ANAHEIM -- It was the kind of game the Twins have seen go the other way several times this season, but this time it was a late comeback by Minnesota to steal away a win.The Twins, who have suffered five walk-off defeats and entered 0-14 on the year when trailing
ANAHEIM -- It was the kind of game the Twins have seen go the other way several times this season, but this time it was a late comeback by Minnesota to steal away a win.
The Twins, who have suffered five walk-off defeats and entered 0-14 on the year when trailing after eight innings, rallied for a three-run ninth to stun the Angels in a 5-4 win Friday night at Angel Stadium. Eddie Rosario sparked the rally with his second solo homer of the game, while Mitch Garver tied the game with an RBI single down the right-field line after a key double from Logan Morrison, and Bobby Wilson plated the go-ahead run with a sacrifice fly against his former team.
"One of our better wins," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "It didn't look particularly good. We weren't swinging the bats great and we found a way. Rosie stepping up with a couple of homers and Morrison getting the double gave us an opportunity."
The Twins entered the ninth down by two runs, but Rosario connected off Justin Anderson, who was trying to pick up his first career save. It seemed to energize the club, giving them new life against a stout Angels team that has had bullpen issues.
"I wanted to push the game closer," Rosario said. "I wasn't trying to hit a homer. I was trying to hit it hard and have a good at-bat. I think after my homer, everybody tried to make the comeback [happen] in that game."
After Morrison's one-out double, pinch-hitter Max Kepler was intentionally walked and Jim Johnson was brought in to face Garver. He delivered with a pinch-hit RBI single down the right-field line that allowed Kepler to reach third. Wilson delivered the go-ahead sacrifice fly to left to lift the Twins to their sixth win over their last seven games.
"It's just one of those games it feels particularly good to find a way to come back," Molitor said. "We've shown a lot of comeback ability that didn't turn into wins. If you keep that mindset of trying to play the 27 outs the best you can, sometimes it's going to turn and tonight we got one back."
The bottom of the ninth was also dramatic with closer Fernando Rodney allowing the tying run to reach on a one-out single, while all three outs were hit hard with Michael Trout lining out to short to end the game on a ball that had an exit velocity of 118 mph, per Statcast™.
The win helped bail out right-hander Lance Lynn, who lasted 4 2/3 innings, allowing four runs on eight hits and two walks to see his ERA rise to 7.34.
Lynn's troubles began in the third, when he gave up a leadoff single to Kole Calhoun and a hit-and-run single to Martin Maldonado. The Angels got on the board on an RBI groundout from Zack Cozart before a red-hot Justin Upton connected on a two-run homer, marking the first time he's homered in four straight games.
After Lynn walked Upton to put two runners on with two outs in the fifth, Molitor came to the mound to talk his starter and left him in the game to face Shohei Ohtani. Ohtani singled to left on a pitch down and away to load the bases. Lynn remained in the game to face Andrelton Simmons, but walked him to bring home a run. It was Lynn's 25th walk in 34 1/3 innings this season and knocked him from the game.
"It's an everybody-did-good-but-me type thing, pretty much," Lynn said. "That's how it goes sometimes."
The offense was mostly held in check early by Angels lefty Tyler Skaggs, who gave up two runs over six innings. Both runs came on solo homers, with James Dozier hitting a shot in the first and Rosario launching one in the sixth. Rosario's homer came after Dozier was thrown out trying to advance to second on a ball in the dirt, potentially costing Minnesota a run.
Trout's line drive to shortstop Gregorio Petit to end the game was the third-hardest hit ball in the Majors this year and the hardest hit by an Angels player since Statcast™ was introduced in 2015. It was also the first out ever recorded on a ball hit that hard in the air since '15.
"Maybe check Petit's hand," Molitor said with a laugh. "See how he's feeling. You're going to get fastball-change and he's such a good hitter. We all know if he elevates the ball there with that type of exit speed, it's a different outcome. Some of the misfortune, maybe it turned around for us."
HE SAID IT
"No matter how we get them, just get a win. These are exciting but I think every offensive player in here would say they want to score 20 runs a game and blow everybody out. But that's not the case, not going to happen. Too much talent around the league. These guys do a really good job of turning the page. It's not what we've done. It's what we're going to do. I think it's a good culture here." -- Morrison
Right-hander Kyle Gibson (1-1, 3.49 ERA) will take the mound for the Twins in the third game of their four-game set against the Angels on Saturday at 8:07 p.m. CT. Gibson has improved his strikeout rate this season, striking out 26.8 percent of opposing batters, which is well above his career mark of 16.5 percent. He pitched well in a no-decision last time out, allowing three runs on four hits over 6 2/3 innings against the White Sox. The Angels will start right-hander Nick Tropeano (1-2, 3.42 ERA), who will be reinstated from the disabled list after a bout with inflammation in his throwing shoulder.
Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and Facebook.