|L.A. Angels (61-40) «||2||0||0||0||0||0||2||1||0||0||6||11||19||0|
MINNEAPOLIS -- The Los Angeles Angels have come up with a pretty successful formula as of late: fall behind, rally, win.
Friday night wasn't any different for the AL West leaders.
This time, Los Angeles, after tying the game in the eighth, scored six runs in the top of the 11th inning and recorded their major league-leading 34th comeback victory, 11-5 over the Minnesota Twins.
The Angels, who have come from behind in 13 of their past 18 victories, had six hits and two walks against three Minnesota relievers before making an out in the 11th.
As a result, the Angels improved to 12-3 since the All-Star break and they completed July with a 19-7 record, averaging 7.1 runs per game.
"It shows the amount of heart we have on this team, even with some of our bigger guys out," said Howie Kendrick, whose pinch-hit RBI single started the Angels' scoring in the 11th. "We've got a lot of guys who can play the game and the way we play the game is aggressive and a lot of first-to-third. It seems like it's been a different guy every game to give us that extra opportunity to win the game."
"I can't say enough about the job he did," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "He went through the heart of their lineup.
"Our bullpen kept us in the game and gave us a chance. They gave us five innings of relief and put up five zeros."
When the Angels got to the 11th -- and past Minnesota closer Joe Nathan -- they certainly took advantage.
Bobby Keppel (0-1) walked Erick Aybar on four pitches to open the 11th. With Aybar running on the pitch, Gary Matthews Jr. hit a broken-bat single to shallow left field to put runners on first and third.
"My first four pitches where nowhere near the strike zone ... a leadoff walk like that, you're asking for a bad inning," Keppel said.
Kendrick hit a ground ball to shortstop Brendan Harris. Attempting to throw home, Harris stumbled and Aybar was able to score. Harris tried to get Kendrick at first, but he beat the throw for an RBI single.
"It seemed like when he fielded the ball that he was trying to decide whether to go to home plate or first," Keppel said. "The play took him to his left. After I saw him field it to his left, I just tried to bust it. I saw him spin a little bit. I just was trying to get the run in."
"You walk the leadoff guy in the last inning and stuff starts going haywire," Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire said. "We probably had the one ball up the middle where we might have turned two, and we try to do something a little spectacular, then all hell broke loose."
Scioscia said the Angels simply took advantage of a tight game.
"We've been on the other side. sometimes when you bring that infield in, it's all or nothing," he said. "There's some holes out there and we just kept rolling the hits in them."
Mike Napoli, who had four hits, tied the game 5-5 with a homer in the Angels' eighth, his fifth homer in 10 games. Abreu had a homer among three hits and drove in four.
|Howie Kendrick (left) and Chone Figgins are all smiles as the Angels use a big 11th to beat the Twins. (AP)|
|Players of the Game|
|Los Angeles Angels|
|Chone Figgins, 3B||6||2||3||0||0||1||1||.311|
|Maicer Izturis, 2B||6||2||2||2||0||0||1||.300|
|Bobby Abreu, RF||5||2||3||4||0||1||1||.321|
|Juan Rivera, DH||5||0||3||1||1||1||1||.314|
|Kendry Morales, 1B||6||0||1||1||0||1||3||.292|
|Mike Napoli, C||6||1||4||1||0||2||3||.287|
|Erick Aybar, SS||5||1||0||1||1||1||3||.313|
|Gary Matthews Jr., CF||6||1||1||0||0||3||6||.233|
|Reggie Willits, LF||4||1||1||0||0||2||1||.217|
|a- Howie Kendrick, PH||1||1||1||1||0||0||0||.270|
|Sean Rodriguez, LF||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.118|
|a-singled for Willits in the 11th|
|2B - Mike Napoli (16, Blackburn), Reggie Willits (2, Blackburn)|
|HR - Bobby Abreu (8, Blackburn), Mike Napoli (16, Guerrier)|
|SF - Bobby Abreu (4)|
|RBI - Maicer Izturis 2 (37), Bobby Abreu 4 (72), Juan Rivera (57), Kendry Morales (61), Mike Napoli (43), Erick Aybar (39), Howie Kendrick (37)|
|2-OUT RBI - Bobby Abreu (20)|
|Team LOB - 9|
|Los Angeles Angels|
|Kevin Jepsen (W,3-2)||2||0||0||0||0||3||0||6.48|
|IBB - Mauer by Ervin Santana|
|Pitches-Strikes - Ervin Santana 114-68, Justin Speier 25-19, Jason Bulger 12-9, Kevin Jepsen 21-16, Darren Oliver 9-6|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Ervin Santana 4-8, Justin Speier 1-2, Jason Bulger 1-1, Kevin Jepsen 2-1, Darren Oliver 2-1|
|Batters Faced - Ervin Santana 28, Justin Speier 5, Jason Bulger 3, Kevin Jepsen 6, Darren Oliver 3|
|Denard Span, LF-RF||5||1||2||1||0||0||0||.289|
|Joe Mauer, C||4||1||3||3||1||1||0||.359|
|Justin Morneau, 1B||5||0||0||0||0||2||4||.305|
|Jason Kubel, DH||5||0||0||0||0||2||2||.302|
|Michael Cuddyer, RF||5||0||2||0||0||3||0||.269|
|Delmon Young, LF||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.264|
|Joe Crede, 3B||5||0||1||0||0||0||2||.236|
|Carlos Gomez, CF||5||1||1||0||0||2||2||.234|
|Nick Punto, SS-2B||5||1||1||1||0||0||1||.208|
|Alexi Casilla, 2B||2||1||0||0||1||0||1||.169|
|a- Brian Buscher, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.227|
|Brendan Harris, SS||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.263|
|a-flied out for Casilla in the 8th|
|2B - Denard Span (6, Santana), Joe Crede (14, Santana), Carlos Gomez (12, Santana)|
|3B - Nick Punto (1, Santana)|
|HR - Joe Mauer (18, Santana)|
|RBI - Denard Span (38), Joe Mauer 3 (57), Nick Punto (24)|
|2-OUT RBI - Denard Span (14)|
|Team LOB - 7|
|DP - Casilla-Punto-Morneau|
|Jose Mijares (H,15)||0.1||0||0||0||0||0||0||2.29|
|Matt Guerrier (BS,2)||2||1||1||1||0||3||1||2.09|
|Bobby Keppel (L,0-1)||0||2||3||3||1||0||0||4.58|
|Pitches-Strikes - Nick Blackburn 106-67, Jose Mijares 5-2, Matt Guerrier 29-20, Joe Nathan 21-15, Bobby Keppel 9-3, Jesse Crain 14-8, R.A. Dickey 11-8|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Nick Blackburn 8-7, Jose Mijares 1-0, Matt Guerrier 1-2, R.A. Dickey 1-0|
|Batters Faced - Nick Blackburn 31, Jose Mijares 1, Matt Guerrier 7, Joe Nathan 3, Bobby Keppel 3, Jesse Crain 4, R.A. Dickey 4|
|Attendance - 31767|
|Game Time - 3:33|
|Temperature - 70|
|Umpires - Home - Mike Everitt, First Base - Brian Gorman, Second Base - Gerry Davis, Third Base - C.B. Bucknor|