By Pete Zarustica
Before a sold-out stadium in Anaheim Wednesday night, the Angels and Dodgers battled to the kind of finish that was memorable for style, if not form.
A series of miscues by the visitors from the north allowed the hometown Halos to score a runner from second and get the 3-2 walkoff win in the third game of this four-game Freeway Series.
Ben Revere, who had reached on an error and advanced on a wild pitch, was able to race home with the winning run when a wild pitch (or passed ball) followed by a wild throw by the catcher that sailed into right field.
“The ninth inning was really a turn of events,” Revere said. “That’s the good thing about having speed here. We cause havoc on the basepaths.”
The win kept the Angels (42-40) in second place in the American League West, and one game out of a wild card spot. For the Dodgers (52-28) the loss didn’t cost them anything in the NL West race. They remained 1.5 games in first as Arizona also lost.
Amazingly, the winning play was actually a swinging strikeout by Cameron Maybin when the third strike thrown by Pedro Baez bounced in the dirt and set in motion the strange conclusion.
After five and a half scoreless innings, Andrelton Simmons gave the Angels a 2-0 lead with a two-run homer in the bottom of the fifth. But the Dodgers tied it up with home runs in the top of the eighth and ninth innings, setting the table for the night’s bizarre finish.
Most of the game was a pitcher’s duel. Alex Meyer pitched six one-hit shutout innings against the Dodgers, striking out five and walking four. Hyun-Jin Ryu went 5.2 innings, giving up seven hits and two runs, both on Simmons’ homer. He struck out eight Angels and walked just one.
The series finale is Thursday with Clayton Kershaw (11-2) facing J.C. Ramirez (7-5). If the Angels prevail, it will be their third straight series, after taking two of three from the Yankees and the Red Sox.