Angels break down winning rally in 12th
MINNEAPOLIS -- After giving up the lead in the seventh inning, the Angels could have folded. Instead, their bullpen locked down long enough for them to capitalize on Twins mistakes and come away with a 12-inning, 4-3 victory in the first game of Saturday's doubleheader.
"My group of guys, they're not going to quit. They're going to keep playing hard," manager Mike Scioscia said. "Everybody's upbeat on the bench."
After Trevor Gott gave up a two-run home run to Miguel Sano -- the first batter he faced -- he combined with Fernando Salas, Jose Alvarez and Mike Morin to throw five scoreless innings.
Meanwhile, the offense kept chipping away, and it finally paid off in the 12th when Daniel Robertson hit a ball toward Twins second baseman Brian Dozier that he couldn't handle. Pitcher Blaine Boyer followed with a wild pitch and, after a walk and a successful sacrifice bunt from Ryan Jackson, Kole Calhoun lined a ball sharply toward shortstop Eduardo Escobar.
It looked like Escobar might catch the liner and double off a runner to end the Angels' threat. Instead, they caught a break.
"It was a rocket, first of all, but no, he didn't catch it. It looked like he had a bead on it but he definitely didn't catch it," Scioscia said. "It's do or die on contact. [Robertson] got a good jump, made a good read and fortunately the ball popped out of his glove."
Escobar tried to recover and throw home, but the throw was much too late to nab Robertson, the game-winning run.
"We scored some runs with outs, even though we didn't get many hits with guys in scoring position," Scioscia said.
Dozier's error, which seemed to set the tone for the inning, was just the seventh of the year for the second baseman, a fairly good fielder. Though he said the shadows had gotten tricky as the game wore on, he didn't use that as an excuse for the error.
"Just a bad play. I was playing up the middle. Ranged to my left. Bad play by me," he said.
The two breaks enabled the Angels to finish off their second comeback victory of the series and close the gap between them and the Twins. Both teams now sit 1 1/2 games behind the Astros in the race for the second Wild Card with two games remaining in the series.
"They cracked the door open for us, no doubt, but we executed well. I think Ryan Jackson got a great bunt down. Chris [Iannetta] had a good at-bat following that up and Kole hit a rocket," Scioscia said. "They cracked the door open, but we still have to finish it off."