ANAHEIM, CA - SEPTEMBER 04: Kevin Slowey #59 of the Minnesota Twins reacts after giving up a homerun to Bobby Abreu #53 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim during the first inning at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on September 4, 2011 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Twins-Angels: Minnesota Falls To Los Angeles, 4-1

Head on over to Twinkie Town, where you can read about the September call ups that might help the Twins close out strong.

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Twins Unable To Solve Piniero In 4-1 Loss To Angels

Los Angeles Angels' left-hander Joel Piniero had not won a game since July 9, and had posted a record of 0-3 with a 10.30 ERA in six starts during that time.

Then he got to face the 2011 Minnesota Twins. This tends to make some pitchers look a little better than they are.

Piniero allowed just one run, a solo home run from Joe Mauer in the top of the fourth inning, in silencing the Twins' offense en route to a 4-1 victory in the rubber game of the three-game series between Minnesota and Los Angeles on Sunday afternoon.

It didn't take long for the Angels to get on the board, as Bobby Abreu homered to right field off of Twins' starter Kevin Slowey, a solo blast that staked the Angels to an early 1-0 lead. A fielder's choice by Howie Kendrick in the bottom of the third added another run for Los Angeles to extend their lead to 2-0. Mauer then hit his solo home run, just his second of the 2011 season, to cut the Angels' lead in half at 2-1.

The score remained that way until the bottom of the eighth inning, as Alex Burnett relieved Slowey. Burnett failed to retire any Angels, as he hit Kendrick with a pitch to lead off the inning. After Kendrick stole second, Burnett walked Abreu, and gave up a single to Torii Hunter that allowed Kendrick to score and make it 3-1. Jim Hoey was then brought in to replace Burnett and, after retiring Mark Trumbo, allowed an RBI single to Vernon Wells to give us the final margin of 4-1.

The Twins managed just five hits on the afternoon, with Mauer's home run being the only one that went for extra bases.

The loss for the Twins is their 81st of the year, which all but guarantees their first sub-.500 season since 2007, and just the second losing season of the Ron Gardenhire era.

Minnesota will return to Target Field on Monday for a Labor Day doubleheader with the Chicago White Sox, with the first game getting underway at 1:10 PM Central time. The pitching match-up for the opener will see Chicago's Philip Humber (8-8, 3.63 ERA) battling Minnesota's Anthony Swarzak (3-5, 4.14 ERA), while the nightcap will see Zach Stewart (1-3, 5.48 ERA) taking the hill for the White Sox and Scott Diamond (1-2, 4.82 ERA) taking the ball for Minnesota.

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Twins Try To Take Series From Angels

The Minnesota Twins and the Los Angeles Angels will meet on Sunday afternoon in the rubber game of their three-game weekend series. The Twins took the series opener on Friday night by a score of 13-5, and the Angels returned the favor on Saturday night by taking down the Twins, 10-6.

The Twins will pin their hopes of winning this series on the right arm of the much-maligned Kevin Slowey (0-3, 5.91 ERA). Slowey, who has spent a good portion of this season either rehabbing or pitching in the minors, has not performed terribly well since being brought back to the big club, dropping his last three starts. He did look decent in his last start against the Chicago White Sox on Monday, allowing just two runs on six hits in seven innings, but the Twins couldn't generate any offense at all, and they fell to Chicago 3-0.

Los Angeles will counter with left-hander Joel Pineiro (5-6, 5.33 ERA). Piniero has pitched once against the Twins this season, back on August 3, and he got shelled. Piniero allowed seven runs on seven hits to the Twins, lasting only 4.1 innings as Minnesota blew out the Angels by a score of 11-4. That is also the last decision that Piniero has to his name. He got a no-decision in his last start on Monday against the Seattle Mariners, allowing three runs on seven hits in six innings in a game that the Angels ultimately lost, 5-3.

First pitch from southern California is scheduled for 2:35 PM Central time. Twinkie Town already has their Game Thread up and running for those of you that can stop by and talk Twins baseball, and we will have the recap back here for you when things are all said and done.

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Duensing Injured As Twins Fall To Angels, 10-6

The Minnesota Twins lost for the 21st time in their last 28 games on Saturday night in Los Angeles, as the Angels came away with a 10-6 win to get right-hander Jared Weaver his 16th victory of the 2011 season. Weaver was scheduled to start Friday night's series opener, but was pushed back as he was attending his grandfather's funeral in Oregon.

Things got off to a rough start for the Twins, as rookie Mark Trumbo hit his 25th home run for the Angels in the bottom of the first. . .a grand slam to get Los Angels off to an early 4-0 lead against Twins' starter Brian Duensing. Minnesota mounted a comeback in the top of the second, plating three thanks to a leadoff solo home run by Danny Valencia, and RBI singles by Ben Revere and Trevor Plouffe to cut the deficit to 4-3. In the bottom of the second, Duensing was pulled from the game after straining an oblique muscle, having thrown only 37 pitches on the evening.

Duensing gave way to recently acquired Lester Oliveros, and he allowed single runs to the Angels in the second and third innings to put Los Angeles ahead 6-3, but the Twins tied it in the top of the fourth thanks to a bases-clearing double by Plouffe. That tied the game at six, and at that point the Minnesota offense pretty much shut it down for the evening. Minnesota would get just one hit over the final five innings of play.

Meanwhile, Vernon Wells hit a tie-breaking solo home run in the bottom of the fifth off of reliever Phil Dumatrait to put the Angels back ahead 7-6. Three more runs in the bottom of the sixth for Los Angeles provided the final margin of victory.

The Twins are now 58-80 on the season, and are 18.5 games out in the American League Central division race. . .just one game ahead of Kansas City for the division basement.

Minnesota will attempt to salvage the series from the Angels on Sunday afternoon in Los Angeles, with first pitch scheduled for 2:35 PM Central time. Right-hander Kevin Slowey (0-3, 5.91 ERA) will go to the hill for the Twins, while the Angels will counter with left-hander Joel Piniero (5-6, 5.33 ERA).

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Twins Continue Playing For Pride Against Angels

The Minnesota Twins drubbed the Los Angeles Angels on Friday night thanks, in large part, to four walks with the bases loaded. The odds of them getting the same generosity from Angels' pitching on Saturday night would seem to be pretty remote at best.

On Saturday night, the Angels will send right-hander Jered Weaver (15-7, 2.28 ERA) to the mound to take on the Twins. Weaver was scheduled to be Friday night's starter, but was pushed back because he was attending to a family issue. Weaver has faced the Twins once this season, back on May 28, and was absolutely dominant, allowing just two hits in nine shutout innings, but ended up with a no-decision as the Twins won the game 1-0 in ten innings.

Minnesota will counter with left-hander Brian Duensing (9-13, 5.09 ERA). Duensing snapped a personal five-game losing streak in his last start, as he allowed four runs (three earned) on seven hits in six innings in Minnesota's 11-4 victory over the Detroit Tigers on Sunday. Duensing has had one start against the Angels this season, and was not particularly good, as he allowed five runs on eight hits in six innings of work to the Angels on August 2. The Twins lost that game by a final score of 5-1.

First pitch from southern California is scheduled for 8:05 PM Central time. Be sure to head on over to Twinkie Town to check out their Game Thread, and head back here for the recap when things are over with.

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Pavano Gets First Victory Since July As Twins Drub Angels

Minnesota Twins' right-hander Carl Pavano was victorious for the first time since July 7 on Friday night in Los Angeles, as the Twins whipped the Los Angeles Angels by a score of 13-5. It was Pavano's first victory in 10 starts since the All-Star break.

Minnesota actually trailed in this one going into the top of the fourth inning by a score of 2-1, but exploded for five runs in the frame to put themselves on top 6-2. The inning was highlighted by RBI doubles by Luke Hughes and Rene Tosoni, as well as an infield single by Michael Cuddyer with the bases loaded. The Twins also put up a four spot in the top of the eighth to increase their lead even further. Minnesota put runs on the board in six of the nine innings they played on Friday night.

Strangely, four of Minnesota's 13 runs on the evening came as a result of walks with the bases loaded. Two of those four bases loaded walks came in the aforementioned fourth inning, with one coming from Angels' starter Tyler Chatwood and the other from reliever Jerome Williams. The Twins were granted two more free passes with the bases loaded in the eighth inning, with both of them coming courtesy of former Tiger Fernando Rodney.

The Twins will continue their series against the Angels on Saturday night in Los Angeles, with first pitch on the West Coast scheduled for 8:05 PM Central time. The pitching match-up will feature left-hander Brian Duensing for Minnesota and right-hander Jered Weaver taking the hill for the Angels.

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Twins-Angels: Jared Weaver Late Scratch

Head on over to Twinkie Town, where you can read about the September call ups that might help the Twins close out strong.

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