Stop me if you heard this before: Justin Upton led off the game with a home run and gave the Angels an early lead. Hot Pocket likes getting first dibs.
The Angels kept on pounding away and the Rangers Dane Dunning. An 8 at bat, 5 run innings was highlighted by Taylor Ward’s three run bomb to make the score 5-0.
But with your 2021 Angels you have to wonder if 5 runs in the first would be enough. The mercurial Griffen Canning was on the hill and looked sharp in the top half of the first. Would we get good Griff?
Griff gave up a solo shot to Adolis Garcia, his 16th of the year, but otherwise kept the Rangers off the board early in part due to some great defense behind him.
How often does a guy make a great play with the glove and follow it up with a big hit? Seems like it happens often and today Anthony Rendon cracked a double to left to score Shohei Ohtani from first and extend the lead to 6-1. Rendon then came in to score on Juan Lagares second hit of the day. 7-1 Halos bottom of the fifth.
Taylor Ward continued his hot streak knocking in two more runs on a liner to right, pushing the lead to 9-1 om the home half of the fifth inning.
But did we get a good Griff? The answer through five innings would be yes, but the wheels started to come off in the sixth. He gave up a leadoff triple followed by a two run bomb and the lead shrank to 9-3. But he hunkered down and retired the next three in a row.
Griff hit the benchmark for a quality start. 6 innings, 3 runs, 7 Ks. I’d say we got a pretty good Griff.
Enter the Angels bullpen and buckle up. Steve Cishek came in for the seventh inning. He’s been pitching well lately and worked around a couple two out baserunners. 9-3 Angels.
Tony Watson followed that up with a mini meltdown and the lead dropped to 9-5. Beyond the two runs, Watson left two runners on with only one out in the 8th.
Angels fans are all too familiar with this ride. Extra arms used, extra stress. Michael Mayers didn’t wait for Halloween to get scary. He let those two runners score and one of his own. 9-8 Angels.
In a game that was once in hand at 9 to 1, Joe Maddon had to go to his closer in the 8th inning. Iglesias escaped on a grounder to hold the lead.
But why stop the drama there? After a scoreless bottom of the 8th by the Angels, the Rangers started off the 9th with a single. Tying run on first. Iglesias gets a K swinging. Iglesias K’s Gallo looking. K swinging to close the save.
Take a breath. Angels win. 9-8.