Angels Outlast Diamondbacks in Sloppy Marathon

Angels Diamondbacks

Angels 6, Diamondbacks 5 (10 innings)

PHOENIX, June 11 — A four-hour, nine-minute marathon that saw three balks, four hit batsmen, and two run-scoring wild pitches — including one on a strikeout — led to the Los Angeles Angels defeating the Arizona Diamondbacks, 6–5, in 10 innings Friday night. Angels catcher Kurt Suzuki went 3-for-3 with a homer, two RBI, and two HBP to lead the way. Pitcher Shohei Ohtani added two hits with an RBI and a run scored. In addition, he struck out eight batters in five innings while allowing two runs.

Angels Take Lead over the Diamondbacks

After both pitchers threw two scoreless innings, the Angels jumped on Diamondbacks starting pitcher Merrill Kelly in the third. Suzuki belted a lead-off home run to give the Angels a 1–0 lead. After left fielder Justin Upton drew a two-out walk, Ohtani ripped a double to the gap in right-center to bring him home. Ohtani scored when third baseman Anthony Rendon followed with a single.

Now down 3–0, the Diamondbacks threatened in the bottom of the third. Ahmed led off with a groundout to second, bringing up Merrill Kelly, who drew a walk. An infield single by second baseman Josh Rojas advanced Kelly to second. The two runners moved up on a high infield bouncer by center fielder Ketel Marte. Only a nice play by shortstop Jose Iglesias kept Marte from reaching safely. However, the two runners were stranded when Asdrubal Cabrera, up next, fanned for the third out.

The Diamondbacks threatened again in the bottom of the fourth. A bunt single by third baseman Eduardo Escobar beat the overshift. After right fielder Pavin Smith hit into a 6–4 force play, left fielder David Peralta doubled off the center-field wall to put two runners in scoring position. It went for naught when catcher Carson Kelly and shortstop Nick Ahmed followed with consecutive strikeouts.

Diamondbacks Even It Up

The Diamondbacks finally scored in the bottom of the fifth thanks to mistakes by Ohtani. He drilled the first batter, pinch-hitter Tim Locastro. Rojas followed with a grounder to short. A nice, legal slide at second by Locastro prevented a double play. Rojas reached second when Marte, up next, drew a walk. After Cabrera popped to second, invoking the infield fly rule, the two runners advanced on a balk by Ohtani. Before Escobar finished batting, Ohtani balked again, bringing Rojas home and putting Marte on third. Escobar ultimately struck out but reached first on a wild pitch to the screen that plated Marte.

The Angels, with their lead cut to 3–2, got a run back in the top of the sixth on a double by Jose Iglesias and singles by Taylor Ward and Suzuki. In the bottom of the sixth, the Diamondbacks tied it up. A leadoff single by Carson Kelly and double to the left-field corner by Nick Ahmed put runners on second and third for pinch-hitter Christian Walker. He hit a slow grounder toward third. A charging Rendon threw home, where a catching error by Suzuki allowed Kelly to score. Rojas followed with a game-tying single.

Trading Runs

The tie score did not last long. An infield single by Upton and a follow-up double by Ohtani put two in scoring position with nobody out. Rendon followed with a fly to right, but a strong throw home by Pavin Smith kept Upton on third. Clarke walked Walsh intentionally to set up a double play. Striking out Iglesias made it look like the Diamondbacks would escape the jam, but a wild pitch allowed Upton to cross with the go-ahead run. Ward hit a low liner toward first, where a fine lunging catch by Cabrera kept any more runs from scoring.

The Diamondbacks only managed a two-out, seventh-inning double by Peralta until the bottom of the ninth. With two outs and Angels closer Raisel Iglesias on the mound, Eduardo Escobar lined a 3–2 changeup into the right-field seats for a game-saving home run. Smith followed with a fly to left, sending the game to extras.

Angels Put Diamondbacks Away in Sloppy Inning

The top of the 10th was a fiasco, and somehow the Angels only managed one run out of it. Walsh began the inning on second. After Iglesias struck out, reliever Ryan Buchter plunked Taylor Ward. Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo came to the mound and summoned Riley Smith from the pen. He took the mound to warm up, but Angels manager Joe Maddon correctly pointed out to Gibson that Buchter had only faced two batters. Buchter had to come back on the field and pitch to Suzuki, whom he promptly hit with the first pitch. Suzuki, writhing in pain, had to come out of the game, although, according to Maddon, the injury should not force him to miss any games. Since Maddon was using his last bench player — catcher Max Stassi — as a pinch-hitter, starting pitcher Griffin Canning ran for Suzuki.

With Buchter now having faced the minimum three batters, Riley Smith took over. He got Stassi to hit a ground ball, but it was far too slow to be a double-play ball. By the time Rojas fielded it, his only play was at first. After Fletcher, up next, walked, Upton hit a liner toward left. Escobar saved more runs by making a leaping catch, finishing with a somersault on the landing.

The Diamondbacks only managed a leadoff walk in the bottom of the 10th, as Angels relievers Steve Cishek and the left-handed Alex Claudio slammed the door on the Diamondbacks. It was not without drama, however, as the final strike of the game came on a checked-swing appeal to third. Third base umpire Dan Merzel punched the air, sending pinch-hitter Stephen Vogt into a squat of disbelief as the Angels celebrated.

Looking Ahead

Raisel Iglesias (3–2), despite blowing a save, escaped with a win in relief. Ryan Buchter (0–1) took the loss, while Alex Claudio earned his first save of the season. The Angels (31–32) and Diamondbacks (20–43) will continue their three-game series Saturday afternoon at 1:10 Arizona/Pacific Time. Angels right-hander Alex Cobb (4–2, 4.24 ERA) will face Diamondbacks southpaw Caleb Smith (2–2, 3.14 ERA).

Main Photo:
Embed from Getty Images

Players/managers mentioned:
Kurt Suzuki, Shohei Ohtani, Merrill Kelly, Justin Upton Anthony Rendon, Josh Rojas, Ketel Marte, Jose Iglesias, Asdrubal Cabrera, Eduardo Escobar, Pavin Smith, David Peralta, Carson Kelly, Nick Ahmed, Tim Locastro, Taylor Ward, Christian Walker, Raisel Iglesias, Ryan Buchter, Torey Lovullo, Riley Smith, Joe Maddon, Max Stassi, Griffin Canning, Steve Cishek, Alex Claudio, Stephen Vogt, Alex Cobb, Caleb Smith


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