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OC Register: Angels lose to Minnesota Twins in series finale, ending six-game winning streak


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  • Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols hits a two-run RBI against the Minnesota Twins in the first inning of a baseball game Sunday, June 10, 2018, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Andy Clayton-King)

    Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols hits a two-run RBI against the Minnesota Twins in the first inning of a baseball game Sunday, June 10, 2018, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Andy Clayton-King)

  • Minnesota Twins Logan Morrison (99) celebrates with teammate Miguel Sano after hitting a two-run home run against the Los Angeles Angels in the first inning of a baseball game Sunday, June 10, 2018, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Andy Clayton-King)

    Minnesota Twins Logan Morrison (99) celebrates with teammate Miguel Sano after hitting a two-run home run against the Los Angeles Angels in the first inning of a baseball game Sunday, June 10, 2018, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Andy Clayton-King)

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  • Minnesota Twins pitcher Fernando Romero throws against the Los Angeles Angels in the first inning of a baseball game Sunday, June 10, 2018, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Andy Clayton-King)

    Minnesota Twins pitcher Fernando Romero throws against the Los Angeles Angels in the first inning of a baseball game Sunday, June 10, 2018, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Andy Clayton-King)

  • Los Angeles Angels pitcher Nick Tropeano throws to the Minnesota Twins in the first inning of a baseball game Sunday, June 10, 2018, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Andy Clayton-King)

    Los Angeles Angels pitcher Nick Tropeano throws to the Minnesota Twins in the first inning of a baseball game Sunday, June 10, 2018, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Andy Clayton-King)

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MINNEAPOLIS – Manager Mike Scioscia needed one word Saturday to identify which aspect of the Angels’ six-game winning streak made him proudest: Pitching.

On Sunday, starting pitcher Nick Tropeano did not make it out of the fifth inning. The Minnesota Twins’ moribund offense erupted for seven runs, and the Angels’ streak came to a predictable end in a 7-5 loss.

Former Angels pitcher Fernando Rodney made it interesting in the ninth inning. The Twins’ closer allowed a two-run single by Albert Pujols, whose three RBIs allowed him to pass Stan Musial for sole possession of sixth place in the all-time record book.

Rodney then walked Luis Valbuena, bringing Zack Cozart to the plate as the potential game-winning run. But when Cozart’s flare into shallow center field landed in the glove of second baseman Eduardo Escobar, the game was over and the Angels were denied a series sweep.

The Angels (37-28) dropped a game in the American League West standings, and now trail the first-place Seattle Mariners (41-24) by 4 1/2 games.

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Tropeano (3-4) was charged with five runs in 4 1/3 innings before the announced crowd of 28,656. In two June starts, the right-hander has allowed 10 runs in only nine innings. His ERA has risen from 3.80 to 4.83.

The Angels struck first Sunday. Ian Kinsler led off the game with a walk, went to second on a wild pitch by Twins starter Fernando Romero (3-2), took third base on a passed ball, and scored on a two-out single by Pujols.

In the bottom of the first inning, Minnesota took a 2-1 lead when Tropeano walked Eddie Rosario and Logan Morrison hit a home run. Tropeano retired the next 10 batters in a row.

Meanwhile, the Angels stranded runners on second and third base when Mike Trout lined out to Morrison to end the second inning. The fortuitous first baseman was shifted a good 40 feet off the line.

In the fourth inning, the Angels took a brief lead.

Cozart was drilled in the back by a Romero slider, then scored on a double by Jose Fernandez. Fernandez has hit safely in each of his first three major league games, including doubles down the right- and left-field lines in his first two at-bats Sunday. He was on third base when Chris Young hit a long line drive into center field, deep enough for Fernandez to tag up and score the go-ahead run.

Still trailing 3-2 in the fifth inning, the Twins rallied. Mitch Garver doubled and scored on a single by Jake Cave. Tied 3-3, Ehire Adrianza tripled and Cave scored the go-ahead run. Tropeano walked Robbie Grossman on his 66th and final pitch of the game, and was relieved by Cam Bedrosian.

Bedrosian struck out Rosario but the next batter, Escobar, drilled a slider down the right-field line. Adrianza trotted home and the Twins led 5-3.

Minnesota scored a couple insurance runs in the sixth inning when Cave blasted a two-run home run to center field off Jim Johnson.

The Angels begin a three-game series in Seattle on Monday.

More to come on this story.

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