Ober stays hot, Santana homers to help Twins beat Angels 5-3 for 5th straight victory

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Bailey Ober learned Friday that the best medicine is not to allow a hit for as long as possible.

Ober took a no-hitter into the sixth inning while fighting through a stomach bug, Carlos Santana homered and the Minnesota Twins extended their winning streak to five games, beating the Los Angeles Angels 5-3.

Santana drove in two runs, while Byron Buxton, Ryan Jeffers and Willi Castro each had an RBI to help the Twins win the opener of a three-game series and a six-game trip.

Ober (2-1) was charged with two runs on three hits over 7 1/3 innings with eight strikeouts to continue his recent domination after he gave up eight runs on nine hits over 1 1/3 innings of his season debut against Kansas City. In his four starts since, Ober has a 1.47 ERA over 24 1/3 innings, while allowing a combined 11 hits.

“I think you kind of relax a little bit,” Ober said about having an illness that forced him to sharpen his focus. “I feel like you take pressure off yourself to perform just because you know you're not feeling great out there and you're not thinking about too much. You're trying to execute pitches and that's about it.”

Left-hander Caleb Thielbar got the final out for his first save of the season and the second of his career.

Patrick Sandoval (1-4) gave up four runs (three earned) over 5 2/3 innings for the Angels, who lost for the seventh time in their last eight games. Nolan Schanuel drove in a pair of runs for Los Angeles and Zach Neto had an RBI.

The Twins took a 1-0 lead in the second inning on Santana’s home run to center field, his second. Buxton made it 2-0 with his RBI single in the third.

With Ober in control, the Twins added a third run in the fifth inning on a Jeffers single and made it 4-0 in the sixth when Santana drove in his second run of the game on a single.

The Angels finally got their first hit when Luis Rengifo hit a blooper to shallow center field just out of the reach of Castro at shortstop. After a double from Neto put two runners aboard, Schanuel ended the shutout bid with his RBI grounder to shortstop.

“Despite all that, we still had ourselves in position to win that game,” Angels manager Ron Washington said. “We just have to get our offense going earlier. It’s the second game in a row we went into the sixth with a no-hitter. But from the sixth to the ninth, we fought.”

Twins manager Rocco Baldelli has been impressed with how Ober has not only turned things around after a clunker in his opener, but continues to pitch at a high level, even with an illness.

“When a guy's sick, you don't know if he's fine, he's going to keel over, or something in between. You just don't know,” Baldelli said. "We kept a close eye on him but man he was direct. He was grabbing the ball, throwing strikes and he had the cutter working pretty good. He looked great. He didn't look sick, that's for sure. He pitched about as well as you can pitch.

Schanuel added an RBI single in the eighth inning before Castro got the run back for the Twins on an RBI double in the ninth. Neto drove in a run for the Angels in the ninth inning.

“We just couldn’t find a way to get on base,” Washington said. "We finally cashed in with Rengifo’s hit and then things started to fall in our favor. But we need to get our offense going earlier.”

Former Twins infielder Miguel Sano started at third base for the Angels and went 0 for 2 with two strikeouts. Before going unsigned and not playing last season, Sano was in Minnesota for eight seasons and hit 162 home runs.

TRAINERS’ ROOM

Twins: RHP Jhoan Duran (oblique) had his second rehab start with Triple-A St. Paul moved back a day because of a rain out. ... RHP Justin Topa (knee) will make his second rehab appearance at St. Paul on Sunday after he had three strikeouts in an inning of work Thursday.

Angels: 3B Anthony Rendon said he has a high-grade partial tear of his left hamstring, with the update coming five days after he was placed on the injured list with a “strain.” It is expected to be a lengthy recovery for Rendon, who has yet to play more than 58 games in any of his previous four seasons with the club, although one of those was the shortened 2020 pandemic season. ... RHP Chase Silseth (elbow) took part in a light throwing session.

UP NEXT

Twins RHP Chris Paddack (1-1, 5.57 ERA) returns to the mound after a 10-strikeout performance against the White Sox on Monday, his most since June of 2021. Angels RHP Jose Soriano (0-3, 3.43 ERA) will make his fourth career start after not giving up an earned run over six innings Sunday against the Reds.

___ AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb