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Cowgill's aggressive baserunning backfires, but earns praise

ANAHEIM -- When Collin Cowgill got thrown out at third base in the eighth inning of Friday night's American League Division Series, momentum shifted -- in the inning and the game -- from the Angels to the Royals.

After C.J. Cron doubled to lead off the inning in a tie game, the speedy Cowgill came off the bench to pinch-run for the slow-footed rookie designated hitter. Chris Iannetta followed with a line drive to center field, where Jarrod Dyson caught it and fired to third, chopping down Cowgill after he tried to tag on the play.

"He made a good play, man," Cowgill said. "Chalk it up to that."

Dyson entered the game in the bottom of the eighth inning and continued Kansas City's defensive clinic in the ALDS, which the Royals lead 2-0 after Friday's 4-1 extra-innings win.

"That's part of the game," Cowgill said. "You take a chance. I got thrown out. That's baseball."

Angels manager Mike Scioscia said it was a "great play" by Cowgill to try to take the extra base and that he went on his own instead of being sent by third-base coach Gary DiSarcina.

"But if that would happen again tomorrow or Sunday, I'm hoping Collin's going to go," Scioscia said. "That's a huge base to get, and there is no doubt you want to pressure them in that situation. Dyson just made an incredible defensive play, and we saw it again tonight."

With one pitch, an inning that started with the leadoff runner at second base had become a mundane two-out, nobody-on situation for the Royals. Kole Calhoun grounded out to second to end the last real threat for the Angels.

"That was a big-time play," said Eric Hosmer, who hit a two-run home run in the 11th inning. "He gave us a lot of momentum ... and really woke the guys up. Anytime you make a big play like that it definitely shifts the momentum to our dugout."

Matthew DeFranks is an associate reporter for Follow him on Twitter @MDeFranks.
Read More: Los Angeles Angels, Collin Cowgill