It took 12 innings, but the Minnesota Twins are now 3-9 after sweeping the Los Angeles Angels. Michael Tonkin, who pitched 2.0 innings in relief, gets the win; Cory Rasmus picks up the loss.
“It was definitely a good ballgame. Good pitching on both sides,” said manager Paul Molitor. “A lot of things happen over the course of a long game like that.”
Oswaldo Arcia (3-for-5) drove in the winning run with a walk-off single in the bottom of the 12th inning, scoring Byron Buxton from second. He has multiple hits in back-to-back games.
“As a young player, he had a taste of some success up here. He had to endure a very trying 2015, [which] included a demotion, included an unproductive season in Triple-A,” said Molitor. “I think he took it upon himself to kind of have a little bit of a gut-check. Came into camp, and has responded in terms of conditioning and effort, work ethic — all those type of things.”
Trevor Plouffe (3-for-4) hit his fourth double of the season in the 4th inning, driving in the first Twins run of the game. He has an RBI in four straight games, but left in the 11th inning with a right intercostal strain.
“I saw him stretching a little bit, with some swings earlier in the game, and I wasn’t sure what was going on. But he said he was fine, and he just felt it when he took off on that particular play when he pulled up,” said Molitor.
“We’re gonna try to give him a little bit of patience here and see how he responds over the next day or two before we decide if we’re gonna have to do anything.”
Joe Mauer went 2-for-4, and has a hit in eight straight games. With a single in the 7th inning tied Harmon Killebrew (1713) for fifth on the Twins all-time hit list.
The Angels jumped on Kyle Gibson early. He gave up a two-run home run to Albert Pujols in the first inning, but managed to throw 7.0 innings for the first time since September of last year. He is still winless, however, this season.
“Mike Trout can just distract you a little bit when you are on base, and I think he was more worried that he was quick to home than making his good pitches, and Albert hit the homer,” said Molitor. “But we just had to grind after that.”
Michael Tonkin was one of five relievers used in the 12-inning affair, and earned his first career win after pitching a perfect 11th and 12th inning, striking out four.
“Well, he hasn’t had a big opportunity yet, and he was fresh,” said Molitor. “He got behind the first hitter right away, but he came back and you strike out Trout and Pujols back-to-back, and then he kind of settled in after that, it looked like his confidence just kinda shot up.”