Scioscia’s Office – Twins @ Angels – 7/23/15 12:35pm Pacific

Twins at Angels

Minnesota Twins (50-44, 2nd AL Central) @ Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (54-40, 1st AL West)

Angel Stadium of Anaheim – Anaheim, CA

Weather Forecast @ 1st Pitch: Sunny, 80F, Wind SW 7mph, 0% Chance of Rain

 Pitching Matchup:

Ervin Santana (1-0, 3.66 ERA)

Ervin Santana delivers a pitch during the first inning of a game against the Oakland Athletics at O.co Coliseum on July 17, 2015 (Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)

Ervin Santana delivers a pitch during the first inning of a game against the Oakland Athletics at O.co Coliseum on July 17, 2015 (Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)

Santana will be making just his 4th start of this, his first season with the Twins after signing a 4-year, $55 million free agent contract with them over the offseason. Unfortunately however, Santana was suspended for 80 games for testing positive for PED’s back on April 3 and had to sit out the first half of the season. Since his return however, Santana has pitched well posting 2 quality starts of the 3 he’s made so far, with the only hiccup coming July 10 against Detroit where he gave up 6 runs on 8 hits in 4 innings. In his last start on July 17, Santana tossed 7 2/3 innings of shutout ball in Oakland to beat the A’s 5-0. This will be Santana’s first return to the Big-A as a visitor after pitching for the Angels from 2005-2012.

~VS~

Garrett Richards (10-6, 3.24 ERA)

Garrett Richards delivers the last pitch of the game during the ninth inning of a game against the Boston Red Sox at Angel Stadium on July 18, 2015. Richards tossed a complete game shutout that night. (Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Garrett Richards delivers the last pitch of the game during the ninth inning of a game against the Boston Red Sox at Angel Stadium on July 18, 2015. Richards tossed a complete game shutout that night. (Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

After struggling a bit to find his consistency early in the season after returning from knee surgery after his devastating injury last August, Richards has certainly rounded into form of late. Since June 11 (7 starts), Richards is 5-2 with a 2.17 ERA over 49 2/3 innings. He is coming off what was by far his best start of the season on Saturday night when he tossed the complete game shutout allowing just 2 hits against the Red Sox in a game the Angels won 3-0.

Game Notes:

  • The Angels’ Mike Trout missed Tuesday’s game with a sore left heel, and started at designated hitter on Wednesday as a precaution before taking over in center field in the seventh inning. He will likely start at center field for Thursday’s series finale.
  • Albert Pujols passed up a scheduled day off Tuesday with Trout out of the lineup and played first base on Wednesday. Manager Mike Scioscia said the team would evaluate whether Pujols needs Thursday off after Wednesday’s game, but at the least Pujols will likely DH.
  • Twins catcher Kurt Suzuki got a routine off-day on Wednesday, and he should return to the lineup for Thursday’s game.

Starting Lineups:

Minnesota:

  1. CF-Aaron Hicks – .262
  2. 2B-Eduardo Nunez – .288
  3. 1B-Joe Mauer – .277
  4. DH-Miguel Sano – .304
  5. 3B-Trevor Plouffe – .253
  6. RF-Eddie Rosario – .272
  7. LF-Shane Robinson – .244
  8. C-Kurt Suzuki – .225
  9. SS-Danny Santana – .227

Angels:

  1. 2B-Johnny Giavotella – .266
  2. RF-Kole Calhoun – .276
  3. CF-Mike Trout – .303
  4. DH-Albert Pujols – .262
  5. SS-Erick Aybar – .289
  6. 1B-C.J. Cron – .277
  7. LF-Matt Joyce – .181
  8. C-Carlos Perez – .221
  9. 3B-Taylor Featherston – .134

AL West Standings:

  1. L.A. Angels – 54-40
  2. Houston – 53-43 – 2 GB
  3. Texas – 45-49 – 9 GB
  4. Oakland – 44-52 – 11 GB
  5. Seattle – 44-53 – 11.5 GB

Other AL West Matchups:

  • Seattle @ Detroit – 10:08am Pacific
  • Toronto @ Oakland – 12:35pm Pacific
  • Boston @ Houston – 5:10pm Pacific
  • Texas – IDLE

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