By Pete Zarustica
For the Los Angeles Angels these days, nothing comes easy.
On Saturday, the Halos nursed a 1-0 lead into the ninth inning, hoping to ride Tyler Skaggs’ outstanding starting performance into snapping a five-game losing streak. But the visiting Texas Rangers scored twice to take a 2-1 lead into the final frame.
That’s not the end of the story, though. The Orange County team pushed across two runs in the bottom of the inning to pull out a 3-2 victory.
With one out and Luis Rengifo on first, Kole Calhoun ripped a double to right center. The lead runner blazed right through the “stop” sign at third and raced home with the tying run. Then Jared Walsh looped a soft fly to shallow left that fell between two Ranger fielders and Calhoun scored the winning run.
“I saw the line drive to right-center and thought, ‘Go home. Go home.'” Rengifo said. “I knew the outfielders for Texas have good arms, but in this situation, I thought they wouldn’t make a good throw home and that’s what happened.”
The victory put the Angels’ record at 23-28, worth fourth place in the American League West.
All those late show heroics would have been pointless if not for a stellar performance by Skaggs. He worked 5.2 shutout innings, yielding just three hits and two walks. He struck out seven Rangers.
“I felt really good,” Skaggs said. “Fastball command was really good tonight. I wish Brad would’ve left me out there, but at the same time a win’s a win. We’re happy about it. I thought my curveball was the best it’s been all season this year. Hopefully I can bottle that and continue to throw it.”
Hoping to make it two in a row, the Angels will play the Rangers again on Sunday, with Andrew Heaney (0-0) making the start for the 1:07 p.m. game at the Big A.