Mon, 11 Dec 2023

Twins hold on against Angels, clinch AL Central title

Field Level Media
23 Sep 2023, 13:40 GMT+10

(Photo credit: Jordan Johnson-USA TODAY Sports)

Alex Kirilloff homered and drove in three runs, Pablo Lopez allowed three runs over six innings to pick up his 11th victory of the season and the Minnesota Twins clinched the American League Central Division title with an 8-6 victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Friday night in Minneapolis.

Kyle Farmer doubled and had two hits and two runs while Willi Castro had a triple and scored twice for Minnesota (82-72) which won its third AL Central title over the last five seasons.

Jorge Polanco also had two hits, including an RBI double, Michael A. Taylor had two RBIs and Max Kepler scored two runs for the Twins, who took advantage of 10 walks by Angels pitchers.

Lopez (11-8) allowed five hits and walked one while striking out seven. Jhoan Duran, who gave up an RBI single to Michael Stefanic in the ninth, got Brandon Drury to ground out with the bases loaded to end the game and notch his 27th save.

Jared Walsh and Logan O'Hoppe each homered, rookie Nolan Schanuel extended his on-base streak to 25 games to start his career with an RBI single. Drury and Stefanic each had two hits for Los Angeles (69-85), which suffered its eighth loss in the last nine games. Davis Daniel (0-1), who relieved opener Jose Suarez with two outs in the second, suffered the loss allowing three runs on three hits and five walks over 4 1/3 innings. He struck out six.

Minnesota took a 1-0 lead in the second inning on a RBI single by Taylor to drive in Kepler, who led off the inning with a walk and advanced to second on a single by Farmer.

The Twins extended the lead to 3-0 in the fourth taking advantage of four walks by Daniel in the process. Matt Wallner walked with the bases loaded to force in Castro, who had opened the inning with a triple off the top of the wall in right-center, and Kirilloff followed with a sacrifice fly driving in Farmer, who had also drawn a free pass.

Los Angeles tied it, 3-3, in the fifth on a two-run home run by Walsh and an RBI single by Schanuel.

Minnesota regained the lead, 4-3, in the sixth on Kirilloff's 10th homer, becoming a club-record 12th player with double-digit home runs in a season.

The Twins extended the lead to 8-3 with four runs in the seventh off reliever Jhonathan Diaz highlighted by RBI doubles by Farmer and Polanco, a bases-loaded walk by Taylor and a sacrifice fly by Kirilloff.

The Angels cut it to 8-5 in the eighth when O'Hoppe lined a two-run homer down the left field line, his 12th of the season.

--Field Level Media

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