Liriano solid as Twins beat Angels 

Liriano solid as Twins beat Angels

Francisco Liriano gave up just one hit in six stellar innings, as the Minnesota Twins avoided a sweep with a 7-1 win over the LA Angels of Anaheim in the final installment of a three-game series at Angel Stadium.

The 22-year-old Liriano (4-0) struck out four and walked four and was not threatened until his final inning of work. It was his third straight victory since being inserted into the starting rotation on May 19. The lone blemish came on an infield hit in the sixth by Orlando Cabrera, who was ruled to have beaten third baseman Tony Batista's throw even though replays seemed to indicate otherwise. "I was able to hit my spots," Liriano said. "My fastball was moving a little too much and I walked a few, but I had good defense behind me." Joe Mauer finished 3-for-5 with two RBI and a run scored for Minnesota, which entered this series fresh off a sweep of Seattle. Torii Hunter and Batista also knocked in a pair of runs in the win. Ervin Santana (4-3) suffered the loss after allowing four runs -- three earned -- on nine hits over seven innings. Juan Rivera scored the lone run for the Angels, who have still won six of their last eight contests. The Twins put up three runs during their first at-bat to take immediate control. After Lew Ford and Luis Castillo opened the game with back-to-back singles, Mauer roped a double to center that plated both base runners. Mauer advanced to third on a missed catch error by catcher Jose Molina on the play, then scored on Hunter's sacrifice fly. Minnesota took advantage of another Angel miscue to extend the lead to 4-0 in the third. Ford reached on a fielding error by third baseman Robb Quinlan to start the frame, and was forced out at second on a Castillo ground ball. Castillo, though, moved to second on Mauer's single and then came in on a base hit by Hunter. Anaheim threatened in the sixth, but Liriano wiggled out of trouble. Molina led off with a walk, then after Chone Figgins struck out, Cabrera hit his questionable infield single. Liriano then unleashed a wild pitch that allowed the runners to advance, but rebounded to fan Garret Anderson before Vladimir Guerrero flied out to left. "This young guy pitched his butt off, everything was working," Hunter said. "When you get Guerrero off-balance, you're doing pretty good." The Angels finally got on the board in the seventh, as Rivera hit a two-out double and scored on a throwing error by shortstop Nick Punto to make it 4-1. They tried to mount a rally in the eighth, but two outstanding catches in the outfield squashed the charge. With Figgins on first, Cabrera hit a shot to shallow center that Hunter ran in and snagged before it hit the ground. Anderson followed with a deep fly ball to right that seemed like a sure-fire double, but Ford leapt up and made a spectacular play against the wall before doubling-up Figgins, who expected the ball to drop and was already heading toward third. Batista then hit a two-run double in the ninth and came in on Punto's single to cap the scoring. Game Notes Cabrera has now reached base safely in a career-high 32 straight games for the longest active streak in the majors...The Angels had won the previous three contests against the Twins...Mauer has a 10-game hitting streak.

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