You couldn’t have asked for any more than what was given by Tommy Hanson tonight. He draws quite a bit of ire from Angels fans – and a lot of it deserving – but tonight, he was spot on, even touching 94 MPH a couple of times. Across 5.1 innings, Hanson allowed one run and four hits. He walked nobody and struck out eight. He left the game in line for his fifth win of the season, but wouldn’t factor into the final decision.
The lead that Hanson left with, we thanks to a couple of big fly’s from a couple of the Angels big middle-of-the-order bats. After Brian Dozier‘s RBI single in the third gave the Twins the early 1-0 lead, Albert Pujols led off the fourth inning with his 17th home run of the season. Clearing the center field wall just out of the reach of center fielder, Aaron Hicks. Then, with two outs in the fourth, Mark Trumbo lifted his 22nd home run of the season just to the right of the high wall in right field. The lead held until the seventh inning, wherein, Dane De La Rosa got himself into trouble that he couldn’t work his way out of.
After a one out sacrifice bunt put runners on second and third, Pedro Florimon grounded out to Erick Aybar, bringing home the tying run. Then in the eighth inning with Kevin Jepsen on the mound, the Twins got a smidge lucky on a Ryan Doumit double. With Justin Morneau on first base, Doumit smacked a double to the right center field gap. A perfect relay from Colin Cowgill to Howie Kendrick to Hank Conger waiting at the plate, should have gotten the ultra-slow Twins firstbasemen at the plate. But Conger gave Morneau too much daylight, and he slid into homeplate with the slyness of a well-trained ninja, giving the Twins a 3-2 lead.
But the Angels didn’t go quietly.
In the bottom of the ninth, Alberto Callaspo led off the inning with a walk off of Twins closer Glen Perkins. Trumbo followed that up with a double to left center. Two batters later, Cowgill walked, loading the bases for Erick Aybar. Aybar then drew his own walk, forcing home pinch runner Tommy Field, tying the game at three apiece. Primed and ready to walk off with a win, J.B. Shuck followed up Aybar’s five-pitch walk with an inning ending double play, forcing the game into extra innings.
But free baseball, can be a jerk sometimes. Or maybe that’s just Ernesto Frieri.
Frieri was brought in in the 10th inning, and failed to get an out. But did succeed in allowing five runs, four of which came on a grand slam by Chris Herrmann, who could probably stand to lose an “R.” Billy Buckner was brought in to mop up the mess that was created, and proceeded to dump more gasoline on the fire when he gave up a solo home run to Pedro Florimon.
The top of the 10th inning was nothing but clown shoes, slide whistles and seltzer bottles. And even though the Angels scored a run on Howie Kendrick’s sac fly, the bottom of the 10th was merely a formality after the Twins dropped seven runs on the Halos in their half.
The Angels can’t win the series against the Twins, but they can save face in the series finale when they send Jered Weaver to the mound against Mike Pelfrey. Game time is at 12:35 PM PST. Light up the fail-o. When it’s good, it’s good. When it’s bad, you can’t help but wonder why in the hell we do this to ourselves.