Angels' closer Frieri flops in 10th as Twins win
- Article by: JOE RESNICK
- Associated Press
- July 24, 2013 - 6:58 AM
ANAHEIM, Calif. — On a night when the Los Angeles Angels' bullpen faltered, closer Ernesto Frieri was the biggest offender.
Pitching in a non-save situation, the right-hander came on in the 10th inning and allowed five runs on four hits — including a grand slam by Chris Herrmann — during a seven-run rally that carried the Minnesota Twins to a 10-3 victory Tuesday.
"Everybody has a bad day," Frieri said. "This game, when you play it every day, you're going to do good a couple days, and you're going to do bad a couple days as well. Whenever I do bad, it's like ugly bad — like ugly super bad. They had really good at-bats against me. They put good swings. I've got to give credit to them, too."
Ryan Doumit snapped a 3-all tie in the 10th with an RBI double against Frieri (0-2). Herrmann followed a one-out intentional walk to Clete Thomas with his second big league homer and Minnesota's first grand slam since Joe Mauer's shot off Kansas City's Luke Hochevar last Sept. 1.
"I was just trying to elevate the ball somewhere. He came with an inside cutter and I got all of it and hit it a long ways," Herrmann said. "It's just hard to believe this is happening. It's pretty awesome. I'm just going to cherish this moment right now. It couldn't have happened in a better way, honestly — hitting my first grand slam in professional ball when I wasn't even expecting to play."
Herrmann started behind the plate instead of Mauer, who was scratched just before gametime and left the team to be with his wife, Maddie, who went into labor with twins. As a result, Herrmann made his seventh start at catcher in the majors and fourth this season.
Twins No. 9 batter Pedro Florimon capped the rally with his sixth homer, a two-run shot against Billy Buckner.
Angels right fielder Josh Hamilton missed his second straight game because of stiffness in his right ankle. Albert Pujols and Mark Trumbo tried to pick up the slack with solo homers in the fourth inning against Kyle Gibson, who hadn't allowed a home run in four previous big league starts.
Los Angeles starter Tommy Hanson threw 76 pitches over 5 1-3 innings in his first start off the disabled list, allowing a run and four hits with eight strikeouts and no walks. The right-hander had been sidelined since June 21 because of a forearm strain.
"I feel really healthy," Hanson said. "Everything feels good. I didn't feel like I had to force anything tonight. It was there. The results were there as well. I was getting a lot of swings and misses that most times I don't get. It was a lot of fun today — a lot of fun pitching."
Minnesota reliever Casey Fien retired Howie Kendrick on an inning-ending double play in the eighth with two on. All-Star closer Glen Perkins (2-0) allowed the tying run in the ninth on a bases-loaded walk to Erick Aybar before retiring J.B. Shuck on an inning-ending double play — the Angels' major league-worst 99th.
The blown save was the left-hander's third in 27 chances and it snapped his scoreless streak at 19 2-3 innings.
Justin Morneau singled with one out in the Twins eighth against Kevin Jepsen, and Doumit followed with an RBI double to right-center to snap a 2-all tie. All 11 runs Jepsen has allowed this season have come at home.
Gibson allowed two runs and five hits through six innings.
Pujols' homer was his 17th of the season and 492nd of his career, a towering drive to center field that rookie Aaron Hicks just missed on a leaping attempt before losing his glove on the other side of the fence.
Two outs later, Trumbo hit his team-high 22nd to right field. It was the 10th time in their two seasons as teammates that Pujols and Trumbo homered in the same game. The Angels are 7-3 on those occasions, with all three losses coming in extra innings.
"Both times I got myself behind in the count," Gibson said. "I threw seven out of 23 first-pitch strikes, which is pretty bad."
Scott Downs, who hasn't given up an earned run in 32 career innings against the Twins spanning 31 appearances, completed the sixth after walking his first batter. The left-hander hasn't been scored on in his last 29 appearances overall, one shy of Francisco Rodriguez's franchise record.
Dane De La Rosa couldn't hold the lead, however, giving up the tying run in the seventh on Florimon's groundout after Thomas and Herrmann opened the inning with singles and advanced on a sacrifice bunt by Hicks.
NOTES: Pujols is one homer behind Lou Gehrig and Fred McGriff, who are tied for 26th place all-time. ... Angels CF Mike Trout singled his first time up to extend his career-best hitting streak to 15 games. At 21, he is the youngest player with a streak of 15 or more with the club since 1968, when 3B Aurelio Rodriguez hit in 16 straight at age 20. ... The Angels made room for Hanson on the 25-man roster by optioning LHP Michael Roth to Triple-A Salt Lake, where he will be used in a starting role. ... INF Brendan Harris, designated for assignment by the Angels on Saturday, cleared waivers and was sent outright to Salt Lake. But the eight-year veteran chose not to report and became a free agent. He has played for six clubs, including Minnesota.
© 2014 Star Tribune