Watch: Twins turn their first triple play since 2006
ANAHEIM, Calif. — Miguel Sano did more than just club his team-high 13th homer of the season in the top of the second inning Thursday night.
The powerfully built third baseman was nimble enough on his feet to start a 5-4-3 triple play in the fourth inning as the Twins posted a 4-2 comeback victory over the Los Angeles Angels.
— MLB (@MLB) June 2, 2017
And Sano actually predicted the triple play earlier in the day as the Twins (27-23) snapped a four-game losing streak.
“I thought about it before the pitch came,” Sano said, via an interpreter. “I talked to (Adalberto) Mejia about it. It was a perfect pitch. It is awesome to see the team play so hard. It makes you happy.”
The Twins trailed 2-1 entering the ninth inning, but No. 9 hitter Jason Castro, who entered the game batting .215, had a two-run single with the bases loaded and one out to give Minnesota a 3-2 lead. Joe Mauer drew a two-out, bases-loaded walk to give the Twins a 4-2 edge and some insurance.
Angels right fielder Kole Calhoun hit two homers. He put the home team ahead 2-1 with a solo homer off reliever Taylor Rogers in the last of the eighth, but the ninth-inning rally gave Rogers (3-1) the win. Brandon Kintzler pitched the last of the ninth for his 14th save, and starting pitcher Mejia and teammates did not allow Angels slugger Albert Pujols to hit his 600th career homer. Pujols remained at 599 for his career after going 1 for 4.
“I have obviously have my own plan to get him out,” Mejia said through an interpreter.
The Twins’ ninth-inning comeback started when, with one out, Jorge Polanco reached first when his pop up to first was dropped. Polanco nearly ran into first baseman Jefry Marte, who earlier in the game hit into the triple play.
“It was a good ballgame on both sides, not a lot of offense. We got a break” on the dropped pop up, Molitor said. “We found a way to win.”
After Polanco reached, Eddie Rosario doubled to left and Polanco was safe at third after a replay challenge by the Angels. Byron Buxton was walked intentionally to load the bases,and Castro’s single gave Minnesota the lead.
Sano, who had missed the previous two games because of an illness, hit a long homer to center off former Twins prospect Alex Meyer in the second to give the Twins a 1-0 lead.
The Angels tied the score with their own solo homer, as Calhoun went deep with one out in the sixth. Calhoun entered the game hitting .207.
Meyer, in his sixth start of the season, gave up one run and five hits in six innings.
Twins starter Mejia also allowed one run on five hits in six innings. He gave up a leadoff single to Marte in the seventh and was replaced by reliever Tyler Duffey.
Minnesota turned its first triple play since 2006. With runners on first and second and no outs in the fourth, Marte hit a grounder to Sano, who stepped on third to retire Luis Pujols, then threw to second baseman Brian Dozier, who touched second and threw to first to retire Marte.
“When the ball was hit, I thought it was a double play,” Mejia said. “Thanks to Miggy, we had a triple play.”