By Chris Abdelmalek
Kole Calhoun was a reliable hitter with considerable power for the Los Angeles Angels until this season started. For reasons inexplicable, he started to struggle at the plate and his average fell far below the legendary Mendoza line of .200, which usually means a trip back to the minor leagues.
However, the red-headed outfielder has been hotter than July recently, batting .305 for the month and punctuating that with the winning home run in the Halos’ 5-4 10-inning win Saturday over the Dodgers in L.A.
The win pushed the Angels’ record to 49-47 and kept the Dodgers (52-43) from claiming first place in the National League West. They remain a half-game behind the Arizona Diamondbacks.
“I just made adjustments in my stance…and it’s paying off,” said Calhoun. His average is now up to .190 (and rising) and he’s hit nine home runs, three in the last two games.
Also going deep for the Halos was Justin Upton for his 19th dinner of the season.
The Angels built an early 3-0 lead but the home team caught them and after falling behind 4-3, tied it up with a run in the bottom of the ninth.The Dodgers sent former all-star Chase Utley to the plate where he was able to single off Angels’ relief pitcher Blake Parker. Then Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal doubled deep to left field and Upton misplayed the ball off the wall allowing Utley to score to tie the game.
The Halos came up in the top of the tenth and decided enough was enough and Calhoun was the one who decided to make something happen with his third home run of the series to take the 5-4 lead over the Dodgers. Calhoun took Jansen deep on the first pitch he saw. The Angels would bring in Jose Alvarez to close the door to secure the 5-4 for the Angels.
They will go with Deck McGuire (0-1) will start for the Angels on Sunday.He did throw last week against the Dodgers as well, going three innings giving up only one hit with six strikeouts. He will be opposed by arguably one of the greatest pitchers of all time in Clayton Kershaw (3-4). The game will conclude the Angels’ first half of the season as they will be entering All-Star break.
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