Gio Urshela had his 11th home run of the season among his three hits, Tyler Mahle pitched three-hit ball over six innings, and the Minnesota Twins defeated the Los Angeles Angels 4-0 Friday night.
Gilberto Celestino also went deep for the Twins, who had dropped six of their last seven road games.
“When you look up, Gio has a great night, Celestino’s productive; that made the night offensive for us. We’re going to continue to need that from those guys,” manager Rocco Baldelli said. “Different parts of the order will have to contribute, but seeing those guys come up huge, we expect it.”
It was Minnesota’s 10th shutout victory and its first since the nightcap of a doubleheader at Cleveland on June 28. The Twins remained 1 1/2 games behind the Guardians in the AL Central after Cleveland’s 8-0 win at Toronto.
Mahle (6-7), acquired from Cincinnati at the trade deadline, picked up his first win team in the second start as a right-hander who struck out six and walked two. It was the second career start and first won at The Big A for Mahle, who grew up near Newport Beach.
With the Twins playing the Dodgers earlier in the week, Mahle has been able to get the rare chance to spend a week at home during the season.
“It has been a real good week,” he said. “Every game is important right now. I’m just trying to go out and do my job. The team’s right behind me scoring runs, and then the bullpen is shutting them down the next three innings or whatever it may be.”
The Angels returned home from a 5-2 road trip, including a three-game sweep of Oakland, but were blanked for the 11th time this season. David Fletcher had a pair of hits, and Patrick Sandoval suffered his sixth loss in his last seven starts.
“The cutter gave us some fits. The good at-bats we took drove the other way,” interim manager Phil Nevin said. “Patrick was behind the count a lot, pitch count rose, but he got through five. It was 2-0, and we still had a chance to win if we could get something offensively, which we didn’t.”
Urshela scored twice and had his ninth three-hit game of the season. He kept the second inning alive with a two-out base hit before Celestino deposited a slider from Patrick Sandoval into the Twins’ bullpen in left field for his first home run since June 30, 2021.
Urshela extended Minnesota’s lead to 3-0 in the sixth with a solo shot to the left off Mike Mayers.
Luis Arraez added an RBI single in the eighth inning. Sandoval (3-8) started the season 3-1 but has not earned a victory since May 22. He gave up two runs on five hits in five innings with four strikeouts.
The Angels had runners on second and third with two out in the fifth when Taylor Ward hit a long drive to right field, but Minnesota’s Max Kepler caught it on the warning track to end the rally.