Six hours and 31 minutes after the longest game in franchise history began, Albert Pujols launched a walk-off solo home run to lift the Angels over the Red Sox, 5-4.
Understandably forgotten in the 19-inning affair was Garrett Richards and his solid 6 1/3 innings. Richards notched five strikeouts and scattered three hits with Boston’s first coming in the seventh.
The right-hander was in line for a team-leading 13th win until five consecutive Red Sox reached base to lead off the inning. After doubling in Dustin Pedroia, David Ortiz reached third on Yoenis Cespedes’ single to left field. The Angels shifted their infielders in to try and cut off Ortiz at home, only Erick Aybar mishandled Mike Napoli’s slow roller to short.
One play later, Howie Kendrick botched a tailor-made double play to load the bases. Boston tagged Richard for three runs-one earned- and held a slim lead.
Up to this point, the Halos’ only source of offense came from Pujols first-inning, two-RBI double. Mike Trout provided much needed support with a solo homer in the eighth. He took Clay Buchholz’s 115th pitch over the out-of-town scoreboard to tie the game. It was his 26th home run of the season and his first since August 1st.
Just when it looked Ortiz’s RBI sac fly was going to give Boston a 14-inning victory, the Angels countered with Trout’s grounder to shortstop that scored Chris Iannetta.
In the 19th, Pujols got his first walk-off home run as an Angel. He smoked Brandon Workman’s full-count pitch just over the right field railing, prompting Red Sox manager John Farrell to challenge the call. The call was upheld and Pujols had his 22nd homer of the season.
Matt Shoemaker pitched three hitless innings to earn his 10th win of the season. Shoemaker was slated to start Tuesday’s game but his status is uncertain 41-pitch outing.
If last night’s game had gone any longer they may have used Hector Santiago. He’s coming off a 5 1/3 inning start at Dodger Stadium last Tuesday in which he yielded three runs on five hits. He matched Dodgers’ ace Clayton Kershaw pitch-for-pitch but didn’t factor in the decision.
Santiago has transformed into a dependable spot starter after struggling through season’s first half. The lefty is 2-0 with a 1.77 ERA since the All-Star break.
He’s 0-2 in three appearances-two starts- against the Red Sox, both losses came last season while still with the White Sox.
Rubby De La Rosa makes his first-ever start at Angel Stadium after limiting St. Louis to one run through six innings last week. Success away from Fenway Park is hard to come by for De La Rosa, who carries a 5.08 ERA on the road. Each of his three victories have come in Boston.
- Pujols played third base last night for the first time since June 2012.
- The teams combined for 18 pitchers and 558 pitches last night.
- Josh Hamilton’s 17th-inning double snapped his 0-for-23 streak.
TV: 12:35 p.m. PST, Fox Sports West, NESN
Radio: KLAA 830, WEEI 93.7