The long stretch of losses to the lowly Baltimore Orioles ended Sunday afternoon for the Los Angeles Angels with a long ball. The Halos hit three home runs – two of them by Matt Thaiss – as they salvaged a win in the four-game season by the score of 5-4.
That victory helped the Orange County team to hang on to third place in the American League West with a 55-52 record.
Thaiss hit a two-run home run in the second inning to give the Angels a brief 2-1 lead. Trailing 4-2 in the sixth, the Halos got a two-run homer from Albert Pujols (his 17th of the season) to tied it up.
Then, in the bottom of the ninth, with one out and no one on, the Angel third baseman got the game-winner, a walk-off blast to left-center which brought his teammates boiling out of the dugout for a spirited celebration at home plate.
The Angels’ starter – Felix Pena – worked five innings, giving up three hits and four runs, only one of them earned. He struck out five batters, but walked three and the team committed two errors, one of them by Pena.
However, the bullpen came through again. Luke Bard and Taylor Cole combined to shut out the Orioles the rest of the way. The win went to Cole (1-1), who worked 1.2 perfect innings.
The Angels are next in action Monday starting a three-game series with the Detroit Tigers (30-71), another struggling team. Jamie Barria (4-3) is slated to start for the home team.