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Span continues streak as Twins struggle in 4-0 loss to Angels

Span continues streak as Twins struggle in 4-0 loss to Angels Click to Enlarge Photo:

May 2, 2012 at 6:34 am

ANAHEIM, CA. (AP) - Jerome Williams kept throwing strikes and inducing
ground balls until the Minnesota Twins were finally out of outs.

Williams earned his second major league shutout with a three-hitter, leading
the Los Angeles Angels to a 4-0 victory on Tuesday night, holding the Twins to just three singles.

''I just went out there and pitched. That's all I did _ throw strikes and get
people out,'' Williams said. ''I was attacking the zone with first-pitch
strikes. If I get that first pitch over, I have everything to work off of after
that. I also was throwing my cutter and sinker, keeping the ball down and making
those guys hit ground balls. But I didn't realize what was going on until I had
two outs in the ninth.''

Williams (2-1) threw 109 pitches, striking out six and retiring 18 of his last
19 batters to finish in an economical 2 hours, 10 minutes. It was the third
complete game in 81 career starts for the 30-year-old right-hander from
Honolulu.

''We pretty much didn't have much a chance against Mr. Williams out there,''
Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. ''He pretty much ate us up and made quick
work of us. He was throwing a nice little cutter and two-seamer, and he never
really centered the ball. We didn't square up all night long.''

The Angels' No.5 starter faced only one batter over the minimum before walking
Denard Span with two out in the ninth. Alexi Casilla grounded into a double play
after Span opened the game with a single, and Span was picked off first base to
end the third. Span's two hits extended his career-best hitting streak to 12
games.

Torii Hunter homered for the fourth time in five games and Howie Kendrick also
went deep against struggling Francisco Liriano, but Albert Pujols went 0 for 4
with a run-scoring groundout. The three-time NL MVP and two-time home run champ,
who had 445 in his previous 11 seasons with St. Louis and hit a career-best 49
in 2006, has gone a career-worst 31 games and 125 at-bats since his last one on
Sept. 22, 2011.

Liriano (0-4) gave up four runs and seven hits in 5 1-3 innings. The
left-hander surrendered five earned runs in each of his previous five
appearances, including a six-batter relief stint in his final outing of last
season after missing most of the final five weeks with a strain in the back of
his left shoulder.

Liriano has given up 24 earned runs, 32 hits and 16 walks over 21 2-3 innings
in his five starts, along with a 9.97 ERA. He would be 0-5 this year if the
Twins hadn't turned a 6-0 deficit into a 10-9 victory against the Angels on
April 12 at Target Field _ leaving him with a no-decision.

''The result wasn't very good, but I feel like I'm making better pitches than
last time,'' Liriano said. ''I feel more consistent throwing strikes and I think
things are getting better. I made a few adjustments _ but I also made a few
mistakes.''

Hunter, a teammate of Liriano's for three seasons in Minnesota, drove his 1-0
changeup to left-center leading off the second. Two batters later, Kendrick
homered into the left field bullpen on the same count.

''When I was with the Twins, he was throwing 96, 97 with a slider that was
biting. He had a couple of injuries, but he's still bringing it up _ sometimes
to 94 or 95,'' Hunter said. ''But sometimes I think he leaves the ball up, and
that's probably it. Other than the four runs we got, he settled down and kept
the ball down and tried to minimize the damage.''

 

 

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