Chris Iannetta did both, his two-out home run in the bottom of
the 12th inning lifting the Los Angeles Angels to a 5-4 win over the
Oakland A's and putting to an end the 4-hour, 19-minute game
Wednesday night at Angel Stadium.
"It's awesome, it's a great feeling," Iannetta said of his fourth
career walk-off homer. "I know I hit this one well, but Angel
Stadium at night, you never really know. It's a great feeling. It
never gets old."
The catcher's home run off A's left-hander Drew Pomeranz (1-1)
allowed the Angels to avoid a three-game sweep. But it was more than
that, the normally stoic Angels manager Mike Scioscia admitted.
"Usually you say a game's a game, but there's a different feeling in
the clubhouse after tonight," he said. "It stems from a couple games
where we had opportunities to win (and didn't). You have to turn the
page and go. Coming back on a team that's playing well and has a
good bullpen gives us a great sense of confidence. There's a great
feeling in the clubhouse right now."
While Iannetta got a hero's welcome from his teammates at game's
end, the Angels' real hero was their much-maligned bullpen. Los
Angeles relievers went into the game with a cumulative ERA of 5.31,
better only than three teams in the American League.
On Wednesday, however, five Angels relievers combined to throw six
scoreless innings, allowing just one hit along the way. Joe Smith
(1-0) pitched the 12th to get the win. He followed Kevin Jepsen
(seventh inning), Fernando Salas (eighth and ninth), Michael Kohn
(10th) and Yoslan Hererra (11th).
"Our bullpen did a great job," Scioscia said. "We've been waiting
for that, to line it up and get guys throwing the ball the way they
can. It was great to see Michael Kohn, Fernando Salas, Kevin Jepsen,
those guys in the middle shutting it down and giving us a chance to
get back in the game, and we did."
Despite the loss, the A's had a successful road trip, winning seven
of nine games in Minnesota, Seattle and Anaheim.
"Well look, we battled hard again and we had a couple chances to win
it," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "You're not going to win 'em all,
so you move on. We had a good trip."
A's starter Tommy Milone cruised through six innings, and he held a
4-1 lead — thanks to a three-run homer by right fielder Brandon
Moss — before he hit Iannetta with a pitch to start the seventh.
Melvin requested a replay review, but the call was upheld.
[to top of second column]
Right fielder Collin Cowgill followed with a single, and that marked
the end of the night for Milone. The Angels managed to push two runs
across in the inning, thanks in part to a throwing error by first
baseman Alberto Callaspo and an RBI single by Albert Pujols, cutting
the Athletics' lead to 4-3.
Both runs were charged to Milone, who gave up three runs (two
earned) and six hits in six-plus innings.
The Angels managed to tie the game in the ninth against A's
right-hander Luke Gregerson. Center fielder Mike Trout started the
rally with a one-out single, and he went to third on a single by
Second baseman Howie Kendrick, down in the count 0-2, managed a slow
grounder to third. Pujols was forced out at second, but the relay to
first too late to get Kendrick. That allowed Trout to score, tying
the game at 4.
The Angels got on the scoreboard in the third inning when shortstop
Erick Aybar scored from first on a double by Trout for a 1-0 lead.
The A's pulled even in the fourth on Callaspo's RBI double, then got
the big blow of the inning, a three-run homer by Moss for a 4-1
NOTES: Angels RF Kyle Calhoun was placed on the 15-day disabled list
with a severely sprained right ankle. He is expected to miss four to
six weeks. After grounding out and running past first base in the
11th inning Tuesday against Oakland, Calhoun rolled over the ankle
in some soft dirt. Calhoun played in all 14 of the Angels' games
before Wednesday and led the team in runs (12). ... A's CF Coco
Crisp (hamstring) was not in the starting lineup for the third game
in a row. He walked as an 11th-inning pinch hitter. Melvin wanted to
give Crisp another game off ahead of the team's Thursday off day.
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