ANAHEIM, CALIF – And the search continues for the Twins.
The search for a dominating start. The search for a key hit. The search for something that will stop their slide.
It didn’t happen for the majority of their game against the Angels on Wednesday, as they briefly remembered what it’s like to lead a game before handing it back one inning later. The Angels went on to beat the Twins 5-2.
The Twins made Angels lefthander C.J. Wilson work at times, and Brian Dozier’s two-run single in the second gave them a 2-1 lead. But poor defense and a couple bad pitches by Twins righthander Mike Pelfrey led them to a fourth consecutive loss.
The Angels, meanwhile, welcomed all-everything outfielder Mike Trout back to the lineup one day after sitting out because of a sore left heel, then closed out their sixth victory in a row since the All-Star break.
The teams wrap up their three-game series Wednesday with an afternoon game.
Pelfrey received the most rest of any Twins starter — 12 days — following the All-Star break. Considering his recent injury history, the Twins felt it was best to be mindful of his workload.
Many times, Pelfrey will arrive at the park on the day he’s pitching with a smile on his face, chatting with teammates and even reporters. On Wednesday, Pelfrey was locked in concentration no matter where he was in the clubhouse — as if he knew how important a good start would be for his team.
Pelfrey didn’t show any signs of being too rested Wednesday as he kept the game close through the middle innings.
The Twins were in a hole early, though, as Chris Iannetta pounded a high changeup into the seats in left for a home run and a 1-0 lead in the second inning. It was Iannetta’s second home run in as many games. He entered the series batting .194 but has feasted on Twins pitching.
The Twins’ sputtering offense got a spark from the bottom of the order in their half of the second. Aaron Hicks, the No. 7 hitter, and Danny Santana, the No. 9 hitter, each singled then pulled off a double steal on a 1-0 breaking ball. Dozier, 0-for-5 in the series at the time, delivered a two-run single as the Twins grabbed the lead.
It didn’t last long.
Daniel Robertson led off the third with a single. Johnny Giavotella followed with a grounder to short. Santana had a chance to start a double play, but hurried to try to feed Dozier at second and dropped the ball for an error. Kole Calhoun promptly delivered an RBI single, and a second run scored as Trout grounded into a double play. The Angels took the lead back at 3-2.
Los Angeles added single runs in the fifth and seventh. Kole Calhoun drove in a run in the fifth with a single to right-center, then Albert Pujols doubled to center in the seventh to close out the scoring.