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Anaheim at Minnesota

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L.A. Angels «1003000206130
Minnesota300010000492

Molina, Kennedy, Gregg deliver as Angels top Twins

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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MINNEAPOLIS -- Francisco Rodriguez wasn't about to let the Angels leave with another loss.

A day after his club-record streak of 22 straight save conversions ended in a game his team eventually lost, the Los Angeles closer was back in form -- keeping the Minnesota Twins from another comeback.

Jose Molina's two-out double drove in pinch-runner Maicer Izturis to break an eighth-inning tie, Rodriguez got four outs for his fifth save and the Angels beat the Twins 6-4 on Thursday.

"I felt confident. I went out there and threw hard and made the right pitches," said Rodriguez, who struck out Lew Ford with two runners on to end the eighth.

Minnesota rallied from a 9-4 deficit and forced extra innings by getting two hits, two walks and the tying run against Rodriguez in the ninth on Wednesday night. The Twins won it in the 10th.

Tony Batista, who went 3-for-4 with two RBI, singled with two outs in the ninth against the hard-throwing Rodriguez, who effectively mixed his fastballs and sliders, striking out Torii Hunter to end it.

"He's tough," Batista said. "The movement he's got, it makes you surprised sometimes."

Jesse Crain (1-0) threw 2 2/3 scoreless innings until Edgardo Alfonzo singled with two outs in the eighth. Izturis entered, Molina hit him in with the double and then Adam Kennedy followed with an RBI single to make it 6-4 -- after shortstop Nick Punto's throw home to get Izturis bounced away for an error and allowed Molina to move up.

Kevin Gregg (1-0), recalled from Triple-A Salt Lake the night before, threw four strong innings of relief and made a case to join the rotation next time with Bartolo Colon on the disabled list.

"They know what I can do. They know the stuff that I can offer. They know that I'm comfortable in that role. We'll see where it takes me," said Gregg, who gave up one run and three hits while walking two and stranding six runners.

Molina and Kennedy each had two hits and two RBI for the Angels, and Alfonzo also had his first two hits of the year -- and his first two for Los Angeles.

Minnesota's Rondell White went 2-for-4 with two RBI to raise his average to .127, and Luis Castillo went 3-for-4 with two runs scored before leaving with a sore right knee. Though they left 10 men on base, the Twins were pleased by winning six of nine at home after going 1-5 on a road trip to open the season.

"You hate to say you need anything in April, but we needed to come in and have a good homestand," right fielder Michael Cuddyer said.

Hector Carrasco took Colon's turn in the rotation, a day after the Angels disabled their ace with shoulder inflammation. The 36-year-old Carrasco, on a 60-to-70 pitch limit, faced two batters in the fourth inning before giving the mound to Gregg.

Carrasco, a reliever with the Twins from 1998-2001 and was making only his seventh major league start among 567 appearances, gave up four hits, three runs and three walks while striking out four in 72 pitches.

Out of baseball in 2002 and playing in Japan in 2004, Carrasco has added an effective cut fastball to his repertoire and renewed his career last season by posting a 2.04 ERA in 88 1/3 innings for Washington. He made five starts for the Nationals and held opponents to a .193 average.

Minnesota took a 3-1 lead against Carrasco in a 37-pitch first inning on an RBI single by Batista and a two-run, bases-loaded single by White. The Twins tied the game at 4 in the fifth against Gregg Batista's single drove in Castillo from second base.

Minnesota starter Scott Baker, after silencing the New York Yankees in a 5-1 win last week, lasted only five innings. He gave up six hits, four runs, two earned, and struck out two against two walks.

As Garret Anderson scored in the fourth, second baseman Castillo tried to make a tough play on a grounder by Casey Kotchman and threw it away for an error -- letting Kotchman take second. Molina later drove him in with a single to tie it, and Kennedy's sacrifice fly made it 4-3.

The Angels were more patient than the Yankees were, making Baker work for nearly every out.

"They were definitely taking the balls and swinging at the strikes," Baker said.

Notes

  • Minnesota's leadoff man and left fielder, Shannon Stewart, left the team to be with his wife, Sharonda, who was due to give birth to the couple's first child. Ford filled in.
  • Chone Figgins and Orlando Cabrera, the first two batters in the Angels' order, went a combined 0-for-10 after going 10-for-20 with two homers and eight RBI in the first two games here.
  • The Twins have made only five errors in 15 games, but two came in this one and three of them are by Castillo -- who won Gold Gloves each of the last three years with the Florida Marlins. Castillo, hurt beating out an infield hit in the seventh inning, is day to day.
 
Copyright 2015 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Maicer Izturis slides in for the go-ahead run as catcher Joe Mauer can't find the ball for the tag.  (AP)
Maicer Izturis slides in for the go-ahead run as catcher Joe Mauer can't find the ball for the tag. (AP)

Players of the Game
Anaheim

J. Molina
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 0
RBI 2
Minnesota

T. Batista
AB 4
R 1
H 3
HR 0
RBI 2
 

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Los Angeles Angels
Chone Figgins, RF5000003 .269
Orlando Cabrera, SS5000000 .311
Vladimir Guerrero, DH5120000 .365
Garret Anderson, LF3120200 .279
Darin Erstad, CF5031001 .283
Casey Kotchman, 1B5101016 .176
Edgardo Alfonzo, 3B4120000 .154
    Maicer Izturis, PR-3B0100000 .333
Jose Molina, C4122010 .179
Adam Kennedy, 2B3022010 .388
Totals3961362310 
Batting
2B - Garret Anderson (4, Baker), Jose Molina (2, Crain)
SF - Adam Kennedy (1)
RBI - Darin Erstad (3), Casey Kotchman (5), Jose Molina 2 (2), Adam Kennedy 2 (12)
2-OUT RBI - Darin Erstad (1), Jose Molina (1), Adam Kennedy (6)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
DP - Cabrera
PB - Jose Molina (1)
Los Angeles Angels
Hector Carrasco 3433340 4.38
Kevin Gregg (W,1-0) 4311230 2.25
Brendan Donnelly (H,2) 0.2100110 2.25
Francisco Rodriguez (S,5) 1.1100020 5.40
Pitches-Strikes - Hector Carrasco 72-41, Kevin Gregg 64-38, Brendan Donnelly 19-12, Francisco Rodriguez 19-16
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Hector Carrasco 2-3, Kevin Gregg 2-6, Francisco Rodriguez 1-1
Batters Faced - Hector Carrasco 16, Kevin Gregg 16, Brendan Donnelly 4, Francisco Rodriguez 5
Minnesota Twins
Lew Ford, LF4100114 .273
Luis Castillo, 2B4230000 .404
    Luis Rodriguez, PR-2B1000000 .385
Joe Mauer, C4000123 .267
Tony Batista, 3B4132100 .286
Torii Hunter, CF5000037 .217
Justin Morneau, 1B2000212 .246
Rondell White, DH4022002 .127
Michael Cuddyer, RF4010024 .217
Nick Punto, SS3000011 .267
   a- Ruben Sierra, PH0000100 .250
    Juan Castro, PR-SS0000000 .350
Totals3549461023 
a-walked for Punto in the 8th
Batting
RBI - Tony Batista 2 (8), Rondell White 2 (4)
2-OUT RBI - Rondell White 2 (2)
SB - Rondell White (1, 2nd base off Carrasco/Molina)
Team LOB - 10
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Lew Ford 1
E - Luis Castillo (3, Wild throw), Nick Punto (1, Wild throw)
Minnesota Twins
Scott Baker 5642220 3.31
Jesse Crain (L,0-1) 3422010 7.56
Willie Eyre 1300000 1.35
Pitches-Strikes - Scott Baker 99-64, Jesse Crain 32-23, Willie Eyre 12-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Scott Baker 5-9, Jesse Crain 5-3, Willie Eyre 2-0
Batters Faced - Scott Baker 24, Jesse Crain 13, Willie Eyre 5
Game Information
Attendance - 12990
Game Time - 3:08
Temperature - 68
Umpires - Home - Mike Reilly, First Base - Jeff Kellogg, Second Base - Jerry Meals, Third Base - Andy Fletcher