Jeffers and Ryan lead AL Central champion Twins to 9-3 win over Angels

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Monday, September 25, 2023

MINNEAPOLIS -- - Ryan Jeffers homered, tripled and drove in three runs to back a strong outing by Joe Ryan on Sunday as the Minnesota Twins pulled away late for a 9-3 win over the Los Angeles Angels.

After a 50-minute rain delay, Jeffers and Max Kepler each hit a two-run homer in the seventh inning to help the Twins expand a one-run lead.

Jorge Polanco also went deep, Matt Wallner reached base four times and scored twice, and Trevor Larnach had two RBI as Minnesota posted its first victory since clinching the AL Central title by beating the Angels on Friday night.

"I think just having our offense keep rolling is always fun. It's nice to have a little bit longer between innings than the last couple," said Ryan, whose teammates totaled four runs over his previous five starts while he was in the game.

Brandon Drury drove in two runs and Zach Neto had two hits and an RBI for the Angels, who have lost nine of 11.

Los Angeles reliever Carson Fulmer (0-1), making his first major league appearance since 2021, allowed three runs over four innings to take the loss.

Ryan (11-10) tied Pablo López for the team lead in wins. He pitched six innings, giving up three runs on seven hits with no walks and 10 strikeouts - one shy of his career high. It was the sixth time Ryan fanned 10 batters this seasons. And he finished his start with a flourish, striking out the side in the sixth.

"I think we saw a little bit of everything with Joe today," Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said. "I think we saw some good stuff. Actually, at the end of the outing, he looked really good."

Drury's two-run double put the Angels on top 2-1 in the third, but Polanco tied it in the bottom half with his 14th homer of the season.


The game was paused due to showers that began at the end of the sixth inning. During the break, the videoboard aired the last five minutes of the Vikings-Chargers NFL game being played on the opposite side of downtown Minneapolis.


The Twins were back on the field Saturday afternoon, roughly 15 hours after they celebrated clinching their division. Not surprisingly, they managed just five hits in a 1-0 loss. However, Baldelli was happy the recovery period was a short one.

"I think our guys have continued to focus well," he said. "With some of them, you want to keep an eye on them for a day or two after that clinch celebration. I think we're on the other side of that now and we got some good performances today."


Angels: LHP Tyler Anderson (left knee) was placed on the 15-day injured list, while 1B C.J. Cron (lower back) went on the 10-day IL. Both moves were retroactive to Sept. 21. They were replaced on the big league roster by Fulmer and infielder Mike Moustakas.

Twins: RHP Chris Paddack was reinstated from the 60-day injured list. Paddack is returning from Tommy John surgery that ended his 2022 season after just five starts. In a corresponding move, RHP Josh Winder was optioned to Triple-A St. Paul.


Paddack warmed up and was about to enter the game in the seventh when the rain hit. Following the delay, the Twins sent Louie Varland to the mound instead.

"I kind of put it on me a little bit and said, 'I'm not pitching you. I will not feel good about this being your first outing back under these circumstances,'" Baldelli said. "He was hot and ready to go. ... His body, I think, was telling him (to) pitch, and his heart, probably. But once he was inside sitting on my couch with his jacket still pulled over his arm, I think he understood upstairs that the right thing to do was to reset for a couple of days."


Angels: LHP Patrick Sandoval (7-2, 4.19 ERA) takes the mound Monday night as the Angels open a three-game home series against the first-place Rangers.

Twins: RHP Bailey Ober (7-6, 3.66) gets the nod Tuesday night as the Twins begin their final home series of the year, a three-game set against the A's.



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