6/1: Twins beat Angels 4-2, Behind 9th Inning Rally to End Four-Game Slide

The Minnesota Twins defeated the Los Angeles Angels on Thursday night 4-2 in the first game of the three-game series. Adalberto Mejia pitched six solid innings and the Twins bullpen found a way to win after a disappointing outing against the Houston Astros on Wednesday.

The Twins offense was lead by slugger Miguel Sano early, who hit his team-leading 12th home run of the year to give Minnesota an early lead of 1-0. Sano also produced in the infield as he helped turn the first triple play since 2006 for the Twins. Ironically, the two ball clubs have combined for six triple plays against one another.

“When the ball was hit I thought it was a double play,” Mejia stated. “Thanks to Miggy we had a triple play.”

Miguel Sano also had some valuable insight on this historic play.

“Ya, I predicted it. I kept thinking it. I kept saying it. I came and I practiced getting the ground ball on the line, touching third and throwing to second. Once the situation came, I kept saying “Mejia, give me the right pitch, and I’ll get it.” Sano said.  

Defensively, both teams were great and got solid pitching to help their teams out of jams. Former Twin Alex Meyer produced four strikeouts while allowing just the home run to Sano.

Kole Calhoun tied the game up for the Los Angeles Angels at 1-1 in the bottom half of the sixth inning off of Twins starter Mejia. He continued his firepower against Twins reliever Taylor Rogers with another solo shot to right center field to put the Angels up 2-1.

However, the Twins would not give up. Aided by an Angels error, Jorge Polanco reached first base after first baseman Jefry Marte lost a high pop-up. The Twins took advantage of the error as Eddie Rosario produced an important one-out double to move Polanco to third base.

Jason Castro was in a very important position for the Twins after an intentional walk to Eduardo Escobar. Castro delivered a timely hit and drove in two runs to put the Twins ahead 3-2. The ninth inning rally continued as Joe Mauer produced a two-out walk with the bases loaded to increase the Twins lead to 4-2. In the bottom half of the ninth inning, Brandon Kintzler provided the much needed save as Minnesota escaped with a victory.

“Tonight, we were a little more fresher and had a little more options as to what to do to contain and try to keep us in the game,” Molitor said. “Ultimately we needed to rally to win.”

[Star Tribune, Pioneer Press]

— Scott Jordahl

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