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Twins blow chances in the field and at the plate in 5-4 loss to Angels

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MINNEAPOLIS - The Minnesota Twins had plenty of chances to put away the Los Angeles Angels on Thursday night.

Whether those opportunities came at the plate or in the field, the struggling Twins wasted them all.

A defensive miscue played a big part in the Angels' four-run fourth, and the Twins couldn't score after putting the first two runners on to start the ninth inning of a 5-4 loss to the Angels.

All-Star closer Glen Perkins (3-2) gave up the go-ahead run in the ninth on a sacrifice fly by pinch-hitter Chris Iannetta, and the heart of the order couldn't get the potential tying run home from second base as the Twins lost for the ninth time in 12 games.

David Freese snapped an 0-for-21 skid with two doubles and an RBI, and Huston Street retired Joe Mauer, Kennys Vargas and Eduardo Escobar in the ninth for his 36th save in 38 tries and 12th since joining the Angels.

"It's hard to control that situation. The team needed a run, and you want to hit the ball," said Vargas, who went down swinging. "I need to learn in that kind of situation to be patient and look for my pitch, things like that."

Kyle Gibson gave up all four of his runs in the fourth inning and also allowed seven hits, but didn't get much help when left fielder Jordan Schafer fielded the ball off the wall in the fourth and threw it to second base — with no one there to catch it. That allowed a run to score, and the Angels tacked on a couple more to make it 4-0.

Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said first baseman Mauer made the decision too early that a throw would go home rather than to second base, so he lined up for a relay in the wrong spot.

"I think we all anticipated throwing the ball home, at least they did in the field, and we got ourselves in a jam because of it," Gardenhire said.

Freese led off the ninth with a double against Perkins. John McDonald bunted pinch-runner Tony Campana over, and Iannetta lifted a fly ball to left to get him in, helping the Angels bounce back from a two-game sweep in Houston.

Eduardo Nunez hit a three-run homer for the Twins that tied the game 4-all in the sixth.


Angels: OF Josh Hamilton was pulled in the eighth because of a sore AC joint in his right shoulder. He had a cortisone shot after the game and said he won't play Friday night. Hamilton said he had the same issue in his left shoulder earlier in the season and considered himself day to day.

LHP Joe Thatcher threw to hitters briefly in the Target Field batting cages as he continues to work his way back from a sprained left ankle.

Twins: LHP Tommy Milone will skip his next scheduled start because of what the team is calling a tired arm. Milone has had a difficult time since joining the Twins' rotation, going 0-1 with a 7.84 ERA in five starts. LHP Logan Darnell will likely get the nod in Milone's place.


The Angels send RHP Matt Shoemaker (14-4, 3.14 ERA) to the mound Friday night against struggling Twins RHP Ricky Nolasco (5-10, 5.96). Shoemaker has thrown 23 1-3 consecutive scoreless innings, the second longest streak by an Angels rookie behind Bob Lee's 27 straight in 1964. Shoemaker was chosen AL pitcher and rookie of the month for August.

Nolasco was tagged for eight runs in five innings against Baltimore in his most recent start and hasn't won since July 1.


Twins rookie Danny Santana had two hits, including a single in the ninth. But he was nearly picked off of first base by Street on a play so close that Angels manager Mike Scioscia challenged it. Replay officials took more than 4 minutes to look at the play and ultimately ruled that first base umpire Bill Welke's safe call was correct.

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