Thursday, August 4, 2011
Angels 7, Twins 1: Three Up, Three Down
By Mark Saxon
ANAHEIM -- The Angels had one of their more impressive all-around efforts in a 7-1 win over the Minnesota Twins Thursday night, keeping them just a game back of the first-place Texas Rangers.
Thunder. Mark Trumbo is swinging a menacing bat these days. The rookie from just up the road hit a 3-run home run into the visiting bullpen in left field to give the Angels a 5-0 lead. This one came on a hanging slider that was low and in. Two nights earlier, Trumbo had hit an even longer home run to center on a high fastball. That's nearly 900 feet of home runs and a scary amount of plate coverage.
Lightning. It seems at times as if Peter Bourjos thinks he's playing Little League ball. He just keeps running until someone gets the ball in. Twice Thursday Bourjos advanced two bases on balls Jeff Mathis hit to an infielder. He scored from second on Mathis' hit to the second baseman and he went from first to third on Mathis' tapper to the third baseman.
Quiet storm. Dan Haren (12-6) had allowed only one hit until Jim Thome blasted his 598th home run over the center-field wall in the eighth inning. Join the club, right? He might be the best No. 2 starter in the American League and he's on a roll, having won six of his last seven decisions.
Minnesota's D. The Twins had a right fielder playing second base and a catcher playing first. It didn't figure to be pretty. It wasn't. On Mathis' hit, nobody covered first. The Angels had five hits that made contact with a Twins infielder.
Sliding miss. Haren would have carried a no-hitter into the eighth inning, building drama and tension, but Vernon Wells couldn't come up with Joe Mauer's slicing, sinking line drive in the fourth inning. It was a base hit all the way and a tough play, but was it catchable? Kind of.
Sliding mistake. Mathis blocked the plate to prevent a run in the eighth inning, but Danny Valencia still looked like he could have scored with a more aggressive slide. He probably didn't expect a play, so he went in tentatively and never made contact with the plate.