Jun 24, 2014
Twins hope to keep rolling, open set with Angels
The Minnesota Twins will try to extend their season-high winning streak to five games when they open a six-game road trip Tuesday with the first of three straight games against the LA Angels of Anaheim.
The Sports Network
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Minnesota Twins will try to extend their season-high winning streak to five games when they open a six-game road trip Tuesday with the first of three straight games against the LA Angels of Anaheim.
The Twins are coming off a four-game sweep of the Chicago White Sox at Target Field and broke out the brooms with Sunday's 6-5 win. The Twins erased a 5-3 deficit with three runs in the bottom of the fourth inning and Phil Hughes managed to win his eighth game (8-3), charged with five runs in five innings.
Anthony Swarzak followed Hughes with two scoreless innings of relief, while Casey Fien and Jared Burton both held Chicago scoreless. Burton picked up his first save in the process.
"I just struggled with command," Hughes said. "Our bullpen stepped up big today."
Joe Mauer and Josh Willingham had two RBI apiece and Kurt Suzuki collected three hits for Minnesota, whose winning streak comes on the heels of five straight losses -- all on the road.
Taking the mound for Minnesota Tuesday is Kyle Gibson, who is riding a 22- innings scoreless streak and has a 6-5 mark to go along with a 3.25 earned run average. Gibson is 2-0 in his last three starts and did not factor in the outcome of a 2-1 loss at Boston last Wednesday, as he hurled seven shutout innings of one-hit ball with eight strikeouts and no walks.
The right-handed Gibson, who is 3-2 in his last five decisions, has a 2-4 mark in eight road starts and has faced the Angels just once in his career, giving up two runs in six innings of a 10-3 win on July 23, 2013 at the Big A. He did not figure into the decision of that one.
Meanwhile, the Angels posted their first three-game sweep of the Texas Rangers since April 2-4, 2007 with Sunday's 5-2 victory. C.J. Cron hit a solo homer, David Freese added an RBI double and Kole Calhoun belted a two-run shot during the fourth inning to lead the Halos.
The Angels pounded Rangers ace Yu Darvish to the tune of five runs -- four earned -- in six innings, while Anaheim starter Matt Shoemaker earned the win by pitching 7 2/3 innings of one-run ball with six K's and two walks.
"I was aggressive tonight," Shoemaker said. "(Catcher) Hank (Conger) and I worked together. We stayed focused and tried to get outs."
LA is 15-4 at home since May 9 and slugger Mike Trout had two hits in Sunday's win. Trout has reached base safely in 37 of his last 39 games and has 33 RBI his last 35 contests.
Winners in 10 of their last 15 games overall, the Angels hope C.J. Wilson can keep the winning atmosphere intact when he takes the mound Tuesday. Wilson is 7-6 with a 3.34 ERA and just 1-3 in his last four decisions. Wilson did not record a decision in last Thursday's 5-3 loss at Cleveland and held the Indians to just a run in seven innings of work.
Wilson has a strong 5-1 mark in seven home starts and is 4-3 with a 4.25 ERA in 24 games (7 starts) lifetime against Minnesota. The lefty has won each of his last three starts at home.
The Angels and Twins are meeting for the first time this season. Minnesota went 5-1 in last season's series with the Halos, who are 8-4 in the past 12 matchups between the teams in LA.