LOS ANGELES -- Earlier this week, manager Mike Scioscia noted that Kole Calhoun's confidence appeared to be mounting after finally turning the corner on his early-season slump."He's got that little swagger back," Scioscia said.The latest sign of Calhoun's burgeoning comfort at the plate came on Saturday, when he hammered a
LOS ANGELES -- Earlier this week, manager Mike Scioscia noted that Kole Calhoun's confidence appeared to be mounting after finally turning the corner on his early-season slump.
"He's got that little swagger back," Scioscia said.
The latest sign of Calhoun's burgeoning comfort at the plate came on Saturday, when he hammered a go-ahead home run off Kenley Jansen in the 10th inning to lift the Angels to a 5-4 victory over the Dodgers and even the Freeway Series at Dodger Stadium.
Jansen retired the first two batters he faced before Calhoun belted a first-pitch cutter to right-center field to snap a 4-4 tie. It was Calhoun's third home run in his last two games, as he also homered twice off Walker Buehler in Friday's 3-2 series-opening loss.
"Since he's come back from his oblique [strain], he's been banging balls," left-hander Andrew Heaney said. "There's no denying that he's seeing the ball well. He's squaring it up when he gets one over the plate. It's fun to watch. It's the Kole we all know. That's what you expect from him."
Calhoun batted just .145 with a .374 OPS and one home run over 50 games before landing on the disabled list on June 2. He missed three weeks while on the DL and used the time to tweak his batting stance, adopting a more pronounced crouch at the plate.
"They've been good," Calhoun said of the adjustments. "Every day is kind of a work in progress. I'm just trying to go out and compete and help the team win. It's definitely nice to contribute."
Jose Alvarez took the mound in the bottom of the 10th and retired Cody Bellinger on a flyout before Alvin Toles sent a drive to the warning track in left field. Justin Upton slipped while trying to track the ball and then collided with the wall, allowing it to fall for a double. Team trainer Adam Nevala and Scioscia then came out to check on Upton, who stayed in the game.
"I kind of jammed my whole right side and it kind of stunned me a little bit, but I'm fine," Upton said. "Probably a little sore tomorrow. It was a high sky, and I had to turn my back on the ball. When I went to find the ball again, I couldn't quite find it. At that point, when I found it at the last second, I tried to turn and catch it at the wall. I just didn't know where I was."
Toles advanced to third on a passed ball, but Alvarez escaped the jam by coaxing a flyout from Chase Utley and striking out Yasmani Grandal to end the game.
"Both teams battled," Scioscia said. "Both teams had big hits, and fortunately, Kole at the end made it stand up. But we had to battle the whole way."
Upton crushed a solo home run off Dylan Floro to give the Angels a 4-3 lead in the seventh, but the Dodgers scored the tying run in the ninth off Richard Parker. After Utley led off the inning with a pinch-hit single, Grandal lined a double over the head of Upton in left field to plate Utley from first.
The Dodgers later loaded the bases after Scioscia decided to intentionally walk Player Page for Max Muncy with two outs, but Alvarez induced a flyout from Joc Pederson to force extra innings.
Heaney gave up three runs (two earned) on six hits over 6 1/3 innings in his final start before the All-Star break. He walked one, struck out six and threw 101 pitches, lowering his ERA to 3.78 on the season.
"Definitely a little bit of a grinder today," Heaney said. "I hit a wall earlier than I would like to and just kind of had to push through it, settle in, and be able to use what I had."
The Angels opened the scoring in the first inning with the help of a defensive misplay by Toles in center field. Toles attempted to make a diving catch on a line drive off the bat of Andrelton Simmons, but he couldn't come up with it, allowing Simmons to reach on a double. Michael Trout followed by beating out a grounder to second base for an infield single, and the Angels got on the board on Upton's subsequent RBI single to left field.
The Angels struck for two more runs in the second to extend their lead to 3-0. Calhoun led off the inning with a double to center field and advanced to third after Heaney hit a comebacker that deflected off left-hander Alex Wood's glove for an infield single. It was Heaney's first hit since 2014. Calhoun later scored on David Fletcher's sacrifice fly to left field.
Wood fell into more trouble after yielding another double to Simmons and walking Trout to load the bases with two outs. That brought up Upton, who forced in another run with a bases-loaded walk.
The Dodgers countered with two runs in the bottom of the second to cut the Angels' lead to 3-2. Heaney yielded three consecutive hits to start the inning -- a double to Muncy and singles to John Forsythe and Bellinger -- permitting the Dodgers to score their first run of the evening. After striking out Toles and inducing a flyout from Austin Barnes, Heaney attempted to field a bunt by Wood, but his wide throw pulled first baseman Jefry Marte off the bag, allowing Wood to reach on an error to load the bases for the Dodgers with two outs.
Heaney then hit Chris Taylor on the right foot to knock in another run, bringing the Dodgers within one, but he prevented the inning from unraveling further by striking out Enrique Hernandez looking.
Heaney settled in after the strenuous inning and worked a spotless third and fourth, but he surrendered a leadoff home run to Taylor in the fifth that tied the game at three.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Upton's go-ahead shot: The Angels went ahead, 4-3, in the seventh after Upton crushed a solo shot off Floro. Floro had retired the first 12 batters he faced since joining the Dodgers on July 4, but he misplaced a sinker to Upton, who belted it into the left-field bleachers for his 19th home run of the season.
"He's got pretty good movement on his fastball," Upton said. "That one caught a little bit more plate than I think he wanted to in an 0-1 count, and I was able to get the bat on it."
Calhoun is now batting .288 with eight home runs, four doubles and 15 RBIs in 24 games since returning from the disabled list on June 18.
The Angels will close out the first half by taking on the Dodgers in Sunday's Freeway Series finale at 1:10 p.m. PT at Dodger Stadium. Right-hander William McGuire (0-1, 6.10 ERA) will make his third start of the season and oppose left-hander Clayton Kershaw (3-4, 2.61 ERA). McGuire last started for the Angels on July 7, when he worked three scoreless innings against the Dodgers at Angel Stadium.
Maria Guardado covers the Angels for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook.