Despite allowing a season-worst six earned runs, Wilson’s (8-6) offense produced five in the first inning en route to an 8-6 win over the Twins. Los Angeles extends their winning streak to five in a row while Minnesota’s ends at four.
Hot-hitting Josh Hamilton drew first blood with a two-RBI single to left. Moments later, he and Albert Pujols moved into scoring position when Gibson’s (6-6) mislocated fastball hit Erick Aybar. Howie Kendrick’s blooper into right field scored Hamilton and Pujols, and moved Aybar to third. Kendrick extended his modest hit streak to eight in a row, dating back to June 14.
Rookie of the Year candidate C.J. Cron’s grounder to third transitioned into an inning-ending double play, but not before Aybar crossed home for the 35th time this season.
The Twinkies countered with five of their own runs in the second. Josh Willingham-who is batting .330 with nine home runs against the Halos- and former Angel Kendrys Morales took Wilson deep to lead off the frame. The disastrous inning continued with Wilson’s throwing error, stolen base allowed, and six hits given up.
Mike Trout answered in typical Trout fashion. A 5-5 game, Trout smashed Gibson’s two-seamer over the out-of-town scoreboard, scoring Kole Calhoun and giving the Angels a 7-5 advantage. Trout’s two runs scored, two RBIs, and two walks double his total from last weekend’s Texas series.
An oft-shaky Angels’ bullpen slammed the door on Minnesota through the final four frames. Core relievers combined for two hits, three walks, and three strikeouts, including Joe Smith who notched his sixth save with a 13-pitch ninth.
“There’s no doubt these last four games we’re starting to see some things come together,” Scioscia said in a post-game interview with Fox Sports West. “Good to see our bullpen today pick up C.J. and we got some clutch hitting early. Good bounce back after they come back and tie if after 5-0.”
Tuesday’s game marked the return of Angels hitting coach Don Baylor, who broke his leg catching a ceremonial first pitch Opening Day.