Angels Give Up Big Lead Before Falling to Twins

For six and a half innings on Thursday, the Angels appeared poised to get back to .500, as they held a five-run lead in Minnesota. But then the bottom of the eighth happened. A seven-run inning from the Twins sent the Angels to another loss, by a final of 11-9.

Dustin Moseley started on the mound for the Angels, and pitched well despite allowing two runs and five hits over the first three innings. He was forced to leave before the fourth with stiffness in his elbow, and was relieved by Justin Speier, who went two scoreless innings and struck out four.

Scioscia should have left him in there.

Howie Kendrick tied the game at two in the fifth, on a single to enter that scored Juan Rivera and Erick Aybar. Maicer Izturis scored Chone Figgins on a ground out to second, and the Angels finished their half of the inning leading for the first time all night at 3-2.

Speier did his job for one more inning, before the rest of the bullpen came in and messed everything up. But that was only after the Angels exploded for five runs in the seventh, behind two RBIs each from Aybar and Kendry Morales, and one from Mike Napoli.

The Angels led 8-3 after their half of the seventh, but the bullpen couldn't come close to holding on for the win.

The bottom of the eighth saw the Twins put up a ridiculous seven runs, which came off of three different Angels pitchers: Arredondo, Shields, and Bulger. By the time it was all over, the Angels' five-run lead had turned into a two-run deficit, and any momentum they had built was long gone.

To make matters worse, the Twins' Jason Kubel hit for the ever-elusive cycle, and became the ninth player in Twins' history to accomplish the feat.

So, Mike Scioscia, besides Speier, what was up with your bullpen?

"We've got some good arms -- they're just not throwing the ball like they can," manager Mike Scioscia said. "They're just not turning the ball loose. We're going to evaluate some things. Guys haven't gotten in sync and turned it loose. We're going to have to make adjustments."

You would think so. The Twins aren't exactly world beaters, and when you have a five-run lead heading into the bottom of the seventh, you've got to be able to hold on for the victory. The Angels' bats did their part in Minnesota on Thursday -- this loss is on the pitching.

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