Los Angeles Angels Avoid Sweep, Walk Off With 5-4 Victory Over A’s

By Jose Serrano

Apr 16, 2014; Anaheim, CA, USA; Los Angeles Angels shortstop Erick Aybar (2), third baseman David Freese (6), left fielder J.B. Shuck (3) and starting pitcher C.J. Wilson (33) run to home plate to meet catcher Chris Iannetta (not pictured) after he hit a walk off home run in the 12th inning of the game against the Oakland Athletics at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. Angels won 5-4. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Oakland won Monday’s game with a ninth inning home run and Tuesday’s with a RBI double in the 11th. Something had to fall the Angels’ way.

Chris Iannetta made sure of that with a game-winning homer to center field in the 12th, giving the Angels a 5-4 win over the A’s Wednesday night. The Halos avoid a sweep and carry momentum into a nine-game road trip that travels through Detroit, Washington D.C., and New York.

It was more of the same from the A’s early on. They tagged Tyler Skaggs for four runs in the fourth, limiting the Angels’ 22-year-old starter to six innings and two strikeouts. Alberto Callaspo notched an RBI double and Brandon Moss smashed a three-run homer beyond the out-of-town scoreboard in right, giving Oakland a 4-1 lead.

The A’s would only manage two hits going forward.

The often unpredictable Angels’ bullpen picked up Skaggs, putting on their finest performance of the season. Five relievers combined for eight strikeouts and shut out the opposition for the first time since last Sunday’s victory over the Mets. Joe Smith, who gave up four runs last night, redeemed himself to earn his first victory.

Mike Trout continued his hot hitting with a 2-for-5 night that included his fourth double and 11th RBI of the season. A 4-3 Oakland lead in the ninth, Trout challenged center fielder Craig Gentry’s arm by going first to third on an Albert Pujols single. Next, Howie Kendrick narrowly beat out a ground ball; scoring Trout and taking the game into extra innings for a second consecutive night.

It didn’t take long for Iannetta to find the pitch he wanted. He took Luke Gregerson’s first pitch fastball into the deepest park of the ballpark for the Halo’s second walk-off victory of the season. The Angels raise their record to 7-8 and pick up a game in the division.

Despite the win, and their major league-leading 24 home runs, runners in scoring position are still cause for concern. The Angels went 1 for 13 with RISP and left 12 men on base. As a team, the entered the game with a .196 batting average and 10 extra-base hits.

Wednesday night’s game concluded the first Angels’ home stand since 1975 to hold four extra-inning games.