Playing without Joe Mauer in the lineup for the first time this season, the Twins struggled getting their offense going against Angels starter C.J. Wilson and fell behind 4-0 heading into the late innings.
In the top of the eighth, the Twins finally got to C.J. Wilson, plating two runs on an Alexi Casilla double and a single by Denard Span. Danny Valencia added another run off reliever LaTroy Hawkins later in the inning, which also putting the tying run in scoring position. The Angels responded by calling on Scott Downs to get the final out of the inning, who left the tying and go-ahead runners stranded.
In the ninth, the Twins put the tying run on, but Downs nailed down the save by getting Span to ground out to Howie Kendrick.
Casilla had three hits and Valencia had two in the game for the Twins. Nick Blackburn (0-3) tossed a quality start, going six innings and only giving up three runs, but he took the loss.
The second of three games is on Tuesday at 10:05 p.m. ET.