Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon
news

MLB News

Angels' huge comeback goes for naught

@RhettBollinger
April 19, 2019

ANAHEIM -- It was nearly a historic comeback for the Angels. Instead, it was just another disappointing loss, as the club erased an eight-run deficit only to see closer Cody Allen give up the go-ahead run in the ninth inning of an 11-10 defeat on Thursday night at Angel Stadium.

ANAHEIM -- It was nearly a historic comeback for the Angels. Instead, it was just another disappointing loss, as the club erased an eight-run deficit only to see closer Cody Allen give up the go-ahead run in the ninth inning of an 11-10 defeat on Thursday night at Angel Stadium. It extended the Angels’ losing streak to four games, while it ended Seattle’s skid at six games.

The Angels, who didn’t arrive in Anaheim from their flight from Texas until roughly 5 a.m. PT, put up quite a fight to rally to tie it in a wild game that featured a combined 29 hits and 15 walks between the two clubs.

“I was pretty impressed,” said Angels catcher Jonathan Lucroy. “I think it kind of speaks to the toughness of our team, the tenacity we have up and down the lineup. I’m really proud of the guys for the way they fought tonight and going on very little sleep. I think being delirious is probably a part of it. A lot of guys had a lot of caffeine before the game, that was part of it.”

The Angels were down 10-2 but rallied for seven runs in the seventh before David Fletcher hit an unlikely solo shot to left to tie the game in the eighth. It was Fletcher's second homer in 98 big league games and his 14th in 448 professional games, including the Minors.

“I don’t know that anyone was predicting Fletch to center field," Angels manager Brad Ausmus said. "But that’s probably where [the energy] bubbled over.”

But it was all for naught, as Allen put two runners on, with Mitch Haniger singling and Edwin Encarnacion drawing a two-out walk in the ninth. Jay Bruce won it for the Mariners with a single to left to beat the shift. Bruce entered with a .086 batting average on balls in play this season, which was the worst mark in the Majors.

"It's just as frustrating when a guy hits it over the fence,” Allen said. “It's baseball. That stuff happens. Jay Bruce is a veteran hitter, a good hitter. You could tell on that swing he was hunting an RBI, saw a hole there, and I made a bad pitch and he was able to put a good swing on it."

It spoiled the club’s effort to tie the record for the biggest comeback win in Angels history, which remains overcoming an eight-run deficit in a win over the Tigers on Aug. 29, 1986. The Angels trailed 11-3 in the seventh inning of that game and came back to win, 13-12.

The eight-run rally to tie the game started in the seventh, when the Angels sent 11 batters to the plate and scored seven runs. Veteran pitcher Felix Hernandez came out for the seventh after six strong innings but gave up a single to Tommy La Stella and an RBI double to Peter Bourjos before getting pulled. Notably, it was the second hit of the game for Bourjos, who came in having gone 1-for-27 on the year.

Kole Calhoun kept the rally going with a two-run homer off reliever R.J. Alaniz that made it a five-run game. Mike Trout then singled and scored on a double from Andrelton Simmons before Albert Pujols ripped an RBI double of his own. The Mariners then turned to Brandon Brennan, but the Angels kept it going with an RBI single from La Stella -- his second hit of the inning -- before Brian Goodwin scored on a wild pitch to get the Angels within one run.

“You never know what’s going to happen,” Ausmus said. “The energy was tremendous in the dugout, probably the best it’s been all year. Just kept building and building.”

The Mariners nearly added to their lead in the eighth, loading the bases after three walks from reliever Luis Garcia, but Simmons came to the rescue with an outstanding play at shortstop to get the Angels out of the jam. Simmons made a diving stop on a grounder up the middle from Dee Gordon that likely would’ve plated two runs, then made the flip to second base to get out of the inning.

The Angels also had a chance to go ahead in the eighth after Fletcher’s homer. They had two runners in scoring position with two outs, but Goodwin struck out swinging. The Angels also put a runner on in the ninth, but lefty Roenis Elias was able to seal the deal for Seattle.

“You always have a good feeling when you come back from a deficit and you tie the game and you’re at home and you feel like you have a really good chance to win it,” Ausmus said. “As much as you feel like that, it doesn’t always happen.”

Rhett Bollinger covers the Angels for MLB.com. He previously covered the Twins from 2011-18. Follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and Facebook.