And the streak goes on.

The Twins offense sputtered once again in a 5-2 loss to the Angels on Wednesday, and now they get staff ace Garrett Richards on Thursday afternoon as they try to avoid being swept in the three-game series. When Brian Dozier hit a two-run single in the second inning - giving the Twins a brief 2-1 lead - it appeared as if they were going to have a good day at the plate. Angels starter C.J. Wilson threw 105 pitches over five innings and was pulled, which should have been a good thing.

But the Twins were 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position on Wednesday and left 12 runners on base. So the Twins have now lost nine straight to Angels and have not won here since July 23, 2013.

And they get staff ace Garrett Richards on Thursday afternoon.

``You understand how things are going for them and there's a lot reasons,'' Twins manager Paul Molitor said. ``They've got the feel of winning. They have leaders in the field. They are pitching really well. The bullpen guys they are marching out there are doing the job. So we're trying to find a way to play better than we have over the last four or five days.''

Twins righthander Mike Pelfrey wasn't that bad, giving up two earned runs over six innings. He revealed after the game that he was sick with food poisoning on Tuesday but felt fine to pitch on Wednesday.

What he encountered on Wednesday was worse, a Angels team that knows how to get runners home. In anti-Twins fashion, the Angels got the leadoff batter on base in six innings, scoring in four of them. The Angels have won all six games since the All-Star break.

And they have staff ace Garrett Richards on Thursday afternoon.

And now here are Three Thoughts following the loss:

PELFREY NOT BAD: Twins righthander Mike Pelfrey had 12 days off between starts, and sometimes that leads to a pitcher being too strong. Perhaps the food poisoning he battled on Tuesday cancelled that out. I feel bad now because I thought Pelfrey was locked in concentration as he walked around the clubhouse  before the game (he's usually chatty). But he was just getting over his illness from the day before. He didn't have his best stuff on Wednesday, which made for some tough pitching as the Angels put the leadoff batter on base in the first three innings. He had pretty good command of his fastball and ended up using it a lot. His split-finger fastball, he said, was no so great. He hung one to Chris Ianetta in the  second that became a home run. Just two earned runs over six innings, but not good enough. ``We're still confident,'' Pelfrey said. ``You know you go through some ups and downs through the year. We're not playing very well as a team right now. It's magnified when you are going up against a hot team too. We'll come back tomorrow and try to get one before we head back home.''

MORE INFIELD FOLLIES: Danny Santana is why Pelfrey gave up two unearned runs. With a runner on first in the third inning, Santana fielded Johnny Giovatella's grounder and tried to flip it Brian Dozier in hopes of starting a double play. But he fumbled the ball for an error. Los Angeles ended up scoring two runs in the inning. ``My take on it was that the better choice possibly would have been to take the out at first rather than awkwardly try to make a backwards flip,'' Twins manager Paul Molitor said. ``When you do that, you get a little ahead of yourself and you don't track the ball as well. You try to secure the ball before you make a play.'' That's three errors in Santana's last two starts. At least he had a walk and two singles on Wednesday.

SANO'S RETURN:  Miguel Sano returned to the lineup after missing two games with a sore right ankle. He struck out in the second, reached on a fielder's choice in the third, hit a ball hard but right to the centerfielder in the fifth and walked in his final two plate appearances. Sano saw 26 pitches over those five plate appearances. He already has walked 11 times in 14 games. That's more walks than Eduardo Escobar, Eduardo Nunez. Eddie Rosario, Shane Robinson and Danny Santana. And all those guys have played in many more games than Sano has.

Older Post

Twins hope to get boost by the return of Sano to lineup

Newer Post

No Dozier or Hunter as Twins try to avoid sweep