Twins survive 9th to beat Angels, 8-7

It wasn’t the prettiest at times, but the Minnesota Twins held on in the ninth for an 8-7 win over the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Wednesday for another series win.

The Twins finished a seven-game home stand 4-3 as they travel to face the Seattle Mariners for four games this weekend, then have three against the Angels in Anaheim. The Twins improved to 27-15 and are 4.5 games ahead of the Cleveland Indians in the American League Central Division.

Jake Odorizzi pitched 5 1/3 innings, allowing three earned runs on nine hits while striking out three and walking two. He improved to 6-2 on the season, and pitched 22 straight innings without allowing a run.

“It’s the old cliché, an ugly win is better than a good loss. It really does hold true though. It’s about wins. It’s now how, it’s how many and we have to win these games,” Odorizzi said.

The issue for the Twins was that they needed six relief pitchers to get the last 11 outs. The Angels had the bases loaded, down 8-6, in the ninth inning when Mike Morin hit Mike Trout with a pitch. With the tying run at third and two out, Morin got Shohei Ohtani to ground out to end the game.

The Twins could breathe again. They’re now 15-8 at Target Field this season.

“We’ve faced a little bit of adversity. We’ve played some tough games where there were a lot of difficult situations and I think sometimes when one guy comes through in those types of situations, it gives the guys the confidence the next time around that we’re going to get the job done,” Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said.

Morin was one of six relievers to pitch after Odorizzi exited with one out in the sixth inning. Trevor May allowed one run on two hits in one inning of work. Matt Magill, Ryne Harper and Blake Parker didn’t allow any runs, but Trevor Hildenberger was responsible for the three Angels’ runs in the ninth inning.

He was optioned to Class AAA Rochester after the game. Morin calmed down after hitting Trout to get the save. He also pitched 1/3 of an inning in Tuesday night’s win.

“Just the confidence within the bullpen. The fact that Rocco put me out there last night, that made me more confident in pitching today,” Morin said. “It’s pretty cool that you show up and 1-25, everyone has a chance to make an impact.”

Minnesota’s offense also helped hide some of the shortcomings on the mound.

Ehire Adrianza delivered a two-run double, and Jason Castro and Byron Buxton each hit two-run homers in the win. It was Castro’s sixth homer, and Buxton’s second.

Eddie Rosario added an RBI double in the win. Buxton continues his hot start, hitting .278 in 39 games with an AL-best 18 doubles and 16 RBI.

After 42 games, the Twins remain one of the hottest teams in baseball.