Kevin Slowey will try to churn out another quality start for Minnesota today, as the Twins resume a three-game set with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Target Field.
On Sunday, Slowey flirted with a no-hitter, keeping Oakland without a hit through seven innings before being lifted in a controversial move by manager Ron Gardenhire. The move paid off since Slowey and the Twins earned a 4-2 victory over the Athletics.
Slowey, who hasn’t allowed more than one earned run in three of his last four starts, has been especially good at home, boasting a 7-3 record with a 3.39 ERA in 13 outings. He hasn’t allowed a run in his last 15 innings at Target Field.
In five career starts versus the Angels, Slowey is 3-1 with a 4.00 ERA. He last faced Anaheim on April 8th, surrendering one earned run and seven hits over 5 1/3 innings of a 10-1 triumph.
Slowey is hoping to duplicate last night’s effort from Brian Duensing, who tossed eight innings of one-run ball in Minnesota’s 7-2 win over the Angels.
Duensing (7-1), who tossed his first career complete game in a 2-0 win over Oakland last Saturday, gave up seven hits and fanned six batters in the opener of this three-game set. He moved to 9-1 in 15 career starts.
“The only thing I wish I had a better command of was fastballs,” Duensing said. “I thought we did a good job of mixing up the speeds to plate, kind of kept them off balance.”
Duensing threw 78 of his 103 pitches for strikes.
Jason Kubel hit a three-run homer off Dan Haren in the third inning as Minnesota widened its lead to 4 1/2 games over Chicago in the AL Central. The White Sox had their game at Kansas City postponed by rain Friday, causing a doubleheader on Saturday.
The Twins, who have won seven of their last eight overall, have captured 10 of their last 11 at home.
Howie Kendrick had three of LA’s eight hits and scored on Torii Hunter’s double-play grounder in the fourth inning. The Angels are now eight games behind first-place Texas in the AL West.
“There’s no way you can think about being out of it,” Hunter said. “If I catch any player saying we’re out of it they should go home and never play baseball again. That’s what you do in any sport. We’re just going to keep playing baseball and hopefully we can get a hot streak somewhere and they can get a losing streak. It’s all about a little luck.”
Haren (1-4) was touched for 11 hits and seven runs over seven innings as Los Angeles lost for the fourth time in five games.
Getting the call for Angels today will be Trevor Bell, who is making a spot start following two showings in the bullpen. The right-hander last started on August 8th, when he gave up six runs — four earned — and nine hits in 5 1/3 innings of a 9-4 loss at Detroit.
Bell has never faced Minnesota in his career.
The Angels have won seven of their last 12 clashes with the Twins and swept a three-game series in their final visit to the Metrodome last year. Minnesota did take three of four from Anaheim in a season-opening series in Southern California this past April, however.