By Pete Zarustica
The Rally Monkey may be semi-retired, but his spirit goes marching on. Case in point: the Los Angeles Angels’ epic rally for seven runs in the bottom of the ninth inning Sunday to defeat the Seattle Mariners 10-9 at the Big A.
Trailing 9-3, the Halos saw 11 players take a swing and the most impressive of them were Albert Pujols and Cliff Pennington. Pujols drove in three runs in the inning – including a home run – to help tie up the game, and Pennington brought home Mike Trout on a sharp single to center.
“To come all the way back like that, that’s one of those magical wins that probably only happen a few times a year,” said Pennington, who delivered his sixth career walk-off hit. “It’s a good one.” He had entered the game in the ninth as a defensive sub for Andrelton Simmons.
The victory improved the Halos’ mark to 5-2, still atop the American League West as they swept three from the M’s.
Seattle led through most of the game and had looked to have the contest well in hand. The hero for the M’s was going to be Robinson Cano, who homered and drove in five runs for the visitors.
Pujols led off the ninth to bring the score to 9-4. Pennington walked and advanced to second on C.J. Cron’s line drive single to center. Ben Revere drew a walk from Seattle closer Casey Fien to load the bases.
Edwin Diaz came in to pitch for the Mariners, but the Angels scored another run on a ground out by Danny Espinosa, Pennington crossing the plate. Martin Maldonado struck out, Yunel Escobar doubles to right, scoring Cron and Revere to make it 9-7. Escobar advanced to third on a wild pitch to Kole Calhoun, who then drew a walk, as did Mike Trout. Pujols’ ground ball single ties the game up as Escobar and Calhoun score, setting the table for Pennington’s game-ender.
The Angels have the day off Monday and start a new series Tuesday hosting the Texas Rangers, Tyler Skaggs will make the start for the home team.