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Big eighth inning fuels Angels comeback

MLB.com @mi_guardado

ANAHEIM -- The Angels appeared to be on their way to their fourth consecutive loss on Saturday before they successfully conjured their rally magic for the 38th time this season.

The Halos wiped away a 6-1 deficit with two runs in the seventh inning and four runs in the eighth, capped by Andrelton Simmons' three-run home run, and emerged with a 7-6 victory over the Astros at Angel Stadium.

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ANAHEIM -- The Angels appeared to be on their way to their fourth consecutive loss on Saturday before they successfully conjured their rally magic for the 38th time this season.

The Halos wiped away a 6-1 deficit with two runs in the seventh inning and four runs in the eighth, capped by Andrelton Simmons' three-run home run, and emerged with a 7-6 victory over the Astros at Angel Stadium.

View Full Game Coverage

The dramatic comeback dissolved much of the frustration that had permeated the Angels' dugout for most of the evening. Through the first six innings, they were held in check by Astros right-hander Brad Peacock, and many players were also unhappy with several calls that didn't go their way.

"It's good that we have that ability to never be out of the game," Simmons said. "We grinded it. Tonight was a tough day. We had some tough calls. Guys were really grinding and chipped away, and eventually we got the runs we needed in the game."

Simmons hits homer from knees

Down, 6-3, with two outs in the eighth, Mike Trout sparked the Angels' big rally by drawing a walk off Houston reliever Francis Martes. Albert Pujols (aka "The Machine" for Players Weekend) followed by blooping a single to center field, putting runners on the corners. Astros manager A.J. Hinch then decided to bring in Tyler Clippard to face Kole Calhoun {"Koleman"),who plated Trout ("KIIIIID") with a single and brought the Angels within two runs.

But Simmons ("Simon") delivered the biggest blow, hammering a hanging slider from Clippard over the left-field fence for his 14th home run of the season.

"I knew it was an out or a homer," said Simmons, who fell to his knees after his game-changing swing. "By the time I got off the floor, [Astros left fielder Josh] Reddick was already at the wall. I just knew I did my best right there."

The victory allowed the Angels to capitalize on the Twins' 10-9 loss to the Blue Jays on Saturday and pull within a half-game of the second American League Wild Card spot. They have now won eight games this season after trailing by four or more runs, the most in the Majors.

"This team never quits," Calhoun said. "We needed a big swing of the bat and we got it tonight. There have been games we've been down and gotten that guy to the plate and maybe haven't come through. Tonight we did. It's a big win."

Maria Guardado covers the Angels for MLB.com.

Los Angeles Angels, Andrelton Simmons