy hit a routine fly ball that Twins right fielder Max Kepler lost sight of, scoring two more runs. The next batter, Andrelton Simmons, rolled an RBI single through the right side, giving the Angels a 7-1 lead to eventually take two of three in the series.
"You'd like, even in defeat, to play more soundly," Twins manager Paul Molitor said.
Santiago entered with a 12.18 ERA over his last five starts, but held the Twins to just two hits and two walks, striking out five and requiring 99 pitches to record 18 outs.
It was his first win since May 15.
"I definitely needed this, for sure, after the last five or six games," Santiago said. "It was definitely a positive night."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
C.J. and Jefry: The Angels recently began experimenting with Marte, a power-hitting corner infielder, in left field because they wanted to find a way to get him and Cron in the same lineup. The move paid off in a big way, with Cron and Marte combining to go 4-for-8 with a walk, five RBIs and three runs scored. Cron, who entered 6-for-25 this month, recorded his fourth three-hit game this season. Marte, 1-for-3 with a walk, kept his batting average at .333. More >
"Our job in the middle is to drive runs in," Cron said. "That's the biggest part. Mike [Trout] is going to get on base all the time, Kole [Calhoun] is going to get on base, Yunel [Escobar] is going to get on base. And if we can just drive those guys in, we're doing our job and that's kind of how we have to approach it."
Rocky rotation: Starting pitcher Tyler Duffey lasted just 4 1/3 innings before the dam broke, giving up six runs (four earned). Reliever Taylor Rogers followed that up with four earned runs in two-thirds of an inning as the Angels' offense repeatedly pounded Twins pitching. After Wednesday, the Twins rotation ERA was 5.62 and the overall staff ERA was 5.24.
"You can see the emotion building [with Duffey], and I think he needs to learn how to use it positively instead of negatively," Molitor said. "You've got to keep it controlled, even though you're competing at such a high level."
The return of Simba: Simmons was activated off the disabled list on Wednesday, 36 days after undergoing surgery on his left thumb, and made an impact defensively to help Santiago avoid further trouble in the fifth. Simmons stopped a hard grounder off the bat of Byron Buxton and flipped to second from his knees for the second out of the inning. He then recorded the third out by charging a slow roller and firing a bullet to first base to nail the speedy Eduardo Nunez. Simmons -- 2-for-3 with a walk -- ended the eighth with an off-balance throw to first on a ball hit well to his right.
Said Scioscia: "He makes tough plays look easy."
Looking lost: The Angels rallied to put two runs on the board in the fifth inning to make it 4-1 when Bandy stepped up to the plate with the bases loaded. He lofted a fly ball to right for what should have been the final out of the inning, but Kepler overran the ball and allowed it to drop. Two runs scored on the play, with another coming home on Simmons' RBI single in the next at-bat to make it a commanding 7-1 lead. Left fielder Robbie Grossman made a similar mistake in the sixth, misjudging a hard-hit Cron liner for what would be a two-run double.
"I'm going to wear it," Kepler said of his gaffe. "I made a mistake, and it's my fault. I'm wearing it right now. That's how I'm going to deal with it."
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
With his RBI single in the eighth inning, Twins first baseman Joe Mauer extended his on-base streak to 27 games. That's the longest active streak in the Majors. He is one shy of his season-long streak of 28, which he had from April 4 to May 4. It's the third time in franchise history that a player has had two streaks of 27 or more in a season, joining Lenny Green in 1961 and Rod Carew in 1977. More >
Trout became the first Angels player to score three runs in a game in which he didn't record a hit since former starting pitcher Joel Pineiro on June 11, 2010. Trout reached on an error and drew a couple of walks, one of which was intentional.
Twins: Right-hander Kyle Gibson (0-4, 6.49) takes the mound for the first of a four-game set against the Yankees in New York on Thursday night. Gibson struggled in his first start back from injury against the Red Sox, giving up five runs in 5 2/3 innings. First pitch is at 6:10 p.m. CT.
Angels: The Angels are off on Thursday, then start a three-game weekend series against the A's from the Coliseum in Oakland. Matt Shoemaker takes the ball opposite fellow right-hander Kendall Graveman for Friday's 6:35 p.m. PT first pitch. Shoemaker (3-7, 4.76 ERA) has a 1.88 ERA over his last five starts.
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Fabian Ardaya is a reporter for MLB.com based in Anaheim.
Alden Gonzalez has covered the Angels for MLB.com since 2012. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.