CM – Griffin Canning allows Grand Slam, Angels split double headers with twins

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A fan covers her head as the Angels ‘Taylor Ward attempts to catch a rotten ball struck by the Twins’ Rob Refsnyder during the third innings of Thursday’s double header game at Angel Stadium. (AP Photo / Jae C. Hong)

Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Griffin Canning throws at a Minnesota Twins batsman during the first inning of a double header’s second baseball game on Thursday, May 20, 2021 in Anaheim, California. (AP Photo / Jae C. Hong)

Miguel Sano of the Minnesota Twins beats the Los Angeles Angels in the first inning of the second double header baseball game on Thursday, May 20, 2021 in Anaheim, California. (AP Photo / Jae C. Hong)

ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA – MAY 20: Miguel Sano # 22 of the Minnesota Twins celebrates his Grand Slam home run in the first inning during the second game of a double header against the Los Angeles Angels at Angel Stadium in Anaheim on May 20, 2021 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Meg Oliphant / Getty Images)

Angel’s starting pitcher Griffin Canning adjusts his cap during the first inning of the second double-header baseball game against the Twins on Thursday at Angel Stadium. After three strong performances in a row, Canning lasted only two innings with a 6-3 defeat. He went with four people and gave Miguel Sanó a grand slam as part of an exhausting 68-pitch performance. (AP Photo / Jae C. Hong)

Miguel Sano (22) of Minnesota Twins is led by Josh Donaldson (20), Max Kepler (26), Jorge Polanco (11) and Trevor Larnach (24) after his Grand Slam against the Los Angeles Angels in the first inning of the Second complimented double header baseball game Thursday, May 20, 2021 in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo / Jae C. Hong)

Minnesota Twins pitcher Jose Berrios throws at a Los Angeles Angels batsman during the first innings of a second baseball game of a double header on Thursday, May 20, 2021 in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo / Jae C. Hong)

Shohei Ohtani of Los Angeles Angels of Japan watches from the dugout the second inning of a double header’s second baseball game against the Minnesota Twins on Thursday, May 20, 2021 in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo / Jae C.). Hong)

ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA – MAY 20: Shohei Ohtani # 17 of the Los Angeles Angels reacts to bat against the Minnesota Twins during the second game of a double at Anaheim Angel Stadium on May 20, 2021 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Meg Oliphant / Getty Images)

Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani takes off his helmet as he walks into the dugout after beating Minnesota in the first inning of a double-header baseball game on Thursday, May 20, 2021 in Anaheim, California Twins fought. (AP Photo / Jae C. Hong)

ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA – MAY 20: Jose Berrios # 17 of the Minnesota Twins faces the Los Angeles Angels during the second game of a double at Anaheim Angel Stadium on May 20, 2021 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Meg Oliphant / Getty Images)

Los Angeles Angels’ Jose Rojas (left) is congratulated by Shohei Ohtani after taking a home run against the Minnesota Twins in the first inning of a double header’s second baseball game on Thursday, May 20, 2021 in Anaheim, Calif graduated (AP Photo) / Jae C. Hong)

ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA – MAY 20: Jose Rojas # 18 of the Los Angeles Angels celebrates his homerun in the first inning against the Minnesota Twins during the second game of a double at Anaheim Angel Stadium on May 20, 2021 in Anaheim, California . (Photo by Meg Oliphant / Getty Images)

Taylor Ward of Los Angeles Angels faces a single by Drew Butera during the second innings of a double header’s second baseball game against the Minnesota Twins on Thursday, May 20, 2021 in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo / Jae C. Hong ))

Juan Lagares of the Los Angeles Angels catches a fly ball hit by Rob Refsnyder of the Minnesota Twins during the third inning of the second double header baseball game on Thursday May 20, 2021 in Anaheim, California. (AP Photo / Jae C. Hong)

ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA – MAY 20: Hunter Strickland # 60 of the Los Angeles Angels pitches against the Minnesota Twins during the second game of a doubles player at Anaheim Angel Stadium on May 20, 2021 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Meg Oliphant / Getty Images)

Mitch Garver of the Minnesota Twins faces a home run against the Los Angeles Angels in the third inning of a double header’s second baseball game on Thursday, May 20, 2021 in Anaheim, California. (AP Photo / Jae C. Hong)

ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA – MAY 20: José Suarez # 54 of the Los Angeles Angels pitches against the Minnesota Twins during the second game of a double at Anaheim Angel Stadium on May 20, 2021 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Meg Oliphant / Getty Images)

Shohei Ohtani of Los Angeles Angels (left) of Japan shares a light moment with David Fletcher during the sixth innings of the second double header baseball game against the Minnesota Twins on Thursday, May 20, 2021, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP ) Photo / Jae C. Hong)

ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA – MAY 20: Trevor Larnach # 24 of the Minnesota Twins celebrates his home run in the seventh inning against the Los Angeles Angels during the second game of a double at Anaheim Angel Stadium on May 20, 2021 in Anaheim, California . (Photo by Meg Oliphant / Getty Images)

ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA – MAY 20: Shohei Ohtani # 17 of the Los Angeles Angels hits against the Minnesota Twins during the second game of a double at Anaheim Angel Stadium on May 20, 2021 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Meg Oliphant / Getty Images)

ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA – MAY 20: Fans grab a foul ball during the second game of a double between the Los Angeles Angels and the Minnesota Twins at Angel Stadium in Anaheim on May 20, 2021 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Meg Oliphant / Getty Images)

Los Angeles Angels’ Justin Upton tosses his helmet after scoring a goal in the sixth inning of a double-header’s second baseball game against the Minnesota Twins on Thursday, May 20, 2021 in Anaheim, California. The Twins won 6-3. (AP Photo / Jae C. Hong)

ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA – MAY 20: Justin Upton # 10 of the Los Angeles Angels reacts after beating the Minnesota Twins during the second game of a double at Anaheim Angel Stadium on May 20, 2021 in Anaheim, California has been. (Photo by Meg Oliphant / Getty Images)

ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA – MAY 20: Hansel Robles # 57 of the Minnesota Twins faces the Los Angeles Angels during the second game of a double at Anaheim Angel Stadium on May 20, 2021 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Meg Oliphant / Getty Images)

ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA – MAY 20: Juan Lagares # 19 of the Los Angeles Angels knocks out in the seventh inning against the Minnesota Twins during the second game of a double at Anaheim Angel Stadium on May 20, 2021 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Meg Oliphant / Getty Images)

ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA – MAY 20: Luis Arraez # 2, Willians Astudillo # 64 and Miguel Sano # 22 of the Minnesota Twins celebrate their win over the Los Angeles Angels during a double player’s second game at Anaheim’s Angel Stadium on May 20 May 2021 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Meg Oliphant / Getty Images)

ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA – MAY 20: Fans react after catching a foul ball during a doubles second game between the Los Angeles Angels and the Minnesota Twins at Angel Stadium, Anaheim on May 20, 2021 in Anaheim, California . (Photo by Meg Oliphant / Getty Images)

ANAHEIM – Griffin Canning’s encouraging work suddenly ended on Thursday.

After three strong performances in a row, Canning held out just two innings in the Angels’ 6-3 defeat by the Minnesota Twins in the second of two seven-inning games.

Canning went four and gave Miguel Sanó a grand slam as part of a grueling 68-pitch performance.

This was in sharp contrast to Alex Cobb, who only needed 57 pitches to score five innings in the Angels 7-1 win in the first game of the double header.

The split prevented the angels from generating momentum as they tried to turn their season around.

Bad pitching was high on her list of problems. Manager Joe Maddon has often said that they won’t win until their pitching stabilizes.

Sure enough, they won when they got off to a good start and lost when they didn’t.

Canning’s performance was particularly disappointing, having allowed only three deserved runs in 17 innings in his last three games. This included an impressive game against the Boston Red Sox in Fenway Park last weekend.

This one was ugly from the start. He struggled with command and control during his brief afternoon.

Maddon said he actually thought Canning had good stuff, but he wasn’t throwing his fastball enough.

« He had really good things, » said Maddon. “That was an ace today. He just got off his fastball in the first inning. I thought he was too busy with the change and other pitches. We got the momentum back and that was the hard part, especially on a night where I saw the top couple of seats and thought he had a chance to play a full game.  »

Canning said he didn’t feel like he was in command of his fastball, so he started throwing it less. In the first inning, he ran into problems with fastballs that were out of the zone and fastballs that were too far in the zone.

In the first inning he went to Josh Donaldson, gave a double on the right field line to Max Kepler, followed by a walk to Jorge Polanco.

Canning beat Sanó 2-1, but threw him a fastball that caught too much of the inner half of the plate, and Sanó threw him over the left field fence for a Grand Slam.

Canning went two more in the second and reloaded the bases, but escaped by putting Polanco on a flyout.

At that point, the Angels followed 4-1 and José Suarez warmed up to enter, but the Angels then came back into the game with two runs – on Taylor Ward’s RBI double and a Drew Butera single. Maddon then changed course and brought in Hunter Strickland, a higher leverage reliever, instead.

Strickland gave up a home run on Mitch Garver, whose drive hit the left field pole, and the rest of the Angels’ bullpen held the twins there.

The angels couldn’t get anything else against Gemini all-star José Berrio. After Butera’s single, Berrios pulled back the last 11 hits before giving in to the bullpen.

« I didn’t know it was so bleak, » said Maddon. “You threw well towards the end of the game. Berrios is one of the better young pitchers in the game.  »

The second game loss weighed on a day that started so well that Cobb returned from the injured list to win one of his best games of the season.

Cobb had missed a little over two weeks with a bladder problem, however, so Maddon pulled him when he started developing a bladder in the same spot.

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« I didn’t mean to push it at this point, » said Maddon. “I looked at it. This is one of the things that we need to watch closely. Another part of the year and different circumstances, he might have gone at least one more. He finished really strong. But with a fresh bullpen and a seven innings game, there was no point (leaving him in).  »

In the first two innings, Cobb got into trouble and gave up four hits. A double game helped him escape the damage in the first. In the second round, the twins put two gentle hits in one run with a sacrificial fly.

« I thought he was getting better, » said Maddon. “He hit 94 in his last inning. He had a really good breakup and put some nice curveballs in there.  »

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