- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 22, 2015

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) - Minnesota Twins starter Kyle Gibson had only himself to blame for a defensive gaffe that led to a five-run rally by the Angels.

The right-hander was charged with six runs and 10 hits in five-plus innings Tuesday night during a 7-0 loss to Los Angeles. The score was 2-0 when Gibson messed up a potential double-play comebacker by Erick Aybar with a poor throw to shortstop Eduardo Escobar after a leadoff infield single by Albert Pujols.

Everyone was safe, the play was scored a fielder’s choice, and Chris Iannetta capped the outburst with a three-run homer off Blaine Boyer. Gibson faced four batters that inning and gave up an RBI single to David Freese before C.J. Cron chased him with another single.

“I got it right back to me and I knew exactly who was covering,” Gibson said. “I knew where Escobar was, and that to get a double play I had to get rid of it. I tried to throw over the base but it sailed to the right on me.”

The Twins lost their third straight after a 7-1 stretch, slipping a season-worst 6 1/2 games behind first-place Kansas City in the AL Central. Gibson (8-7) absorbed his first loss since June 21 after going 4-0 with 1.30 ERA in his previous four starts.

“I didn’t have my best stuff,” he said. “The pitch I needed the most was my glove-side fastball. It had been the pitch the last couple weeks that had been pretty consistent for me and allowed me to work off that. So not having that was tough. I was in and out with command, and sometimes I was just missing. It wasn’t my sharpest but I also had a chance to get out of that inning and give the team a chance to come back, but I just didn’t get it done.”

Matt Shoemaker (5-7) threw six innings of two-hit ball for his first home win of the season in nine tries. He tied a career high with 10 strikeouts.

“Shoemaker was good. We took strikes and swung at balls, for the most part,” Twins manager Paul Molitor said. “We kept expanding the zone. His splitter was good, and our guys weren’t picking it up.”

The Angels have won a season-best six straight and 12 of 14. They were coming off a four-game sweep of Boston that included two shutouts.

Shoemaker’s biggest out came in the sixth, when he fanned cleanup hitter Trevor Plouffe with two on to preserve a 2-0 lead.

“He’s a good hitter. And if you elevate the ball, he can get to it. So we just tried to attack him low in the zone,” Shoemaker said.

Shoemaker yielded a leadoff single in the fifth to Eduardo Nunez and a two-out single by Joe Mauer in the sixth before coming out after 88 pitches. The right-hander was 0-3 with a 4.67 ERA in his previous five starts.

Star center fielder Mike Trout, the only player to appear in each of the Angels’ first 92 games, was scratched because of a sore left heel that bothered him from the moment he woke up and started walking on it.

The reigning AL MVP, hitting .307 with 28 homers and 57 RBIs, got some treatment at the ballpark and said he expected to be back in the lineup Wednesday night.

“You can’t replace Trout. He’s the best player in the game. Overall, he’s one of the best players of a generation. So you can’t say enough about him,” Iannetta said. “But we’ve got a really good offensive team, and everyone can help pick up a little bit of the slack and contribute to get wins. That’s what we did tonight.”

The Angels scored in the second and third, but ran themselves into the third out both times after a run crossed the plate. Daniel Robertson, starting in center field in place of Trout, was picked off first base by Gibson to end the fifth with Pujols, the major league home run leader, at the plate.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Twins: Rookie INF Miguel Sano, a designated hitter in 12 of the 13 games he has started in the big leagues, is expected back in the lineup Wednesday night after missing his second straight game because of a sprained right ankle. He was injured stepping on a baseball while taking fielding drills at first base during the series in Oakland.

Angels: RHP Jered Weaver threw 60 pitches over four innings in a simulated game, the next step in his recovery from inflammation in his left hip.

UP NEXT

Twins: RHP Mike Pelfrey (5-6) will make his fifth career start against the Angels and first in almost two years. Pelfrey has made 200 big league starts without pitching a shutout.

Angels: LHP C.J. Wilson (7-7) threw eight scoreless innings last Friday in a no-decision against Boston. He is 5-0 in his last six starts against Minnesota, despite a 5.15 ERA in those games.

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