Angels vs. Twins: Minnesota Aims for First Series Win of the 2012 Season

The Los Angeles Angels (2-3) and Minnesota Twins (1-4) will close out a three-game American League series on Thursday afternoon inside Target Field

Los Angeles Angels at Minnesota Twins  

The Minnesota Twins picked up their first win of the 2012 season last night against the Los Angeles Angels at Target Field

Los Angeles was unable to hold a two-run lead in dropping a 6-5 road contest to the Minnesota Twins, as the team will try to avoid losing its first two series of the 2011 campaign.  The Angels lost two of three games in their opening home series with the Kansas City Royals last weekend.  It’s still important to note that the squad has won six of the last nine games in this particular series, while going 60-47 since 2000.  Los Angeles is 28-27 in April the last two-plus seasons.

Angels starting pitcher Dan Haren (0-1, 8.44 ERA) only lasted 5 1/3 innings in a 6-3 home loss to the Royals on April 7, surrendering five runs on 11 hits.  The right-hander has the chance to turn things around due to posting a 4-1 mark and 1.23 ERA in seven outings (six starts) in April a year ago.  Haren has registered a winning 4-3 record and 3.29 ERA in nine career starts versus the Twins, but is just 1-1 with a 6.92 ERA in two appearances at today’s venue.

Minnesota picked up its first win in come-from-behind fashion and avoided the potential of starting the season on a five-game losing streak for the first time in franchise history.  “I know these guys really wanted to get past last year,” commented Twins infielder Jamey Carroll.  Coming into last night’s contest, the club was 8-9 against the Angels since the start of the 2010 season, outscoring them by an 81-75 margin.  Minnesota is 25-29 in April games the last two-plus seasons.

Twins starting pitcher Francisco Liriano (0-1, 11.25 ERA) also struggled in his first outing of the season, giving up six runs (five earned) and eight hits in just four innings of work.  The left-hander hasn’t been known for fast starts during his career, registering a 5-12 record and 5.74 ERA in 26 games (18 starts).  Liriano has tallied a losing 1-2 mark and 7.27 ERA in four outings (three starts) versus the Angels in his career.

Bettors will likely back the Angels due to their 7-2 record in Haren’s last nine starts versus AL Central opponents, while the Twins are 1-5 as a home underdog of +110 to +150.

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