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Calhoun lifts Angels past M's with walk-off HR

Outfielder's solo shot comes after Angels win key replay challenge
MLB.com @mi_guardado

ANAHEIM -- The latest example of Kole Calhoun's incredible offensive turnaround took place on Friday night, when the 30-year-old right fielder opened the scoring with a bases-loaded double and then capped it with a walk-off home run in the bottom of the 10th inning to spur the Angels to a wild 4-3 win over the Mariners at Angel Stadium.

Calhoun sent the first pitch he saw from right-hander Juan Nicasio over the right-center-field wall for his second career walk-off hit and his first walk-off home run.

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ANAHEIM -- The latest example of Kole Calhoun's incredible offensive turnaround took place on Friday night, when the 30-year-old right fielder opened the scoring with a bases-loaded double and then capped it with a walk-off home run in the bottom of the 10th inning to spur the Angels to a wild 4-3 win over the Mariners at Angel Stadium.

Calhoun sent the first pitch he saw from right-hander Juan Nicasio over the right-center-field wall for his second career walk-off hit and his first walk-off home run.

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"Kind of a crazy game," said Calhoun, who went 2-for-4 with three RBIs. "Definitely got a good swing at the end."

After batting just .145 through his first 57 games of the season, Calhoun has experienced a major revival at the plate, hitting .288 with 11 home runs, 23 doubles and 23 RBIs over 32 games since returning from the disabled list on June 18. The surge has lifted his batting average to .201 on the season and helped put his early-season slump firmly in the rear-view mirror.

"What he's been doing since he's come back has been remarkable," left-hander Andrew Heaney said. "I think everybody is extremely happy for him. He deserves everything that he's getting right now."

Video: SEA@LAA: Calhoun drives in 2 on a ground-rule double

Calhoun's heroics came after a replay reversal deprived the Mariners of the go-ahead run in the top of the 10th. With the game tied, 3-3, Dee Gordon singled, stole second and advanced to third on an error by catcher Jose Briceno. Jean Segura followed with a walk, putting runners on the corners with one out.

The Mariners then attempted to manufacture a run with a double steal. Segura broke for second and drew a throw from Briceno as Gordon made a dash for home, but Ian Kinsler cut off the throw and fired to the plate. Home-plate umpire Kerwin Danley initially ruled Gordon safe, but the Angels successfully challenged the call to keep the game tied.

"Ian made a great read with Dee Gordon at third, came up and got the ball to Jose, and we nipped them at the plate," manager Mike Scioscia said. "That's not an easy thing to defend at times, and those guys did a great job."

Video: SEA@LAA: Scioscia discusses Calhoun's walk-off in win

The Angels took a one-run lead into the eighth inning and sent Heaney back to the mound with his pitch count at 64, but the Mariners tied it after Mike Zunino lined a double over the head of left fielder Justin Upton and scored on Guillermo Heredia's bloop single to right field.

After Heaney departed the game, the Mariners came back to threaten in the ninth against reliever Hansel Robles. Nelson Cruz opened the inning with a single and Kyle Seager followed with a walk, putting runners on first and second with no outs. Robles struck out Ryon Healy swinging before Scioscia decided to replace him with left-hander Jose Alvarez.

Pinch-hitter Chris Herrmann then shot a sharp ground ball toward right field, but first baseman Albert Pujols made an impressive diving stop to deny Seattle the go-ahead run.

"That's a game-saver right there," Scioscia said.

Video: SEA@LAA: Pujols lays out for a tough diving stop

Alvarez subsequently struck out Ben Gamel swinging on a slider to end the inning. The Angels went down in order against Nicasio in the bottom of the ninth to send the game to extra innings.

Heaney yielded three runs on seven hits -- including two solo home runs -- while walking none and striking out five over eight innings. He threw only 81 pitches in the ultra-efficient outing and has now logged a 1.60 ERA over his last nine home starts.

"It was wild," Heaney said, "They obviously made a point that they were going to swing the bat. They were going to swing it early, they were going to swing it often. They hit some balls hard, but they fortunately were hitting it right to the best defense in the league."

Video: SEA@LAA: Heaney strikes out 5 in 8 solid innings

The Angels built an early 3-0 lead in the second inning after scoring three runs off left-hander Wade LeBlanc. Pujols led off the inning by lining a changeup to left field and hustling into second base for a double. It was the 3,061st hit of his career, passing Craig Biggio for sole possession of 24th place on the all-time list.

After Kinsler walked, Briceno flared a single to shallow right field to load the bases with one out. Calhoun followed with a two-run double into the right-field corner to put the Angels on the board. David Fletcher then tacked on another run with a sacrifice fly to center field.

Heaney cruised through the first four innings, benefiting from a pair of well-timed double plays in the first and third innings. He received another assist from his defense in the fifth, when Andrelton Simmons made a smooth backhanded snag on a one-hopper to take a leadoff single away from Seager. Two batters later, Zunino crushed a first-pitch sinker from Heaney just over the right-field wall for a solo homer that made it 3-1.

The Mariners pulled within one after Cruz launched another solo home run off Heaney in the seventh. The next batter, Seager, followed with a deep drive to center field, but Mike Trout made an outstanding leaping grab at the wall to rob him of at least extra bases and temporarily preserve the Angels' lead.

"Thank God I've got that guy in center," Heaney said.

Video: SEA@LAA: Trout makes a spectacular catch at the wall

MITEL REPLAY OF THE DAY
Gordon was out at the plate on the double steal in the top of the 10th, but only after a one-minute, 58-second review showed Briceno got the tag on his shoulder before his hand slid across the plate.

"I didn't know he touched my jersey, so I didn't know," Gordon said. "When I saw the replay I thought, 'Yeah, I might be out."

"Back in the old days, he would have been safe," said Mariners manager Scott Servais said. "Not so much anymore."

Video: SEA@LAA: Kinsler nabs Gordon at the plate in 10th

UP NEXT
Rookie Jaime Barria (5-7, 3.80 ERA) will oppose veteran right-hander Felix Hernandez (8-8, 5.14 ERA) on Saturday as the Angels and Mariners continue their three-game series at 6:07 p.m. PT at Angel Stadium. Barria is 0-3 with a 4.11 ERA in three starts against Seattle this season. The 22-year-old right-hander is 0-6 with a 5.19 ERA in his last seven starts after opening the season 5-1 with a 2.78 ERA in his first seven outings.

Maria Guardado covers the Angels for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

Los Angeles Angels, Kole Calhoun