Dealing with their first tense state of affairs of their sixth recreation collectively, Angels shortstop Andrelton Simmons and second baseman Nick Franklin huddled in the midst of the Angel Stadium infield to debate what they might do with a grounder hit their means in Sunday’s ninth inning.
Whereas pitching coach Charles Nagy visited the mound, the Tampa Bay Ray representing the tying run waited at third base. With one out, the go-forward run stood at second, a superfluous runner at first.
Simmons, an elite defender, and Franklin, much less so, settled on a choice. If a ball got here slowly, they’d take the out at first base. Quick, they usually’d throw house. The potential of a double play went unmentioned.
The primary pitch to Tim Beckham from nearer Bud Norris was a cutter cradling the surface nook of the strike zone. Beckham swung and tapped it to shortstop, not too exhausting, not too sluggish. Simmons elected to freelance, scooping it and shoveling it to second. Franklin unleashed his greatest throw to first base and it beat Beckham by a half-step.
Norris clapped his arms and pointed to the sky, Simmons drop-kicked his glove, and Franklin excitedly shouted. The tying run had touched house, however regardless of: The double play meant the Angels had secured a four-three victory and saved themselves from falling 5 video games out of an more and more taut American League wild-card race.
“I knew we’d get it,” first baseman C.J. Cron stated. “Simmons makes each play.”
An inning earlier, Cron clubbed the Angels’ first pinch-hit homer in thirteen months to push them forward. Relegated to a reserve position, he had batted solely 4 occasions in 10 days since his most up-to-date callup, however he swung on the first pitch when he stepped up towards left-handed reliever Adam Kolarek.
Cron despatched an over-the-center fastball into the primary row of the best-area seats, simply sufficient distance for a two-run residence run.
“I needed to be aggressive, as a result of that’s the type of hitter I’m,” he stated. “I’m an enormous dude. That’s type of why I’m right here, to place a cost right into a ball.”
Staked to a two-run lead, Norris struck out Corey Dickerson on three pitches to start the ninth. Then the subsequent three Rays recorded hits and produced a run. The fourth, Brad Miller, labored a stroll to load the bases with one out, earlier than the sport-ending double play.
Early, the Angels prolonged their streak of hitless at-bats with runners in scoring place from 15 to twenty. It snapped solely when Albert Pujols punched a dangling 1-and-2 slider from starter Chris Archer into proper subject for a run-scoring single within the fifth. Martin Maldonado squeezed residence one other run within the sixth.
Rookie proper-hander Parker Bridwell made it again to the large leagues after a procedural demotion to triple A amid the All-Star break. Taking care to stay hydrated for his Sunday begin, he had stored water with him all weekend, consuming as a lot as he might abdomen.
Simply earlier than he scaled the dugout steps and took the mound for his second inning, he chugged a sixteen.9-ounce bottle. Quickly, he felt the uncontrollable urge to burp.
Quickly after that, he realized it wasn’t a burp he required. He vomited “pure water” 4 or 5 occasions whereas Beckham batted, prompting a go to from Nagy, athletic coach Adam Nevala and supervisor Mike Scioscia. He assured them he was positive.
“I acquired on the rubber, took the signal, stepped off, and threw up,” Bridwell stated. “I simply drank it means too quick. I acquired water logged.”
Bridwell held the Rays with no run by means of six innings. He stayed in for the seventh, solely to give up a fast two-run homer and hefty bat flip to Logan Morrison. Two batters later, his day was carried out. He nonetheless struck out eight and walked only one in his 6 1/three innings, sealing his spot within the Angels’ rocky rotation.