The Angels got trounced last night by the Twins, the team with the worst record in the AL, and a team that had swept them in the previous series. Talk about embarrassing. When in dire straits like that, your team slip sliding away, you need to pull out all the stops to ensure victories. In the case of this Angels team, they needed Flo Rida. The rap superstar was in the house to do a concert after the game, and he obviously brought the necessary mojo for the Angels to finally do the impossible: beat the freakin' Twins.
It worked. The Angels are now 1-0 when Flo Rida is in the Big A.
The Angels were full of vim and vigor at the dish tonight, striking first blood in the first inning with a little thunder and lighting, and then a single from Albert Pujols. With all the problems this team has, you have to love the reliability of the 1-2-3 in the Angels' batting order; a fierce piece of baseball machinery, typically running with zero defects (I said "typically"...there have been exceptions, obvs). Escobar had begun the game with a single, then he was moved over to third when Mike Trout doubled, and Pujols drove Escobar home. Everything that's consistently satisfying in the Angels offense was on display, except Kole Calhoun, but we'd hear from his bat later.
Jhoulys Chacin was the man with the plan for the Halos, an arm that has since cooled off from his last home start, where you'll remember he was a virtual ace. Chacin let the Twins catch up a bit in the second, when Juan Centeno singled up the middle, driving in a run and evening up the score.
The tie was not long for this world, because Folk Hero Johnny Giavotella, who has become a beast again in this Twins series, hit a squeaker of a two-run homer to left, putting the Angels up 3-1. This was the beginning of a contentious, albeit sloppily-played, game where both teams had their chances at the brass ring. Trevor Plouffe countered that Johnny G home run with an RBI single in the third, cutting the Angels' lead to 3-2.
Kole Calhoun was having none of that 3-2 nonsense, not on his watch and especially not when Flo Rida was in attendance. The Red Baron jacked an Ervin Santana slider to right-center, pushing the Angels' advantage to 4-2. Okay, so I guess now it's the Twins' turn? Yep! A Joe Mauer triple scored one run, once again closing the gap a little bit, but not quite enough.
This attempt to more-or-less erase the run that Calhoun had just put on the board angered The Red Baron, and in his next at bat, he hit a double to right, getting that one run back and giving the Angels a 5-3 lead.
If you've noticed a pattern here, then you can surmise what happened next: the Twins scored, making it a one run game again. This time, it was a Byron Buxton RBI double off of reliever Cam Bedrosian. Bedrock had just been brought in to replace Jose Alvarez, who replaced Chacin, who was only at the 81 pitch mark in the sixth inning (Chacin finished with 5.0 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 2 K and 1 BB), but he was beginning to make Scioscia a little skittish, especially after he allowed a couple men on base. Inherited runners, as i'm sure you know, is Bedrosian's weakness and of course Bedrosian allowed one (Max Kepler) to cross.
There we sat, a 5-4 lead, waiting for the Angels to get back up by two, only to see Minnesota cut the lead to one, ad infinitum, forever and ever, until the sun dies. But a strange thing happened: the score just stayed there at 5-4. The hit parade had walked the last stretch of it's route, and the relief pitching came out to clean up the confetti. Huston Street got himself a chance to get a save, all in his first outing since he took a W away from Matt Shoemaker, and he looked way better. Street retired the side with extreme easy, just like in his best Halos outings we've seen, and the Angels got their precious, Flo Rida-influenced victory against the freakin' Twins.
It took them five games to take down the Twinkies, as embarrassing as that sounds. This series and whatever wins they can get are instrumental in proving one thing: that the Twins, NOT the Halos, are the worst team in the AL. It's a battle for king cellar dweller. They did what they had to do tonight, even though it was often ugly, but they still lit up that Halo, praise Flo Rida.