Twins beat Angels 6-3 on Sanó’s slam, split doubleheader

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Miguel Sanó hit a grand slam and José Berríos pitched five solid innings, leading the Minnesota Twins over the Los Angeles Angels 6-3 on Thursday night for a split of their makeup doubleheader.

The Angels took the opener 7-1 with a homer and a three-run double from Phil Gosselin. Taylor Ward added a two-run homer to back Alex Cobb’s five strong innings of four-hit ball.

Twins manager Rocco Baldelli watched the second game from a suite while serving a one-game suspension. Minnesota’s dugout was run by Bill Evers, Baldelli’s current bench coach and Angels manager Joe Maddon’s bench coach during two seasons in Tampa Bay.

Trevor Larnach hit his first major league homer, and Mitch Garver also homered in Minnesota’s nightcap victory during a doubleheader necessitated by a COVID-19 outbreak among the Twins while they were in Anaheim last month, forcing the postponement of two weekend games.

Berríos (4-2) yielded three hits with seven strikeouts, remaining unbeaten in five starts over the past month. Hansel Robles, who struggled mightily as the Angels’ closer in 2020, pitched the seventh for his second save.

Jose Rojas hit a leadoff homer in the second game for the Angels, who have lost seven of 10. Last-place Minnesota has lost nine of 12, and the makeup doubleheader forced them to fly from Minneapolis to Orange County and back to Cleveland in a rough two-day span.

The Twins also picked up two new injuries during their brief stay in Anaheim: Nelson Cruz was hit on the left wrist by a pitch in the sixth inning of the first game, and he didn’t play in the second game due to a bruised wrist. Jorge Polanco left the nightcap with right ankle soreness.

Sanó connected for his second career slam in the first inning off shaky Angels starter Griffin Canning (3-3). The Twins jumped on him throughout his two innings, loading the bases twice and coming away with four runs on three hits and four walks.

Rojas hit the Angels’ first leadoff homer since September 2019, while Taylor Ward and Drew Butera drove in runs in the second to keep it close.

Larnach, a Bay Area native and Minnesota’s first-round pick in the 2018 amateur draft, hit his first homer off José Suárez in the seventh.

Shohei Ohtani struck out three times in the nightcap after the major league homers leader sat out the first game.

In the opener, Cobb (2-2) yielded a run and four hits in his first start since missing 14 games with a blister, providing a rare positive development for the Angels’ rotation.

Cobb came out after just 57 pitches because of a new blister concern, according to Maddon. Cobb called it “a little hot spot,” but didn’t seem overly worried.

“As the game went on, you start to get more of that aggressive nature,” Cobb said. “You just get in the flow of the game and small cues come back to you, and you start feeling a lot better.”

Gosselin’s four RBIs matched the best total of his nine-year big league career and gave the Angels a comfortable win despite resting Ohtani for the first time this season and using slugger Jared Walsh for only the last two innings.

Lewis Thorpe (0-2) yielded five hits, two walks and one earned run over four innings in the first game for the Twins. Los Angeles scored three unearned runs in the second when Gosselin’s bases-clearing double followed third baseman Josh Donaldson’s error.


Baldelli was suspended after reliever Tyler Duffey threw behind the White Sox’s Yermín Mercedes on Tuesday. The Twins apparently were responding to Mercedes’ homer on a 3-0 pitch while Chicago had an 11-run lead a day earlier.

Duffey was given a three-game suspension, but he appealed, which allowed the Angels to pound him for four hits and three runs in the fifth inning of the first game.


Angel Stadium played a tribute video for Andrelton Simmons during the series opener. Simmons spent the past five seasons in Anaheim, winning two Gold Gloves and becoming a fan favorite with his sublime defense on five straight losing teams. Simmons went 0 for 5 for Minnesota in the doubleheader.


Twins: RHP Kenta Maeda, who has a minor groin injury, and the players on Minnesota’s injured list didn’t make the one-day trip to the West Coast. … Byron Buxton (hip) has started doing light running.

Angels: Rookie reliever Chris Rodriguez (right shoulder) threw a bullpen session this week. He should return soon, Maddon said.


Twins: Minnesota hadn’t announced a starter for its series opener in Cleveland on Friday.

Angels: José Quintana (0-3, 8.53 ERA) takes his eighth shot at getting his first win for Los Angeles in Friday’s opener of a weekend series with Oakland.


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