Angels
Twins
5 - 4 Final
  for this game

Hunter, Santana help Angels edge Twins

Apr 3, 2008 - 10:17 PM By Jonathan Avise PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

MINNEAPOLIS (Ticker) -- It certainly wasn't the first time that Torii Hunter, the new center fielder for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, had homered in the Metrodome.

But Hunter's seventh-inning homer, the first for his new team and one that helped the Angels to a 5-4 win over his former club Thursday, certainly was among the oddest trips the longtime Minnesota Twin ever took around the bases.

"A home run feels good, no matter what situation they're in," said Hunter, who after nine years in Minnesota signed a five-year, $90 million deal with Anaheim in the offseason.

Hunter, Gary Matthews Jr. and Mike Napoli all homered while Ervin Santana pitched six solid innings, lifting the injury-plagued Angels to their third straight win in a season-opening four-game set.

Hunter had struggled in his first three games as an Angel, collecting just two hits in 12 at-bats heading into Thursday afternooon.

But the home run seemed to allow Hunter to relax.

"I'm starting to feel good, starting to relax a little bit," Hunter said. "But I still want to leave (Minnesota). It's too emotional, man."

Francisco Rodriguez picked up his second save in a tense ninth, striking out Michael Cuddyer with the go-ahead run on base.

Angels manager Mike Scioscia elected to walk Twins catcher Joe Mauer - who had already doubled twice - with two outs and a runner on second. The decision to give a free pass to the potential winning run wasn't easy, the manager said.

"Joe Mauer has a chance to fight some stuff off and put the ball in play," Scioscia said. "We just liked the matchup a little bit better. It wasn't an easy decision because Cuddyer's a tough out. Frankie made some good pitches."

Maicer Izturis opened the scoring for Anaheim in the third, driving home Howie Kendrick with RBI single before Matthews made it 3-0 with a line-drive home run over the right field wall.

Santana (1-0) allowed two runs, four hits and two walks with three strikeouts in winning his season debut.

"Everything was working good," said Santana, who improved his lifetime record against Minnesota to 2-1 with a 1.61 ERA. "I just tried to locate my fastball and offspeed stuff."

The righthander cruised through five innings, not allowing a baserunner until the third or a hit until the fourth.

But in the sixth, Minnesota's offense sprang to life.

Rookie speedster Carlos Gomez opened the inning with a bunt single - winding up on second thanks to a throwing error by second baseman Chone Figgins.

Mauer got the Twins on the board with an RBI double, plating Gomez. Two batters later, the former American League batting champion scored to make it 3-2 on Justin Morneau's sacrifice fly.

The Angels struck right back, chasing reliever Brian Bass in the seventh with a pair of home runs.

Hunter led off with a 382-foot shot over the outfield wall he used to patrol, and Napoli followed with his second homer of the season to stretch the Angels' lead back to 5-2.

Minnesota mounted a rally in the seventh, adding a run when Mauer drove in his second run of the afternoon with a sacrifice fly.

But the Twins - hitting .167 with runners in scoring position at the start of the day - left two on base to end the inning.

"We had to scrape for every out," Scioscia said. "The bullpen came in and (Rodriguez) got it done. We're a little shorthanded with (injured reliever) Scot Shields not back in the fold.

"But these guys, we have a lot of confidence in them that they can get it done."

Jason Kubel drew the Twins within 5-4 in the bottom half of the eighth, driving a 2-2 pitch into the upper deck seats in right field. It was the first home run of the season for the Twins, who hit just 118 last season.

Twins starter Kevin Slowey (0-1) took the loss. The righthander left the game after only 3 1/3 innings due to a bicep strain. Team officials said he would be re-evaluated Friday.

"When I went out there, he said 'I'm a little tight,'" Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "Well, that's enough right there. You're out. He's got a future and we're gonna keep it that way."








  • AL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    LA ANGELS 0 0 3 0 0 0 2 0 0 5 9 1
    MINNESOTA 0 0 0 0 0 2 1 1 0 4 8 0 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: LAA - ERVIN SANTANA, DARREN OLIVER (7TH), JUSTIN SPEIER (7TH),
    FRANCISCO RODRIGUEZ (9TH) AND MIKE NAPOLI
    MIN - KEVIN SLOWEY, BRIAN BASS (4TH), JUAN RINCON
    (7TH), D

    Apr 3 4:16 PM
  • 35
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 35 roots (Close Finish)

    Angels 5, Twins 4  Top 9, 0 OutsApr 3 3:46 PM


  • AL
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY JASON KUBEL (1) TO RIGHT WITH 2 OUT IN THE
    8TH OFF JUSTIN SPEIER.
    CURRENT SCORE: LA ANGELS 5, MINNESOTA 4
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: M LAMB (.100, 0-FOR-3)

    Angels 5, Twins 4  Bot 8, 0 OutsApr 3 3:45 PM


  • AL
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY JOE MAUER SCORED BRENDAN HARRIS.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, C GOMEZ ON FIRST, A EVERETT ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: LA ANGELS 5
    MINNESOTA 3 BOTTOM, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: M CUDDYER (.214, 0-FOR-3)

    Angels 5, Twins 3  Bot 7, 0 OutsApr 3 3:22 PM


  • AL
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY MIKE NAPOLI (2) TO LEFT WITH 2 OUT IN THE
    7TH OFF BRIAN BASS.
    CURRENT SCORE: LA ANGELS 5, MINNESOTA 2
    DUE UP FOR LA ANGELS: M IZTURIS (.200, 1-FOR-2, RBI)

    Angels 5, Twins 2  Top 7, 0 OutsApr 3 3:07 PM


  • AL
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY TORII HUNTER (1) TO LEFT WITH 0 OUT IN THE
    7TH OFF BRIAN BASS.
    CURRENT SCORE: LA ANGELS 4, MINNESOTA 2
    DUE UP FOR LA ANGELS: C KOTCHMAN (.333, 0-FOR-2)

    Angels 4, Twins 2  Top 7, 0 OutsApr 3 3:03 PM


  • AL
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY JUSTIN MORNEAU SCORED JOE MAUER.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, NONE ON, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: LA ANGELS 3
    MINNESOTA 2 BOTTOM, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: D YOUNG (.385, 0-FOR-2)

    Angels 3, Twins 2  Bot 6, 0 OutsApr 3 2:55 PM


  • AL
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY JOE MAUER SCORED CARLOS GOMEZ.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J MAUER ON SECOND, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: LA ANGELS 3
    MINNESOTA 1 BOTTOM, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: M CUDDYER (.231, 0-FOR-2)

    Angels 3, Twins 1  Bot 6, 0 OutsApr 3 2:49 PM


  • AL
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY GARY MATTHEWS (1) TO RIGHT CENTER WITH
    2 OUT IN THE 3RD OFF KEVIN SLOWEY SCORED MAICER IZTURIS.
    CURRENT SCORE: LA ANGELS 3, MINNESOTA 0
    DUE UP FOR LA ANGELS: V GUERRERO (.308, 0-FOR-1)

    Angels 3, Twins 0  Top 3, 0 OutsApr 3 1:42 PM


  • AL
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY MAICER IZTURIS SCORED HOWIE KENDRICK.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, M IZTURIS ON FIRST, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: LA ANGELS 1
    MINNESOTA 0 TOP, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR LA ANGELS: C FIGGINS (.308, 0-FOR-1)

    Angels 1, Twins 0  Top 3, 0 OutsApr 3 1:39 PM