ANAHEIM, Calif. – The Angels needed nine pitchers, but they withstood a marathon game to beat the Toronto Blue Jays 6-5 in 14 innings Saturday. Maicer Izturis singled home Peter Bourjos with the winning run after the Angels had wasted two golden opportunities in the previous few innings.
Dan Haren (2-0) made his first relief appearance in nearly seven years, pitching a scoreless 14th to get the victory. Haren was scheduled to start Monday's game against the Cleveland Indians, but manager Mike Scioscia said he probably will get pushed back to Tuesday. The Angels cut short the outing of 21-year-old prospect Tyler Chatwood at Triple-A after one inning, likely so he could pitch Monday's game.
The Angels appeared they were going to lose it in the top of the 13th inning when Alberto Callaspo made an errant throw to first base to allow Adam Lind to score from third, but umpire Bob Davidson ruled that base runner Yunel Escobar had interfered with Callaspo in his attempt to field the ball.
Top three: Before the game, Angels manager Mike Scioscia said he was looking at the offense in a “glass is half-full,” way because the top of the order has been creating tons of opportunities. That didn’t stop. Izturis, Howie Kendrick and Bobby Abreu combined for eight hits, three runs scored and four RBIs. Now the rest of the lineup has to catch up.
Howie's power. Kendrick is 40 percent of the way to his career high for home runs (10) and the Angels have played only eight games. Kendrick, 27, looks as if he's learning to pull the ball. As strong as he is, there's no reason he can't hit at least 20 home runs this year.
The bullpen. Including Haren's inning, the Angels' bullpen held Toronto scoreless for more than a regulation game -- 9 1/3 innings. Rich Thompson, Michael Kohn and Jason Bulger all went more than one inning, with Bulger throwing 55 pitches in 2 1/3. It was a tough performance from a group that has come under fire lately.
Pitching depth. The Angels’ rotation is getting dangerously top-heavy. With two starters on the disabled list, the Angels are running out of options. Matt Palmer couldn’t get through five innings filling in for Scott Kazmir. He gave up 10 hits in 4 2/3 innings, but he’ll probably make at least another start or two because there aren’t many other options.
The 11th hour. Actually, it was the 11th inning, but it felt like hours. The Angels blew a golden opportunity to win it by stranding the winning run at third base after Abreu had gotten there with nobody out. Vernon Wells, stuck in a miserable slump, struck out, pinch-hitter Hank Conger hit a grounder to the second baseman and Jeff Mathis struck out.
The 13th inning. Wells was at it again two innings later, when he hit a weak pop-up with the winning run at third and nobody out. Travis Snider made a sliding catch and doubled up Torii Hunter, who never made an effort to get back to first base.