LA Angels win on Pujols walk-off two-run homer
The LA Angels fought hard all night trailing three times in the first four innings but rallying to tie the game each time. The Angels took a 6-5 lead going into the ninth inning, but Cam Bedrosian couldn’t hold it giving up his run since May 31st to allow Oakland to tie the game at six. Setting the stage for Albert Pujols.
After the LA Angels has let their two-run lead slip away in the top of the 9th, they knew they had a chance with Mike Trout and Albert Pujols coming to the plate in the bottom of the ninth inning. After Trout did a head first slide into first base to avoid the tag of A’s first baseman Yonder Alfonso, Albert Pujols worked the count to 3-1 against reliever Ryan Dull. On the 3-1 pitch Pujols tattooed the baseball well over the left field wall for a walk-off game-winning two- run homer.
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For Pujols it was his 21st homer of the season and it made a winner out of reliever Mike Morin who induced an inning-ending 1-2-3 double play ball by the A’s Danny Valencia to escape a bases-loaded one out jam to keep the score tied going into the bottom of the 9th. Morin was just called up on Tuesday when closer Huston Street was place on the disabled list with inflammation in his right knee.
“You realize there’s a lot of fly balls, because everybody wants to be a hero,” Pujols said in a post-game interview with the media. “I learned early in my career that in this situation I should just put a good swing. Whatever happens, happens. We were losing some tough series (early in the season), but it seems like after the break every night it’s been a different guy getting big hits for us. Hopefully we can continue to do it the rest of the year and see where we’re at.”
The A’s took an early 2-1 lead into the bottom of the third inning before Trout tied the game at 2 with an RBI single driving in Yunel Escobar. After Oakland again went ahead with two runs in the top of the fourth, the Angels rallied to tie the game at 4 with two solo home runs by Jefry Marte and then Cliff Pennington. In the fifth inning Pujols hit an opposite-field double to score Mike Trout from first giving the Angels their first lead at 5-4 and then Ji-Man Choi drove in Pujols with an RBI ground out for a 6-4 lead.
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Jered Weaver pitched a scoreless sixth before leaving the game leading by two. Weaver gave up four runs in six innings on nine hits with one strikeout. The A’s got to within run scoring a run in the 8th, but the Angels escaped further damage as J.C. Ramirez got Ryon Healy to ground into a nifty 6-4-3 double play to end the inning which saw Pennington take a low throw from Escobar and make the throw to first where Ji-Man Choi did a full stretch to complete the twin-killing.
In the 9th Cam Bedrosian came in to try to close the game out for the second night in a row but was wild throwing 15 balls in 26 pitches and giving up a tying single to Stephen Vogt that scored Coco Crisp. Bedrosian would walk the bases loaded prompting Angels manager Mike Scioscia to call on Morin to quiet the rally. Morin did so on an 0-1 pitch as he got Valencia to hit a check-swing grounder back to him to start the double play to get out of the inning and set-up Albert’s heroics.
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“Our defense made some big plays in the late innings and Mike Morin got a huge double play to end the top of the 9th,” Scioscia said. “You’d have to look at David Ortiz, Albert, those guys, it seems like late in the game, they want to be up there and they’re going to give you a good at-bat. Obviously, a huge hit for Albert and the team.”
Jered Weaver passes Mike Witt for third place on the Angels All-Time Innings Pitched list with 1970.1 innings pitched. Only Chuck Finley and Nolan Ryan have pitched more innings in an Angels’ uniform.
With Albert Pujols’ walk-off homer he moves into a tie for 2nd place with his 12th career walk-off homer. Pujols is tied with Stan Musial, Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle, and Frank Robinson one behind Jim Thome who leads all major leaguers with 13 walk-off homers. A pretty elite group to say the least all those players with the exception of Thome are Hall of Famers.