Calhoun torments old team in AZ's 5-HR win

September 16th, 2020

It was a happy return to Anaheim for D-backs outfielder , while it was a debut against the Angels that would just as soon forget.

Calhoun hit a pair of home runs as part of a five-homer barrage by the D-backs, who outlasted the Angels, 9-8, to start their six-game road trip with a win on Tuesday night at Angel Stadium.

Arizona had an 8-1 lead in the fourth, but Los Angeles rallied with five runs in the fifth and two runs in the sixth to tie the game. However, 's leadoff homer in the eighth proved to be the difference, lifting the D-backs to victory.

Here’s a look at the nights of Calhoun and Bumgarner:

Welcome back
After spending his first eight big league seasons with the Angels, Calhoun signed as a free agent with the D-backs this past offseason. One of the Halos’ more popular players, the team welcomed him back with a video played during the game.

“It was pretty cool,” Calhoun said. “All the stuff over the years, the plays, the hits, it definitely stopped me in my tracks. I sat there and watched it. There were a lot of great times over here. I think one of the coolest things they put was a video of my son from 2017 Opening Day. It’s just kind of crazy because my son turns 4 this weekend.

"This place saw me grow up. I got married here. Had two kids in Orange County. I came up through this whole system, a lot of big things in my life happened while I was here. To sit there in that moment and appreciate that was something I won’t forget.”

Calhoun’s two-run homer in the first got the D-backs started, and he added a three-run home run that put them up 7-0 in the third and gave him a career-high five RBIs.

“Pretty cool, man,” Calhoun said. “The first one was like, 'Wow, that’s kind of surreal. Old team, hit a homer, this is crazy.' Crazy game, crazy night. Just very grateful for the opportunity to play here again. Come out and get a win against your former team, it’s pretty cool.”

Frustration for Bumgarner
Bumgarner faced the Angels for the first time in his 12-year career, as they were the only MLB team he had never previously pitched against. Through four innings, he had allowed only one run. However, things got away from the left-hander in the fifth, when he allowed five runs.

In the sixth, Bumgarner gave up three consecutive doubles to open the inning as the Angels tied the game at 8.

“I’m sure glad we won,” Bumgarner said. “Man, it was really weird. I threw a lot of strikes, not a lot of good strikes. If I tried to throw it in, it went away. If I tried to throw it away, it was in. If I tried to go down, it’s up, up it’s down. That was frustrating trying to get everything going the way I wanted it to.”

Bumgarner gave up a career-high 13 hits while allowing eight runs over 5 1/3 innings.

It’s been a frustrating season for Bumgarner in his first year with the D-backs, as he seemed fine in Spring Training but has had diminished fastball velocity since the 3 1/2-month shutdown due to the pandemic. In addition, Bumgarner spent some time on the injured list with a mid-back strain.

“2020 sucks,” Bumgarner said. “I’m pretty much on board with that now. I’m not a big fan of it. I’m doing my best to keep [confident]. I try to stay the same all the time, and obviously that’s tough. It’s tough when things are going good to not get too high, and when things are going bad, it’s hard not to get too low.

"I wish I could say it gets easier the more you do it, but it doesn’t. But I put the work in in between and keep going out there. I know we’ll figure it out. It hasn’t been pretty so far, I’m very aware of that.”