Giavotella and Calhoun lead the Angels past the Twins

Published 8:52 am Wednesday, June 15, 2016

ANAHEIM, Calif. — If you really pushed him, outfielder Kole Calhoun could probably tell you exactly where his Angels stand in American League West.

Dead last. Twelve games back of Texas. Owners of a 28-37 record and a season threatening to slip away.

Yet, after the Angels held on to defeat the Twins 5-4 Tuesday night, Calhoun would have none of it. Either because of a veteran’s perspective or having no other real recourse, Calhoun opted for the long view.

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“We’re not looking at the standings, man,” he said. “It’s June. A season, and individuals, are going to have ups and downs. Hopefully this is the start of an up.”

Calhoun did his part Tuesday to contribute to a needed team rebirth, hitting a solo homer and doubling in another run. Coupled with Johnny Giavotella’s two-run homer, the Angels’ 12-hit attack was enough to hold off a Twins team that scored single runs in the second, third, fifth and sixth innings but never could take the lead.

“We kept coming back, but the problem was every time we’d score they’d answer,” Twins manager Paul Molitor said. “Their bullpen did a really nice job.”

Angels starter Jhoulys Chacin (3-4) left after five-plus innings, having surrendered four runs on seven hits and a walk.

“I didn’t have my best stuff tonight,” Chacin said. “I just had to battle.”

But five Angels relievers held the Twins scoreless over the last four innings. Closer Huston Street blew his first save of the year in his last outing Saturday against Indians, but retired the Twins in order in the ninth to earn his seventh save.

“A blown save matters for a team and my last three outings all have been shaky,” Street said. “That’s why it’s important to come back and find your groove. Three up and three down, re-establish that pattern.”

The Angels had lost seven of their last eight, and were 0-4 against the Twins.

Giavotella also homered Monday, marking the first time in his six-year career he has hit home runs in back-to-back games. His fourth home run of the season matched his career high and he has eight hits in his last 15 at-bats.

“He’s swinging the bat well,” Calhoun said. “We’re going to need that from him. It’s good to see him swinging like he has the last couple of games.”

Ervin Santana (1-7) started for the Twins and was charged with all five runs, surrendering 10 hits. Santana has lost his last five starts with an ERA of 7.71.

“It was a situation with Ervin, they seemed to get a lot of good swings on him,” Molitor said. “I’m not sure what the issue is.

“He’ll keep working. I don’t think it’s anything major. He just hasn’t been consistent like he has in the past.”

Joe Mauer, Robbie Grossman and Juan Centeno all had two hits for the Twins.


Angels sign No. 1 pick

C Matt Thaiss, taken with the 16th overall pick from the University of Virginia, has signed with Angels. Terms were not announced, but his position was slotted at $2.661 million. Reports had him signing for $2.15 million. The team also came to an agreement with third-round pick, SS Nonie Williams.


Trainer’s room

Twins: OF Danny Santana (left hamstring strain) began his rehab assignment with Triple-A Rochester on Tuesday, starting in right field and batting leadoff. He singled in three at-bats and played seven innings.

Angels: SS Andrelton Simmons (left thumb ligament tear) was scheduled to be examined Tuesday night and could be cleared to rejoin the Angels on Wednesday. … LHP Tyler Skaggs, coming back from Aug. 13, 2014 Tommy John surgery, had his throwing program in Arizona shut down because of a sore shoulder.


Up next

Twins: RHP Tyler Duffey (2-5) will attempt to come back from one of the worst starts of his young career in the series finale against the Angels. In his last start against the Red Sox, he allowed six runs and 10 hits in 5 1/3 innings.

Angels: LHP Hector Santiago (3-4) is coming off an even more disastrous start, having allowed six runs, seven hits and a walk in 1 1/3 innings against the Indians. Has pitched three or fewer innings in three of his last five starts.