By Pete Zarustica
It’s often said that football is a game of inches. On Sunday at Anaheim Stadium, it was a game of about three feet.
Trailing by two runs in the bottom of the ninth inning with a runner on first, Kole Calhoun crushed a pitch to deep right-center field. For most of the 40,000-plus fans still in attendance, the drive looked to have the height and distance to clear the fence and tie the game up.
But the trajectory turned into a kind of tragedy as Giants’ outfielder Andrew McCutcheon tracked down the ball about a yard from the wall and the Los Angeles Angels went down to a 4-2 defeat at the hands of the San Francisco Giants. It was their fourth loss in five games, and dropped them to 1.5 games back in American League West standings to the Houston Astros.
The sole Angel runs come on Mike Trout’s two-run homer in the ninth. It was his ninth home run of the season, best in the majors.
“I’m having good at-bats and making a good swing at the ball,” Trout said. “For me, I’m not trying to hit home runs, I’m just trying to get the barrel on the ball and they’re going out of the park.”
He was nearly the only Angel swinging the bat well. The Angels were outhit 13-6, with Ian Kinsler being the only Halo to get two hits. Shohei Ohtani, batting in the cleanup spot, went 1-for-4 and struck out twice.
Giants’ starter Johnny Cueto (now 2-0) pitched well, putting up six scoreless innings. He yielded just two hits, while striking out seven batters and walking two. Angel starter Jamie Barria (1-1) was less successful, lasting just two innings while giving up five hits and two runs. He walked one and struck out one.
The Angels hit the road on Monday, beginning a three-game series with the Astros in Houston.