Series: Game 1 of 4

LA Angels leads 1-0 (as of 9/4)

Game 1: Thursday, September 4
LA Angels5Final
Game 2: Friday, September 5
LA Angels7Final
in 10
Game 3: Saturday, September 6
LA Angels8Final
Game 4: Sunday, September 7
LA Angels14Final

Angels 5

(84-55, 37-31 away)

Twins 4

(61-79, 30-39 home)

    8:10 PM ET, September 4, 2014

    Target Field, Minneapolis, Minnesota 

    123456789 R H E
    LAA 000400001 5 10 0
    MIN 000013000 4 11 1

    W: J. Smith (6-2)

    L: G. Perkins (3-2)

    S: H. Street (12)

    Angels-Twins Preview


    Though the Los Angeles Angels were cooled off by an AL West foe, they remain quite confident while still owning the best record in baseball.

    Looking to avoid a third straight defeat Thursday night, the visiting Angels can get back on track by improving to 4-0 against the Minnesota Twins this season.

    Los Angeles (83-55) averaged 5.3 runs during a six-game winning streak that included a four-game sweep of second-place Oakland last week. However, the Angels totaled four runs and 10 hits while being swept in a two-game set at Houston.

    Kole Calhoun had half of the Angels' four hits and Mike Trout drove in the lone run during Wednesday's 4-1 defeat.

    Despite their troubles in Texas, the Angels hold a 4 1/2-game lead over the Athletics.

    "We need to move on," said manager Mike Scioscia, whose team won 15 of 19 prior to facing the Astros.

    "We need to catch our breath a little bit. Our team's been grinding it out, done a lot of terrific things in the past two months, so we have to catch our breath and ... get some of these games on our terms."

    Trout went 0 for 8 in the series, and is 4 for 25 with seven strikeouts in the last six contests.

    The MVP of July's All-Star game at Target Field, Trout is 9 for 20 with four doubles and five RBIs in five regular-season contests at Minnesota.

    He's 2 for 4 with a home run against Kyle Gibson (11-10, 4.23 ERA), who was roughed up for seven runs in two innings of an 8-6 loss at Anaheim on June 24.

    The right-hander hasn't looked good while allowing 22 runs and 31 hits in 18 1/3 innings to go 0-3 in his past four home starts. He went 4-1 with a 1.54 ERA in his first six there.

    Gibson, however, gave up a run and struck out six in five innings while not factoring in the decision of a 3-2 loss at Baltimore on Saturday.

    "I think when I don't have my best stuff I can go out there and get outs," he told MLB's official website.

    Minnesota (61-78) has won three straight and six of eight at home against the Angels, but was swept in that three-game set at Anaheim in June.

    Joe Mauer went 6 for 13 with three doubles and three RBIs during that series, and is 17 for 27 with nine RBIs in his last six versus Los Angeles.

    He's 3 for 10 against Hector Santiago (4-7, 3.28).

    The left-hander allowed four runs in 5 1/3 innings before leaving without a decision in a 5-4 loss at Dodger Stadium on Aug. 5, but has posted a 1.19 ERA and struck out 21 over 22 2/3 innings to go 1-0 in his last four starts. Santiago gave up a homer, two other hits and fanned six in 5 2/3 innings of a 6-1 victory over Miami on Aug. 27.

    "Hector's got good stuff," teammate Gordon Beckham said. "He goes out there and he competes and definitely wants to do (well)."

    While pitching for the Chicago White Sox, Santiago went 2-1 with 2.70 ERA as a starter against the Twins.

    Eduardo Nunez doubled, homered and walked in three plate appearances against Santiago. He had four hits and was a homer shy of the cycle during Minnesota's 11-4 rout of the White Sox on Wednesday.

    After leading the majors in runs in August, the Twins have scored 20 in three games this month with rookie Kennys Vargas knocking in seven.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Gameday Matchup

     Los AngelesMinnesota
    Current StreakL3L1
    Last 103-75-5

    Pitching Matchup

    Los AngelesMinnesota
    H. Santiago
    6-9, 3.75 ERA

    Last Game:
    9/28 at SEA
    2.0 IP, 0 ER
    Dec = ND
    K. Gibson
    13-12, 4.47 ERA

    Last Game:
    9/28 at DET
    7.1 IP, 3 ER
    Dec = Loss

    Gameday Lineups

    NO.Los AngelesMinnesota
    1. K. Calhoun, RF D. Santana, CF
    2. M. Trout, CF B. Dozier, 2B
    3. A. Pujols, DH J. Mauer, 1B
    4. J. Hamilton, LF K. Vargas, DH
    5. H. Kendrick, 2B T. Plouffe, 3B
    6. E. Aybar, SS K. Suzuki, C
    7. D. Freese, 3B E. Nunez, 3B
    8. E. Navarro, 1B A. Hicks, LF
    9. H. Conger, C J. Schafer, LF

    Research Notes

    The Angels chase pitches outside of the strike zone against righties 30.9 percent of the time, the sixth-highest percentage in the league since the All-Star Break. Among qualifying pitchers, Kyle Gibson has the 12th highest chase percentage (32.1) in the league this season.

    ESPN Stats & Information