Angels blow 5-run lead, lose in 19 innings
A five-run lead wasted in the late innings. A bullpen taxed far more than it should have been. And now, the worst record after 25 games in franchise history following the longest game in the majors this season.
Not even two home runs from Albert Pujols and a mammoth clout by Mark Trumbo were enough to prevent the Angels from falling apart in a 10-8, 19-inning loss to the Oakland Athletics on Monday night.
"This one was extremely frustrating," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "Everybody gave everything they had. It's frustrating when you don't put the final outs together to hold the lead."
Brandon Moss hit his second home run of the night with two outs in the bottom of the 19th to win it for the A's.
The teams were on the field for 6 hours, 32 minutes in a marathon game that ended at 1:41 a.m. on the West Coast. By time, it was the longest game ever played in Oakland -- and the longest in Angels history.
But while the A's celebrated their exhausting victory, the Angels were left to mull their 9-16 record that matches the worst in club history.
Oakland slugger Yoenis Cespedes singled off the left-center wall against closer Ernesto Frieri to drive in the tying run with two out in the bottom of the ninth.
Los Angeles went ahead 8-7 in the 15th on Brett Anderson's bases-loaded walk to J.B. Shuck, but the A's tied it in the bottom half on Adam Rosales' two-out single off Jerome Williams after a costly error by first baseman Albert Pujols.
Pujols finished with four hits and three RBI. In addition two his home run, Trumbo had a two-run double.
As the game dragged on deep into the night, fans who remained in the scattered crowd of 11,668 chanted the names of Oakland's radio announcers, Ray Fosse and Ken Korach. One player in the Angels dugout wore a rally cap folded in half, with the bill sticking straight up like a mohawk.
But it was the A's who finally pulled it out on Moss' two-run shot off Barry Enright (0-1). Josh Hamilton jumped at the fence, but the ball sailed well beyond his reach.
Enright, normally a starter, was called up from the minors Thursday and was making his first big-league appearance of the season.
"It was a changeup," he said. "He swung through the first one and I wanted to make it more down but it hooked over the middle. I was trying to extend the game and I made a bad pitch."
Jerry Blevins (2-0) worked 12/3 scoreless innings for the victory.
It was the longest game in the majors since the Pittsburgh Pirates won 6-3 in 19 innings at St. Louis on Aug. 19 last year, according to STATS.
All that baseball took a toll on both teams.
Angels center fielder Peter Bourjos was removed with a strained left hamstring and is headed to the disabled list. Third baseman Luis Jimenez came out with a bruised left shin.
Oakland lost center fielder Coco Crisp to a strained left hamstring and outfielder Chris Young to a strained left quadriceps.
"Good game to win, bad game to lose," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "We exhausted everything we had obviously. At least we won."
Brett Anderson was originally scheduled to start for the A's but was scratched with a sore right ankle in favor of Dan Straily. Anderson entered to start the 13th and pitched 51/3 innings before hobbling off the field with an apparent foot injury.
Blevins, the last reliever in the Oakland bullpen, was given as much time as he needed to warm up. He retired Mike Trout and Pujols to end the top of the 18th inning.
Moss hit a solo homer in the sixth and the A's scored four times in the eighth, two on Josh Donaldson's single, to close the gap to 7-6.
"Both teams tonight battled so hard," Moss said. "It was a crazy game and I'm glad it's over. That was exhausting, it really was."
Angels reliever Jerome Williams did not allow an earned in six innings. He gave up four hits, walked two and struck out two.
Tommy Hanson pitched six strong innings for Los Angeles, allowing two runs and five hits. He walked one and struck out a season-high six in his first start since being activated from the bereavement list.
Pujols homered for the first time in three weeks, when he also hit two at Texas on April 7, a span of 74 at-bats. He had three hits in his previous 31 at-bats.
Hanson pitched for the first time in 10 days. He extended his scoreless innings streak to 11 before allowing a run in the fourth.
Pujols homered with two outs in the first inning and Trumbo led off the second with his fourth of the season. He hit it with such force -- the drive was estimated at 475 feet -- that every A's player remained stationary, not even bothering with a cursory glance.
Pujols connected again in the seventh.
"It (stinks) to play this long into the night and come out on the wrong end," Bourjos said. "We just have to turn it around tomorrow."
Our new comment system is not supported in IE 7. Please upgrade your browser here.