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American League Preview from The Sports Network



Monday, April 30th (All times Eastern)

Minnesota Twins (6-15) at LA Angels of Anaheim (7-15), 10:05 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: Minnesota - Nick Blackburn (0-2, 7.53) LA Angels - C.J. Wilson (2-2, 2.42)

(Sports Network) - C.J. Wilson tries to avoid a third straight loss this evening when the struggling Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim welcome the Minnesota Twins to Angel Stadium.

After winning his first two starts with the Angels, Wilson has been the victim of poor run support his last two times out, as he only allowed five runs in 13 innings, but lost both times.

Wilson fell to Tampa Bay on Wednesday and surrendered two runs and six hits in seven innings. He also struck out 11 in the 3-2 loss.

"You can't cry about what you don't have," said Wilson. "You have to be realistic, and right now, in all facets of the game, there's something we can improve on as a team."

One of his two wins this season came against Minnesota. He is just 3-3 lifetime against the Twins, though, with a 4.32 ERA in 23 games (six starts).

Wilson will be trying to help an Angels team that returns home tonight after a miserable 1-5 road trip that dropped them to 7-15 overall on the season. Los Angeles closed its trek in disappointing fashion on Sunday, falling 4-0 to the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field.

Kendrys Morales had two of the three hits for the Angels, who have lost six of their last seven games. They have won just one of their seven series this year.

Albert Pujols continued his struggles at the plate. He went 0-for-4 and is batting just .216. The three-time National League MVP has still yet to homer with his new club.

Minnesota, meanwhile, snapped a six-game losing streak on Sunday, as Josh Willingham went 3-for-5 with a two-run triple and two runs scored to lead the Twins past the Kansas City Royals, 7-4, in the finale of a rain-shortened two- game series at Target Field.

Jason Marquis (2-0) worked six effective innings, giving up three runs on six hits and no walks while fanning one. Jared Burton and Glen Perkins tossed scoreless seventh and eighth innings, respectively, and Matt Capps gave up a run in the ninth, but survived to close it out for the Twins.

"I just tried to attack the strike zone and get early outs," Marquis said. "They were aggressive, so if you execute your pitches, you'll get a lot of quick outs."

Heading to the hill for the Twins tonight will be lefty Nick Blackburn, who lost to Wilson and the Halos in that April 9 contest. Blackburn gave up five runs in six innings in that one and was even worse his last time out against Boston on Tuesday when he was battered for five runs in only three frames to fall to 0-2 on the year to go along with a 7.53 ERA.

Blackburn is just 1-4 lifetime versus the Angels with a 5.71 ERA.

Minnesota took two of three from the Angels earlier in the year after LA captured six of the nine meetings in 2011.

04/30 10:54:11 ET