By Pete Zarustica
It’s a nice problem to have.
Cliff Pennington hit a game-winning grand slam home run Wednesday night that gave the Los Angeles Angels a 10-8 come-from-behind win over the Oakland A’s in Anaheim.
But that mighty blow was just about overshadowed by the performances of Mike Trout and Albert Pujols. Trout, who came into the game mired in a 0-for-17 slump, went 4-for-4, including his 27th home run of the season. Pujols hit two home runs and drove in four runs. He is now tied with Jim Thome for seventh on the all-time homer list, with 612.
“It’s huge,” Pennington said. “Every game right now is huge. We’re not full-blown scoreboard watching yet, but you take care of business, you’ve got a chance right now. When you get a chance to put your team ahead late, it’s fun.”
The win improved the Angels record to 69-65, tightening their grip on second place in the American League West and keeping them a game back of the Minnesota Twins in the race for the second AL wild card spot.
Wednesday’s game started and ended well for the Halos, as they swept the A’s three straight. But in between, things were ugly. The Angels jumped out to a 3-0 edge after three innings, but then the Athletics found the range on Parker Bridwell, hammering him for seven runs. Cam Bedrosian (4-3) got the win in relief.
The Angels got close on a two-run home run by Pujols in the bottom of the fifth, setting the stage for Pennington’s first career bases-loaded home run.
Next up will be a road trip starting Friday as the Halos visit the Texas Rangers (66-66), who trail the Orange County team by two games in the AL West.