Twins Double Tough, Beat Angels, 13-1

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Doug Rader didn't throw a fit or fling any spare ribs off the postgame buffet table.

But his anger was obvious after the Angels absorbed their worst defeat during his stewardship as manager, a 13-1 humiliation by the Minnesota Twins Friday night in the Twins' home opener.

The Twins chewed up Jim Abbott, Willie Fraser and Scott Bailes in succession, sending 12 men to the plate in a nine-run fifth inning. The nine runs are two short of the Angels' club record for most runs allowed in an inning.

Angel pitchers gave up 10 walks, two short of the Angels' club record for walks allowed in a nine-inning game.

Kevin Tapani (2-1) kept the Angels punchless and scoreless for eight innings, losing his stake in a shutout when reliever David Wayne yielded a run-scoring single by Jack Howell in the ninth.

In losing for the third consecutive night, the Angels' team ERA went up more than a run to 3.41, and their team batting average fell to .219.

"I don't think it's fair to blame this whole thing on Jim Abbott. It was a group effort," Rader said. "We were outplayed in every area, out-hustled in every area. That's it."

Abbott (0-1) didn't have his fastball from the start but still managed to wriggle out of a bases-loaded situation in the second and leave Dan Gladden at second in the third inning after Gladden led off the inning with a double.

Minnesota got to Abbott for two runs in the fourth, a rally that began when Abbott hit Brian Harper in the right arm and was capped by Kent Hrbek's sacrifice and Greg Gagne's two-run single.

The Twins built a 3-0 lead in the fifth and had runners on second and third when Rader ordered Carmen Castillo walked intentionally to bring up Hrbek, playing the percentages in bringing the left-handed hitter to the plate against the left-handed Abbott.

The idea might have been sound, as imposing a power hitter as Hrbek is, but like so many things for the Angels Friday, it didn't pan out.

"He jammed the hell out of him," Rader said of Abbott. "I wanted him to do something good against a left-hander and he jammed it and looped the ball over second base for a base hit."

That hit drove in two runs and ended Abbott's evening. It also marked the beginning of the Twins' romp.

"Any time you score that many runs off a good-pitching team you've got to be happy," said designated hitter Gene Larkin, who had two singles and drove in a run in the fifth. "We've been on the short end of those innings in previous years and it's nice to be on the offensive side."

Abbott, in his last start a week ago, allowed the Twins one earned run in five innings.

"There's a few things I need to work on," he said after Friday's game. "I've got to throw more strikes and get ahead in the count.

"I felt pretty strong, actually. In the second inning, I was a little bit out of sync. I started to go from the stretch and didn't throw the ball over the plate like I wanted to. Maybe that set the tone for my confidence factor. It could be a lot of things. It comes down basically to throwing strikes. The most important thing is I wasn't throwing strikes with my fastball, and when you don't do that, you're in trouble."

Angel Notes

Reliever Greg Minton, who has bone chips in his right elbow, was placed on the 21-day disabled list retroactive to Wednesday. He will be re-examined Tuesday by team physician Lewis Yocum. . . . Minton had been pitching with some stiffness but was able to persevere until last Wednesday, when the elbow locked and couldn't be straightened. His injury and Bob McClure's problems with an inflamed left elbow have forced Manager Doug Rader to juggle his relievers. "Only a couple of guys have strictly defined roles, (Bryan) Harvey and (Mark) Eichhorn," Rader said. "Everyone else has to be flexible. All the other parts have to be interchangeable." . . . Shortstop Dick Schofield was transferred from the 15-day disabled list to the 21-day disabled list retroactive to April 1.

Catcher Tim Laudner, who left the Twins three weeks ago and said he would retire, met with Twins officials Friday. A decision about his future won't be made until Monday. . . . Apparently, not everyone likes the Metrodome. At least not the people who hung a sign from the right-field upper deck facade that read: "Bert Blyleven is alive and well and playing outdoor baseball." Or maybe they just like Blyleven, a former Twin.

Kent Hrbek's fourth-inning sacrifice was his first this season and equaled his total for 1989. . . . After a pitch by Jim Abbott hit Brian Harper and stuck in the crook of his right arm, Harper tossed the ball back to Abbott in a kind of reflex action.

Copyright © 2019, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World
59°