Angels walk off in the 10th on a squeeze in 6-5 win over Rangers
The Angels were down two runs to Texas on Tuesday night at Angel Stadium, and Mike Trout was down two strikes to the Rangers’ closer, right-hander Sam Dyson. One more and the Angels would lose.
Dyson fired a two-seam fastball toward the outer edge of the plate. It was clocked at 96 mph, but Trout did not so much as flirt with it, and plate umpire Scott Barry called it a ball. Dyson fired another fastball. Same speed, same location, same result.
The 2-and-2 pitch was a few more inches inside, and Trout pounced, turning his hands and driving the ball to right field for a run-scoring double. Soon, he’d score the tying run on an Albert Pujols single. Not long after, the Angels came all the way back from a five-run deficit to beat Texas 6-5 in 10 innings on a Carlos Perez squeeze bunt.
It was their second such comeback in as many games. They trailed Seattle by six runs in Sunday’s ninth inning before winning by one run.
In his first start of the 2017 season last week in Oakland, Angels left-hander Tyler Skaggs worked into the sixth inning but struggled because of a big third inning that featured a home run with men on base. In his second start of the season, Tuesday against Texas, Skaggs did the same thing. He worked into the sixth again, but struggled, too, because of a big third inning highlighted by a three-run home run. This time, it was Jonathan Lucroy who did the damage.
Skaggs began OK, striking out Carlos Gomez before Elvis Andrus lofted a double into left field. Nomar Mazara grounded Andrus to third, and ex-Angels catcher Mike Napoli flared a single a few feet beyond Andrelton Simmons’ glove to score a run.
In the second, Skaggs put the first two Rangers hitters on base, but struck out the side: Ryan Rua, Joey Gallo and Gomez again.
Andrus saw another fastball he liked in the third, with the count 2 and 1, and sent it into the left-field seats. After Mazara singled and Rougned Odor was hit by a pitch, Lucroy launched a home run to the same spot Andrus hit his.
Texas took a commanding lead. Skaggs escaped the inning mercifully, when Rua smashed a baseball to Cameron Maybin in left field. The left-hander benefitted from an adept double-play turn Simmons and Danny Espinosa executed to end the fourth, and finished the fifth easily. Manager Mike Scioscia came for him when Shin-Soo Choo singled to begin the sixth.
Right-hander Bud Norris entered in relief and handled the next three innings with ease. He faced 10 batters, retired nine of them, and gave up one single. Right-hander Yusmeiro Petit pitched the ninth, and Cam Bedrosian the 10th.
To begin the Angels’ half of the proceedings, Yunel Escobar walked, Kole Calhoun struck out, and Trout reached when Andrus could not handle his 100-mph liner. The Angels tried a failed double steal, and Escobar was thrown out easily at third base. Pujols then extended the inning with a walk, but Simmons flew out to right.
Hamels retired the side in the third, as Trout and Pujols both appealed to plate umpire Scott Barry about called third strikes. Two Angels reached base in the fourth, but Maybin’s double-play groundout hampered their chances at a rally.
The Angels’ first run scored via a Jefry Marte home run in the seventh inning. They soon scored another, when Trout lined a double down the left-field line to begin the eighth, and Maybin blooped a double the opposite direction. In between, Pujols lined a ball up the middle that Andrus caught. When Pujols returned to the Angels dugout, he shrugged his shoulders at Scioscia. Pujols broke out of a one-for-20 slump Sunday, but he has already been beset by poor luck to start the season.
Espinosa led off the ninth with a home run to left center, his second homer of the season, both times in the ninth inning. Pinch-hitter Ben Revere struck out. Escobar doubled, reaching base for the fourth time on the night. Calhoun skied a flyout to center, Trout worked his magic, and Pujols stepped to the plate needing a hit to push the Angels into a tie.
He shot a single into left field. Trout scored easily. Into extra innings they went.