Rally Monkey resurfaces in Angels' 11-run 7th

Santiago shows Nava airbrushed cleat amid club's offensive outburst

July 3rd, 2016

BOSTON -- Hector Santiago sat on one of the top benches from the visiting dugout at Fenway Park on Saturday night, sandwiched between Jhoulys Chacin and Daniel Nava. When his Angels scored the third run in what became an 11-run seventh, the apex of an eventual 21-2 thrashing of the Red Sox, Santiago instructed his neighboring teammates to sit still. And so, for the most part, they did.

But as that inning went on and the runs kept coming, Santiago turned to his right and lifted his pant leg.

Nava, look at this, bro.

Airbrushed on the inside of Santiago's left New Balance cleat was that familiar capuchin monkey with an Angels jersey, and Nava was shocked.

Is that the Rally Monkey?!

Yeah. We've got him all game, bro!

Suddenly it all made sense.

"All in fun," Santiago said, smiling, after his Angels scored the most runs by any team this season. "We'll say it was the Rally Monkey spikes tonight."

Whatever it was, an Angels team that entered having lost 10 of 11 games and sat 19 1/2 out of first place crafted an astonishing offensive performance. It wasn't just the 11 runs in one inning, or the 22 hits for the game, or the 6-for-6 night from C.J. Cron, or the 5-for-6 night from Carlos Perez.

It's that the Angels scored 21 runs, and Mike Trout -- who leads Major League position players in FanGraphs Wins Above Replacement and entered with a .340 batting average since the start of June -- didn't even have to drive in one of them.

DYK: Angels' 21 runs set several milestones

"It's a weird game, huh?" right fielder Kole Calhoun said. "Everything clicked tonight. Crazy how this game works."

The Angels' 11 runs in the seventh -- their most in one frame since May 12, 1997 -- matched their total from the four-game losing streak they rode heading in and also their season high for an entire game.

The Angels had three players with five-plus RBIs for the first time in history, with Albert Pujols becoming the third.

"It comes at a good time, just to hopefully get a little bit of momentum going," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said, his club 15 games below .500 at the midway point. "It's a tremendous offensive night, to say the least."

It marked the first time the Angels had scored 21 runs since Aug. 25, 2004, against the Royals, and only the fourth time in a franchise that dates to 1961.

It began with Pujols' two-run homer off Clay Buchholz in the first, which made him one of eight players to amass 575 home runs and 1,750 RBIs for his career. Andrelton Simmons added a sac fly in the second, Cron homered in the fourth and the Angels scored five times in the fifth, on Cron's two-run single and Perez's three-run double.

Then came the seventh.

Perez and Simmons hit back-to-back RBI singles, Calhoun lined a two-run single, Pujols scorched a three-run double, and Cron and Perez each came up with two-run homers, with Perez's ball bouncing off the advertisement beyond the Green Monster.

"I don't think so," Perez said when asked if he had ever hit a ball that far. "It was a pretty good swing."

Santiago, who had given up only an unearned run in six innings, watched in astonishment, those Rally Monkey cleats still on his feet.

The Angels' lefty ordered them a couple of weeks ago, because his team was struggling and because he wanted to "lighten the mood." A friend of his spray-paints shoes back home in New Jersey, and so another friend drove them to the team hotel in Copley Place on Saturday morning, in time for Santiago's 100th career Major League start.

He was going to eventually frame them, but now Santiago believes he has to wear them every time he pitches.

When the night was finished, the Rally Monkey was tucked away in a bag.

"He's tired, for sure," Santiago said. "He carried us through the whole game."