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OC Register: Angels beat Twins 1-0 behind some slick defense


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MINNEAPOLIS — Score a victory for the Angels’ defense.

The Angels beat the Minnesota Twins 1-0 on Saturday afternoon, thanks to a handful of impressive defensive plays.

Shortstop David Fletcher and second baseman Michael Stefanic combined for a pair of double plays, including a spectacular turn in the eighth inning. Fletcher also made a diving stop of a sharp grounder in the third inning.

Center fielder Jo Adell, who produced the only run with a 428-foot homer, also made a leaping catch at the fence in the sixth inning. (Adell also misplayed a catchable ball into a single earlier in the game.)

Right fielder Jared Walsh leapt at the warning track to make a play in the fourth.

The glove work helped Kenny Rosenberg get through the first five innings, followed by one-inning outings from Jimmy Herget, Ben Joyce, José Soriano and Carlos Estévez.

Soriano was on the mound in the eighth when Fletcher and Stefanic made the play of the game. Edoard Julien hit a 106-mph one-hopper back through the middle. Fletcher, who was shading toward the bag, snagged it and flipped the ball backward to Stefanic. He made a bare-hand grab and then threw it to first to retire the side.

Fletcher’s defense has always been a strength, but Stefanic has not been known for his work in the field. In the past week, though, he’s made several tough plays, including a diving stop at third base earlier this week in Tampa.

The defense helped Rosenberg pick up the victory with his best outing of the season. He gave up five singles and two walks to a Twins team that was resting a few of its key players the day after clinching the division.

Rosenberg has been the Angels’ starter or bulk pitcher five times this season, and he’s lasted five innings or more each time. This, however, was the first time that he’s been so effective. He came into the game with a 5.48 ERA.

Rookie first baseman Nolan Schanuel reached base on an eighth-inning infield single, stretching his on-base streak to 26 games, an ongoing franchise record to start a big-league career.

More to come on this story.

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