Minnesota at Anaheim

L.A. Angels
W: E. Santana (3-3) L: S. Baker (0-1)
S: F. Rodriguez (16)
HR: MIN - None   ANA - B. Molina (7)

Angels 2, Twins 1

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Bengie Molina just about did it all for the Los Angeles Angels.

He got hit by two foul balls in the same spot on his left wrist, settled down rookie pitcher Ervin Santana and drove in the go-ahead run with a homer in the Angels' 2-1 victory over the Minnesota Twins on Tuesday night.

It was the Angels' 12th win in 15 games.

Molina thought he might have to leave the game after Nick Punto fouled a second ball off him in the first inning.

"Once you get hit two times in the same spot, you lose all the strength in your hand and the grip. That (soreness) isn't going to go away for a week," he said. "I wasn't catching the ball very good."

And the 22-year-old Santana wasn't pitching very well early on.

He gave up hits to three of the first four batters, including an RBI single by Joe Mauer, and walked Lew Ford to load the bases with two out.

"I told him, 'Hey, we're falling behind in the counts. You got to work ahead and let them hit your pitches,"' Molina said. "He settled down and threw a lot of strikes."

Santana (3-3) allowed one run and five hits in five innings, struck out three and walked two. Francisco Rodriguez, the third reliever, pitched a hitless ninth and struck out three for his 16th save in 17 chances.

Twins center fielder Torii Hunter, who went 2-for-4, was impressed with Santana.

"He has a live fastball and a nice slider. This guy's going to be good," he said. "I've been watching him on TV. He's aggressive, he goes right after you and he's not scared of anybody."

Molina had two hits, including his seventh homer of the season that gave the Angels a 2-1 lead in the fifth inning.

"He did a magnificent job behind the plate," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "He had some young pitchers out there that were a little bit high strung and trying to overthrow. He blocked just about everything in the dirt."

Santana has been solid at home, where his ERA is 3.03 in five starts, compared to a 14.63 ERA in two road starts.

"After the first inning, I was more relaxed," he said. "He (Molina) told me, 'Just think about the glove and don't think about the hitter."'

The Angels had a chance to increase their lead later in the fifth with two runners on, but Vladimir Guerrero broke his bat grounding into an inning-ending double play.

Scott Baker (0-1) gave up two runs and five hits in five innings, struck out five and walked two in his first major-league start and second appearance.

But Baker may be consigned to Triple-A play for the immediate future because the Twins have five quality starters.

"You don't want him to sit up here and watch other people pitch, so you have to keep him pitching down there," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "But we think we have a quality major-leaguer ready to go, and he kind of proved that theory again."

The Angels tied the game at 1 on Guerrero's RBI groundout in the first.


  • The Twins' first four hitters were a combined 7-for-17, while their final five were 0-for-17.
  • Guerrero went hitless for just the third time in his last 24 games since coming off the DL on June 10.
  • Ten of Molina's last 17 homers have tied the game or given the Angels the lead.
  • The Twins had won seven of their previous eight games.
  • Twins left fielder Shannon Stewart went 3-for-5.
  • Shortstop Macier Izturis dropped a popup in the ninth inning, the Angels' first error in 15 games.
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Players of the Game

B. Molina
AB 3
R 1
H 2
HR 1

S. Stewart
AB 5
R 1
H 3
HR 0

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Minnesota Twins
Shannon Stewart, LF5130012 .295
Nick Punto, 2B-SS4010023 .276
Joe Mauer, C4011012 .290
Torii Hunter, CF4020000 .275
Jacque Jones, RF3000112 .268
Lew Ford, DH3000112 .266
Justin Morneau, 1B4000014 .265
Luis Rodriguez, 3B3000110 .282
Juan Castro, SS2000001 .238
   a- Michael Ryan, PH1000000 .231
    Luis Rivas, 2B0000000 .229
   b- Matthew LeCroy, PH1000011 .276
a-grounded out for Castro in the 7th
b-struck out for Rivas in the 9th
RBI - Joe Mauer (28)
CS - Luis Rodriguez (1, 2nd base by Santana/Molina)
Team LOB - 9
DP - Mauer-Castro, Castro-Punto-Morneau
E - Luis Rodriguez (1, Misplayed grounder)
Minnesota Twins
Scott Baker (L,0-1) 5522251 3.00
Terry Mulholland 3100200 4.96
Pitches-Strikes - Scott Baker 88-54, Terry Mulholland 40-24
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Scott Baker 4-5, Terry Mulholland 1-8
Batters Faced - Scott Baker 21, Terry Mulholland 12
Los Angeles Angels
Chone Figgins, DH4120000 .276
Darin Erstad, 1B3000113 .289
Vladimir Guerrero, RF4001003 .343
Garret Anderson, LF4000010 .308
Jeff DaVanon, CF2010210 .248
Maicer Izturis, SS3010111 .338
Dallas McPherson, 3B3000013 .249
Bengie Molina, C3121002 .311
Adam Kennedy, 2B3000001 .339
2B - Chone Figgins (15, Baker)
HR - Bengie Molina (7, Baker)
RBI - Vladimir Guerrero (49), Bengie Molina (31)
CS - Jeff DaVanon (5, 2nd base by Baker/Mauer)
Team LOB - 7
E - Maicer Izturis (3, Misplayed grounder)
Los Angeles Angels
Ervin Santana (W,3-3) 5511230 5.50
Kevin Gregg (H,1) 1100000 7.43
Scot Shields (H,14) 2100130 2.50
Francisco Rodriguez (S,16) 1000030 2.35
WP - Ervin Santana (2), Francisco Rodriguez (2)
Pitches-Strikes - Ervin Santana 96-60, Kevin Gregg 22-13, Scot Shields 33-23, Francisco Rodriguez 19-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Ervin Santana 1-10, Kevin Gregg 2-1, Scot Shields 2-1, Francisco Rodriguez 1-0
Batters Faced - Ervin Santana 21, Kevin Gregg 4, Scot Shields 8, Francisco Rodriguez 4
Game Information
Attendance - 42335
Game Time - 2:49
Temperature - 76
Umpires - Home - Gary Darling, First Base - Rob Drake, Second Base - Mark Wegner, Third Base - Tom Hallion