ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Gio Urshela had his 11th home run of the season among his three hits, Tyler Mahle pitched three-hit ball over six innings and the Minnesota Twins defeated the Los Angeles Angels 4-0 Friday night.
Gilberto Celestino also went deep for the Twins, who had dropped six of their last seven road games.
“When you look up, Gio has a great night, Celestino's productive, that's what made the night offensively for us. We're going to continue to need that from those guys,” manager Rocco Baldelli said. “Different parts of the order are going to have to contribute, but seeing those guys come up huge, we're going to expect it.”
It was Minnesota’s 10th shutout victory, and its first since the nightcap of a doubleheader at Cleveland on June 28. The Twins remained 1 1/2 games behind the Guardians in the AL Central after Cleveland's 8-0 win at Toronto.
Mahle (6-7), acquired from Cincinnati at the trade deadline, picked up his first win in the second start for his new team. The right-hander struck out six and walked two. It was the second career start and first win at The Big A for Mahle, who grew up in nearby Newport Beach.
With the Twins playing the Dodgers earlier in the week, Mahle has been able to get the rare chance to spend a week at home during the season.
“It has been a real good week,” he said. “Every game is important right now. I'm just trying to go out and do my job. The team’s right behind me scoring runs and then the bullpen is shutting them down the next three innings or whatever it may be.”
The Angels returned home from a 5-2 road trip, including a three-game sweep of Oakland, but were blanked for the 11th time this season. David Fletcher had a pair of hits and Patrick Sandoval suffered his sixth loss in his last seven starts.
“The cutter gave us some fits. The good at-bats we took we drove the other way,” interim manager Phil Nevin said. “Patrick was behind the count a lot, pitch count rose but he got through five. It was 2-0 and we still had a chance to win if we were able to get something going offensively which we didn't.”
Urshela scored twice and had his ninth three-hit game of the season. He kept the second inning alive with a two-out base hit before Celestino deposited a slider from Patrick Sandoval into the Twins' bullpen in left field for his first home run since June 30, 2021.
“Around the league they know I hit well opposite side so I had to make adjustments. They're pitching me inside and tight, so I have to make that adjustment too and I just pulled the ball,” Celestino said through an interpreter.
Urshela extended Minnesota's lead to 3-0 in the sixth with a solo shot to left off Mike Mayers.
Luis Arraez added an RBI single in the eighth inning.
Sandoval (3-8) started the season 3-1 but has not earned a victory since May 22. He gave up two runs on five hits in five innings with four strikeouts.
The Angels had runners on second and third with two out in the fifth when Taylor Ward hit a long drive to right field, but Minnesota's Max Kepler caught it on the warning track to end the rally.
Angels left fielder Jo Adell has struggled in the outfield, but he prevented a Twins' run in the third inning when he made a perfect throw home to get Sandy Leon out after Jose Miranda's hit.
“It was nice to see he came in and got it,” Nevin said. “With two outs, you can go ahead and let it go all the way home. He made a nice throw to get an out there.”
Angels: CF Mike Trout will hit on the field for the first time on Saturday after hitting off a tee and soft toss in the batting cage for most of the week. The three-time AL MVP said he is on the verge of returning soon, but didn't offer a specific timeframe.
Twins: RHP Dylan Bundy (6-5, 5.01 ERA) pitched for the Angels the last two seasons before signing with Minnesota in the offseason.
Angels: LHP Reid Detmers (4-3, 3.44 ERA) has gone 2-0 with a 1.16 ERA in five starts since his brief stint in the minors.