The Minnesota Twins will attempt to end their nine-game homestand on a high note, as they conclude a three-game set with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim tonight at Target Field.
The Twins have gone 6-2 on their current homestand, helping extend their AL Central lead to four games over the White Sox.
Minnesota, however, squandered a 3-0 first-inning lead on Saturday, as the Angels used 16 hits to claim a 9-3 victory.
Peter Bourjos and Bobby Abreu clubbed back-to-back homers in the second inning for the Angels, who had dropped four of five coming in.
Trevor Bell gave up three runs on four hits and a career-high six walks in 4 1/3 innings. Francisco Rodriguez (1-3) limited the Twins to one hit in 2 2/3 innings of relief to pick up the win.
“This is a really good bounce back game, from what we did in the batter’s box to running the bases,” said Los Angeles manager Mike Scioscia.
Michael Cuddyer stroked a two-run single in a three-run first for Minnesota, which had won 10 of its last 11 home games.
Twins starting pitcher Kevin Slowey (11-6) departed after three innings because of a strained right triceps muscle. He gave up four runs on seven hits versus Los Angeles, one outing after tossing seven hitless innings against Oakland.
Minnesota placed him on the disabled list after the game.
The Twins will try to bounce back behind Scott Baker, who has won three straight decisions, although he has allowed eight earned runs over his last two starts. On Tuesday, the right-hander gave up four earned runs and seven hits over just 4 2/3 innings, but Minnesota still came away with a 7-6 win over Chicago in 10 innings.
Baker has struggled greatly in his career against the Angels, going 0-5 with a 5.82 ERA in eight career starts versus them. He last faced them on April 5th, surrendering four runs and five hits in 4 2/3 innings of a 6-3 loss.
Jered Weaver opposed Baker in that game and he permitted three runs in six innings to capture the victory. With the outcome, Weaver improved to 4-1 with a 3.64 ERA in seven career starts versus Minnesota.
The right-hander, however, is coming off a rocky start on Tuesday, when he allowed six earned runs in five innings of a 6-0 loss at Boston. Weaver had boasted a 2.93 ERA in six starts prior to that outing.
The Angels have won eight of their last 13 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.