|Red-hot Odorizzi, Twins continue road trip vs. Angels|
Minnesota right-hander Jake Odorizzi will try to win his seventh consecutive start on Monday night when the American League Central-leading Twins open a three-game series against the Los Angeles Angels in Anaheim, Calif.
Odorizzi (6-2, 2.63 ERA) is just 1-3 with a 5.87 ERA in six career starts against the Angels but that one win came in his last start on Wednesday afternoon in Minneapolis, a hold-your-breath 8-7 victory at Target Field.
Odorizzi had a streak of 22 consecutive scoreless innings snapped by a Tommy La Stella home run in the third inning of that contest. He also allowed a two-run homer to Jonathan Lucroy in the sixth inning, giving up three runs on nine hits and two walks over 5 1/3 innings.
Minnesota won two out of three games from Los Angeles in the series, which featured three one-run games. The Angels won the opener 5-4 behind a two-run homer by Shohei Ohtani before the Twins bounced back to win 4-3 and 8-7.
Los Angeles finished with 20 more hits in the series, 44-24. The Twins won the middle game thanks to a highlight-reel throw by Byron Buxton in the eighth inning that gunned down Ohtani at the plate with the potential tying run in a bang-bang play. Ohtani, who was also thrown out at third on a baserunning gaffe in that loss, also grounded out with the bases loaded to end the final game, which saw the Angels finish with an 18-10 edge in hits.
"We could have easily won the series here," Angels first baseman Albert Pujols told MLB.com following the series finale. "Obviously, the Twins are a hot team and we were able to take the first game of the series. (Wednesday) night and today, it could have easily went either way."
Odorizzi is 0-0 with 3.00 ERA in just one career start at Anaheim Stadium.
Los Angeles took two out of three games from visiting Kansas City over the weekend but dropped Sunday's finale 5-1 as left-hander Danny Duffy and three Royals relievers limited the Angels to just six hits.
Los Angeles fell to 5-12 this season against left-handed starters with the loss and are batting a major league worst .212 against lefties. They are slated to face lefty Martin Perez in the series finale on Wednesday.
"I don't know -- you guys can make up theories," outfielder Kole Calhoun told MLB.com after Sunday's loss. "Today we ran into a guy who pitched well. Duffy pitched well. Today was probably the best I've seen him throw, personally. I don't know if it's a coincidence or (if) we've run into some tough lefties, but I think as the season progresses, that will head in our favor a little more."
As they have done in each of Felix Pena's previous four scheduled starts, the Angels will reportedly go with an opener before bringing Pena on in relief Monday night. It will also be the seventh time Los Angeles has gone with a starter this season. They are 3-3 using an opener so far, with the starting pitcher in those games giving up one run in six combined innings.
Right-hander Taylor Cole, sporting no record and a 4.91 ERA in 7 1/3 innings across four appearances this season, is expected to get the start. He's faced the Twins once before, pitching two scoreless innings of relief last Tuesday.
Minnesota had its five-game winning streak and six-game road winning streak snapped on Sunday afternoon with a 7-4 loss at Seattle. The Twins, who also had a 13-game home run streak broken, scored 40 runs and hit 11 home runs while winning three of four from the Mariners.
"I think this was a good positive series for us as a whole," Twins manager Rocco Baldelli told reporters. "We could look up and down the lineup, we could look at a bunch of our arms and say that this was quality work that was put in. We'll move on and head to Anaheim."
--Field Level Media