Angels slide past Twins, 8-6
KEY MOMENT: With the Angels leading, 7-6, Kevin Jepsen allowed a leadoff double to Danny Santana and walked Brian Dozier to open the seventh. But Howie Kendrick turned a nifty double play when he backhanded Joe Mauer’s grounder, stepped on second, leaped into the air and threw to first. Josh Willingham walked, but Jepsen struck out Kendrys Morales to end the inning.
AT THE PLATE: The Angels obliterated Twins right-hander Kyle Gibson’s 22-inning scoreless streak, scoring five in the first, which featured bases-loaded, two-run singles by Josh Hamilton and Kendrick, and two in the second on Mike Trout’s two-run homer to right-center, his team-leading 17th of the season. Kole Calhoun plated an insurance run with an eighth-inning sacrifice fly.
ON THE MOUND: Staked to a 5-0 lead, C.J. Wilson gave up five runs in the second, which started with back-to-back homers by Willingham and Morales and included run-scoring hits by Sam Fuld (single), Santana (double) and Dozier (single). Mike Morin retired the side in order in the sixth, Ernesto Frieri threw a 1-2-3 eighth, and Joe Smith threw a scoreless ninth for his sixth save.
EXTRA BASES: The Angels (42-33) cut Oakland’s AL West lead to four games and moved nine games over .500 for the first time since the end of the 2012 season. … Trout did a fine Spiderman impression in the second, planting one foot on the wall and hurling his body high above the center-field fence in an effort to catch Willingham’s homer, which sailed about a foot over his glove.
REHAB REPORT: Tyler Skaggs (right hamstring strain) will start for triple-A Salt Lake on Thursday so he can get his pitch count up to about 80 before being activated next week. He threw 62 pitches in a simulated game Saturday. Hector Santiago probably will start Saturday at Kansas City.
BACK TO THE FUTURE: Only one Angels prospect was selected for the July 13 Futures Game, Class-A Burlington (Iowa) right-hander Alfonso Alcantara, whose fastball has hit 100 mph. Alcantara is 4-4 with a 4.43 ERA in 65 innings.
UP NEXT: Right-hander Garrett Richards (7-2, 2.79 ERA) will oppose Minnesota right-hander Yohan Pino (0-0, 2.57 ERA) at Angel Stadium on Wednesday at 7 p.m. On the air: TV: FS West. Radio: 830.
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