Minneapolis, MN (Sports Network) - Erick Aybar went 3-for-5 with three RBI and two runs scored as the LA Angels of Anaheim took a 6-5 win over the Minnesota Twins in the finale of a three-game set. Mark Trumbo added a solo home run while Jeff Mathis had two this and scored twice for the Angels, who won two of three in the set. Dan Haren (5-3) got the win as he was charged with just three runs on 10 hits over six-plus innings.
"We have to play better with the lead cause it got close there at the end," said Mathis. "We didn't plan it this way and it's nice to get the win, but we have to execute better late in games." Denard Span went 3-for-5 with an RBI and two runs scored while Justin Morneau added three hits and two RBI for the Twins, who have lost seven of their last nine. Carl Pavano (2-5) remained a win shy of 100 as he took the loss for giving up five runs -- four earned -- on 10 hits over eight innings.
"It's frustrating out there but it is what it is," said Span. "We're in this situation right now and we have to try and dig ourselves out. If we keep playing hard and doing what we did today and keep fighting we'll get back in it." Holding a three-run lead to start the bottom of the ninth, the Angels turned to Jordan Walden to close the game, but he nearly blew it.
A walk to Matt Tolbert started the inning and Trevor Plouffe flied out to shallow right. After Tolbert stole second, Span punched a single to center to make it a two-run game. Alexi Casilla followed with a walk then Jason Kubel struck out for the second out of the inning.
Morneau made it a 6-5 game when his single to center plated Span and put the tying run on third, but Michael Cuddyer flied out and Walden picked up his 12th save of the season.
The Twins took the early lead in the game when Span led off with a double, moved to third on a sac bunt from Casilla and crossed the plate on a Kubel single.
However, the Angels took the lead in the third. With one on and one out, Mathis laid down a bunt that saw Danny Valencia throw the ball away to put runners on the corners. After a fly out, Aybar tripled to bring home two. Bobby Abreu then reached base and scored Aybar when his grounder to short saw a poor throw from Plouffe give the team a 3-1 lead.
Minnesota got one back in the third on a Morneau RBI single that brought home Casilla, who hit a one-out single and stole second, to make it a 3-2 game.
However, the Angels padded their lead in the fifth when Mathis led off with a single, stole second and came home on an Aybar single to make it a 4-2 contest.
The seventh saw Minnesota put its first two runners on base and chase Haren from the game. Scott Downs took the mound and got Casilla to groundout, but it scored a run. After Kubel singled, Morneau hit into a 6-3 double play to end the frame.
The Angels quickly got the run back when Aybar led off the eighth with a single and came home on an Abreu double for a 5-3 lead.
After Fernando Rodney set the Twins down in order in the eighth, Trumbo gave the Angels an extra run with a solo shot to leadoff the ninth.
The Angels play three in Kansas City starting on Monday...Minnesota starts a 10-game road trip in Detroit on Monday...Minnesota left nine men on base.
Today's 11:10 a.m. PDT game will be televised by Fox Sports West. For more news and information on today's game, or on the Angels, be sure to read the SB Nation blog Halos Heaven.