By rule, Major League Baseball teams can play up to 20 days in succession without a day off. That’s what the Angels faced beginning Tuesday with their series opener against the Minnesota Twins.

The Angels, who were off Monday, won’t get another day off until the all-star break, which begins July 14.

They got the long stretch off to a fine start Tuesday night. On the strength of a five-run first inning, a tie-breaking two-run homer by Mike Trout in the second, an insurance run in the eighth on a Kole Calhoun sacrifice fly and some solid relief pitching, the Angels defeated the Twins 8-6 before 37,086 at Angel Stadium.

It was the fourth consecutive victory for the Angels (42-33), who are now within four games of first-place Oakland in the AL West.

Southpaw C.J. Wilson (8-6) pitched five innings and picked up the victory. But he gave up six earned runs on nine hits. He struck out four, walked none and threw 99 pitches.

Relievers Mike Morin, Kevin Jepsen, Ernesto Frieri and new closer Joe Smith pitched a scoreless inning apiece, with Smith getting his sixth save. Frieri had been the closer. He saw his first action since giving up a game-losing grand slam at Cleveland last Thursday.

The fourth-place Twins (36-39) had their four-game winning streak snapped and fell six games behind Detroit in the AL Central.

After the Angels scored their five runs in the first inning, the Twins tied the game in the top of the second with five of their own. But Trout’s 17th home run of the season to right-center with Calhoun aboard in the bottom of the second proved to be the winning hit.

“It’s a huge hit,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “Mike is that kind of player. He’s got that opposite-field power and you saw it after they bounced back to tie. ... When you have that kind of approach at the plate and can drive the ball the other way, you’re going to do special things.”

The way the teams were scoring, no one could have guessed Trout’s home run so early in the game would be the difference.