DENVER -- It started out innocently enough with the Angels creating some fun trivia, becoming the first team in almost three years to hit back-to-back-to-back homers on three pitches.
But it got crazier and crazier from there for the Angels, who simply couldn’t stop scoring runs against the Rockies. The three straight homers sparked a 13-run third and the Angels added an eight-run fourth inning in a wild 25-1 win at Coors Field on Saturday that saw them set the club record for both runs and hits (28) in a game. The 24-run margin of victory was also the largest in franchise history and the third largest by any club since 1900.
“We were aggressive, we attacked pitches in the zone and hitting gets contagious sometimes,” said manager Phil Nevin. “To be honest, we found some holes, but then the big blows helped us add on.”
Their previous high in runs scored was 24 against the Blue Jays in a 24-2 win on Aug. 25, 1979, while the previous high in hits was 26, which they accomplished twice. Their 13-run third also tied a franchise record set in both 1997 and 1978. They also tied a club record with four homers in the frame.
The Angels scored 23 runs through their first four innings, which was the third-most in MLB history, behind only the Cubs (25) on Aug. 25, 1922, and the Pirates (24) on June 6, 1894. And their 21 runs across two consecutive innings is tied for the most in MLB history with those 1894 Pirates.
But Nevin tried to stay away from gloating about the historic performance.
“I'm glad we came out swinging the bats and everything, but it just gets to a spot where you don't want to disrespect the game,” Nevin said. “Buddy Black and the people over there are people I care about, so you just don’t want it to get out of hand.”
Notable performances included Mickey Moniak and Hunter Renfroe, who both went 5-for-5. Moniak hit three doubles and a homer to tie the franchise record with four extra-base hits in a game. Moniak fell a triple shy of the cycle, and literally nearly fell on his way to second on a potential triple in the sixth that had his teammates in the dugout laughing.
“I got a little too excited,” Moniak said with a smile. “Not sure if I tripped over the bag or my cleats. Either way, it is what it is. At least I’m healthy.”
Superstar Mike Trout started off the epic third-inning outburst with a solo blast on a 1-0 fastball from right-hander Chase Anderson to open the frame, before Brandon Drury followed with a shot of his own on a first-pitch cutter.
Matt Thaiss then jumped all over a first-pitch curveball for a dinger to give the Angels back-to-back-to-back homers for the second time this season.
Nevin said he believed the homers got the Angels going, much like the boost the clubhouse received from trading for Eduardo Escobar on Friday and Mike Moustakas on Saturday.
“When the big boys get into something like that, it fires up the clubhouse,” Nevin said. “That room knows that our general manager is still working and getting pieces to help us when we lose pieces right away. It shows we’re in this thing and all together.”
It sparked a 13-run inning for the Angels, as Ward and Ohtani later added RBI singles. Drury also supplied a two-run single and Renfroe brought in three runs with a double. Escobar followed with an RBI single before Moniak ripped a two-run homer to give the Angels a 15-0 lead.
“I don’t think I’ve ever been a part of something like that,” Moniak said. “It was just one after another, and the quality of at-bats was incredible.”
The four homers in the inning tied an Angels franchise record, matching a feat also carried out on May 28, 2000, in Kansas City. David Fletcher grounded out to end the third, an inning that also saw the Angels rack up 10 hits and three walks.
The Angels backed it up with an eight-run fourth, keyed by a three-run homer by Fletcher, before tacking on another run in the sixth and one more in the eighth. Fletcher had started the scoring with a two-run single in the second inning.
Perhaps lost in the shuffle, right-hander Griffin Canning threw six scoreless innings with seven strikeouts, and the only run the Angels allowed on the night was a solo homer from Brenton Doyle off lefty Kolton Ingram in the eighth.
“The highlight of the night for me was how Griffin threw the ball,” Nevin said. “He pitched a heck of a game, and those can get away from you, too.”