ANAHEIM, CALIF. – For the second consecutive night, Mitch Garver stepped up in the clutch for the Twins.
After hitting a tying single to right on Friday during a comeback victory, Garver’s RBI double in the 12th inning Saturday drove in Eddie Rosario with the winning run in a 5-3 victory over the Angels.
Rosario led off the inning by reaching on an infield hit off righthander Noe Ramirez, working his third inning of relief for Los Angeles. Garver followed with a double into the left field corner, and Rosario raced home from first.
Gregorio Petit, who entered the game in the bottom of the 10th as a defensive replacement, added an RBI single, scoring Garver.
Fernando Rodney pitched the 12th to pick up his seventh save, working around a leadoff walk by getting Kole Calhoun to hit into a well-turned 3-6-3 double play. After another walk to No. 9 hitter Rene Rivera — the Twins’ 12th walk of the night — Rodney retired Zack Cosart on a flyout, leaving Mike Trout in the on-deck circle as the game ended.
An inning earlier, Trevor Hildenberger, working the third night in a row, worked out of a jam by retiring Jefry Marte. Hildenberger was rewarded with his first victory of the season.
The Twins looked on the verge of handing the Angels a game in which they led early. Kyle Gibson was effective for six innings. The Twins offense scored three runs in the third and seemed in control.
Then the Twins stopped scoring and the Angels inched their way back in with runs in the third, sixth and seventh innings. They tied the game in the seventh when Ryan Pressly gave up an RBI single to Justin Upton. And the game moved into extra innings.
Mike Trout reached on a fielder’s choice in the 11th, stole second and moved to third on a flyout. Twins manager Paul Molitor gambled. He had Albert Pujols and Andrelton Simmons intentionally walked to load the bases for Marte. Hildenberger did his part, getting Marte to tap back to him to end in the inning.
And the Twins were rewarded in the 12th with big hits by Garver and Petit.
It’s not quite time to say the Twins have totally turned their season around. It’s difficult to take a team seriously when it’s not even at .500.
But that might be changing.
The victory on Saturday gave the Twins a 7-2 mark on their current 10-game road trip, setting themselves up for a big Mother’s Day on Sunday.
Another victory, and the Twins would head to the Twin Cities back to .500, at 18-18. They would finish the road trip 8-2 after taking three of four games from the Angels. And they would keep heat on first-place Cleveland in the AL Central.
The Twins took a 3-0 lead in the third on a Byron Buxton’s RBI double, Joe Mauer’s RBI single and a sacrifice fly by Brian Dozier. The runs came off Angels righthander Nick Tropeano, who was making his first start since recovering from a sore shoulder.
Cozart scored during a fielder’s choice in the third to put the Angels on the board. Andrelton Simmons scored on a sacrifice fly in the sixth to bring the Angels within 3-2. Simmons legged out a triple when his sinking liner deflected off the heel of Max Kepler’s glove as he attempted a diving catch.