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Weaver, Angels complete sweep of Twins

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[June 27, 2014]  ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Ron Gardenhire is sold on the Los Angeles Angels.

"That's a good baseball team," the Minnesota Twins manager said Thursday after the Angels completed a three-game sweep of his team with a 6-4 win. "They've got some good hitters, and when those big boys come up in big situations, they can put some swings on it.

"They can do a lot of different things, they steal bases, they play great defense, and we've seen that over the years with these guys. It's a nice baseball team over there."

Jered Weaver threw seven strong innings, the Los Angeles offense banged out 14 hits, and the Angels held on for their sixth win in a row.

The Angels completed a six-game sweep of their homestand. It was the first undefeated homestand of six or more games for the Angels since May 2004, when they posted a 7-0 run.

Weaver followed right-hander Garrett Richards' solid performance Wednesday with one of his own, giving up one run and eight hits in seven innings. He improved to 8-6, making the Angels the only team in the American League to have three pitchers with at least eight wins (Richards and C.J. Wilson also have eight).

Designated hitter Albert Pujols led the 14-hit attack with three hits, center fielder Mike Trout had two hits and two RBIs, and second baseman Howie Kendrick had two hits to extend his hitting streak to 10 games.

"We're absolutely starting to do some of the things that we can do on the offensive side," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "We have to keep it rolling."

The Twins entered the series with a four-game winning streak but ran into a buzz saw, getting outscored in the series 20-12. Left fielder Chris Parmelee and designated hitter Joe Mauer each had three hits Thursday, but that was as good as it got for the Twins.

Twins starting pitcher Ricky Nolasco (4-6) found trouble early, and he gave up six runs and 11 hits in six innings.

The Angels took a 2-0 lead in the first inning, getting an RBI single from Pujols and an RBI double by shortstop Erick Aybar.

Aybar's hit was a "sun" double that resulted from Twins shortstop Pedro Florimon losing the ball in the sky on a play in shallow left field.

The Angels added to their lead in the third inning, getting consecutive doubles by Trout and Pujols followed by a single from left fielder Josh Hamilton for two more runs and a 4-0 lead.

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Meanwhile, Weaver was sharp. He struck out the side in the first inning and did not allow a baserunner until Parmelee led off the third with a single.

The only run Weaver allowed came in the sixth inning when right fielder Oswaldo Arcia singled home Mauer with two outs. The Twins also threatened in the seventh, putting runners on first and third with two outs and second baseman Brian Dozier up. Weaver got Dozier on a pop to shortstop, finishing his day on a positive note.

"The sixth and seventh were tough for him," Scioscia said of Weaver. "The biggest out of the game was getting Dozier to end the seventh. Up until the sixth inning, he was really mixing and matching, changing speeds. Those guys pieced some hits together, and he had to work for it."

Weaver struck out six and walked one, winning for the first time in four starts.

Things got interesting in the ninth when the Twins loaded the bases with two outs against right-hander Ernesto Frieri. Scioscia summoned right-hander Joe Smith, who gave up a three-run double to Mauer (all three runs charged to Frieri) to cut the Angels' lead to 6-4.

Smith struck out first baseman Kendrys Morales for the final out to record his seventh save.

NOTES: The Twins called up SS Jorge Polanco, a 20-year-old who was hitting .289 with 12 doubles, five homers and 35 RBIs in 72 games for Class A Fort Myers. Regular SS Danny Santana twisted his left knee running the bases Wednesday and is listed as day-to-day. SS Pedro Florimon started Thursday in Santana's place and went 0-for-3. Polanco drew a walk as a ninth-inning pinch hitter in his major league debut. ... RHP Yohan Pino was optioned to Triple-A Rochester to make room on the roster for Polanco. Pino was 0-1 with a 6.30 ERA in two starts for the Twins. ... With the win, the Angels improved to 26-14 at Angel Stadium for a .650 winning percentage, the best home record in the majors.

[ 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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