Angels beat Twins 5-2 for 7th straight win
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) Huston Street had to wait two weeks between his 299th and 300th saves, partly because of a minor groin injury and partly because of the All-Star break.
But mostly because his Los Angeles Angels have been so good that they barely needed their closer during a spectacular July.
Street became the 27th pitcher to record 300 career saves, Kole Calhoun had three hits and drove in two runs, and the Angels beat the Minnesota Twins 5-2 on Wednesday night for their seventh straight victory.
Angel Stadium set off a fireworks display when Street retired Trevor Plouffe on a grounder back to the mound to end Los Angeles' 17th win in 20 games. The 31-year-old Street became the second-youngest closer to hit the milestone, behind former Angels closer Francisco Rodriguez.
''More than anything, what I appreciate about it is you know all the work you put in, but you also know how many good teammates you've played with,'' Street said. ''I've pitched in a bunch of great bullpens. There's eight innings of winning baseball that has to be played before I even take the mound, and I always just approached my job as I'm just one guy trying to make one pitch at a time.''
Street hadn't earned a save since July 8, but he allowed just one walk in the ninth while picking up his 25th save of the season.
''This number is motivating for me,'' Street said while his sons, Ripken and Ryder, shared a chair and mostly stayed quiet next to him. ''It definitely is substantial when you look at the history of the game, how many people have done it. At the same time, I'm 31 years old, I believe I'm in an organization that has a chance to win this year, the next year and a lot more after that.''
The Angels are doing a lot of it lately. Chris Iannetta homered and Albert Pujols had an RBI double for the Angels (54-40), who have won 13 of 15 while streaking to the top of the AL West.
Johnny Giavotella had three hits and scored three runs for the Angels, who briefly trailed for the first time during their streak in the third inning - but reclaimed the lead later in the inning.
''For the most part, we had good clutch hitting,'' manager Mike Scioscia said. ''We were able to get a big enough gap and hold on.''
Not everything went well, however: Third baseman David Freese is out for at least two weeks after his right index finger was broken by an inside pitch in the fourth from Mike Pelfrey.
Brian Dozier had an early two-run single for the Twins, who have lost four straight.
Pelfrey (5-7) pitched six innings of nine-hit ball for the Twins in his fifth consecutive loss, extending a seven-start winless skid since June 7.
C.J. Wilson (8-7) yielded six hits and two walks while persevering through five innings.
''We wanted to get his pitch count up,'' outfielder Torii Hunter said of his former Angels teammate. ''C.J.'s stuff is good, and he's kind of effectively wild. But when he's on, you're in trouble.''
Minnesota left seven runners on base in a frustrating three-inning stretch against Wilson, who got Eddie Rosario on a grounder to escape a bases-loaded jam with his 105th pitch in the fifth. Four relievers finished up with scoreless innings, stranding four more runners.
''We couldn't keep the leadoff man off base,'' Minnesota manager Paul Molitor said. ''It seemed like every inning you're playing defense under pressure. We had a chance to make a few plays, but we didn't. They're a very opportunistic team and they're taking advantage of it right now.''
Mike Trout went 0 for 4, starting as the Angels' DH before taking over in center field for the seventh. The AL MVP sat out his first game of the season Tuesday with a sore left heel.
Twins: Rookie DH Miguel Sano went 0 for 3 with two walks in his return from a two-game absence with a sprained right ankle.
Angels: RHP Jered Weaver isn't quite ready to return from an injured left hip that has kept him out since June 21. He plans to throw another simulated game or make a minor-league start first.
Twins: Ervin Santana (1-0, 3.66 ERA) faces his longtime Angels teammates in just his fourth start of the season.
Angels: Garrett Richards (10-6, 3.24 ERA) has ramped up to last season's near-unhittable form, capped by a shutout of Boston in his last start.