Pujols, Trout star as Angels beat skidding Rockies 2-1 in 11
May. 14, 2015
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — After Mike Trout made two spectacular defensive plays look ordinary, Albert Pujols' pedestrian fly ball allowed the Los Angeles Angels to finish their homestand with another dramatic win.
Trout saved the Angels with his glove and arm in extra innings before Pujols hit a game-ending sacrifice fly in the 11th, and Los Angeles sent the Colorado Rockies to their 11th consecutive loss, 2-1 Wednesday night.
Pujols' bases-loaded fly to left easily scored pinch-runner Taylor Featherston for the Angels, who climbed back to .500 (17-17) with their sixth win in eight games to close a nine-game homestand.
Pujols shared a big postgame hug with Trout, who then zipped out of Angel Stadium in an attempt to catch a red-eye flight back East, hoping for an extra day off with family and friends before Los Angeles begins its road trip.
His teammates were left to marvel at him.
"Every day, it seems like he does something I've never seen before," outfielder Collin Cowgill said. "It's a privilege, man."
Trout leaped at the wall in the 10th to take a homer away from Troy Tulowitzki, making a potentially difficult catch look routine.
In the 11th, the AL MVP made a running catch on Daniel Descalso's fly and uncorked a perfect throw to get Carlos Gonzalez at the plate. Umpire Phil Cuzzi initially called Gonzalez safe, but it was overturned by video review.
"That's about as hard a play as you can have," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said.
Gonzalez led off the 11th with a single and advanced to third on two wild pitches by Cesar Ramos (2-0). Trout ran forward for the catch and threw home on the fly, allowing Carlos Perez to tag out Gonzalez, who insisted he was safe.
"On the video, it looked like he touched me on my foot, but he never did," Gonzalez said. "He missed my foot. He tagged me behind my knee when my foot was already on the plate. It was a bang-bang play, and they called me out. It was a great throw by Trout."
After C.J. Cron and Kole Calhoun singled to start the 11th, Christian Friedrich (0-1) intentionally walked Trout to load the bases. Pujols lofted a fly over a five-man infield to end it, also making up for his baserunning blunder in the seventh.
The Rockies are on their longest skid since losing 11 straight in July 2000. Colorado has dropped 17 of 21 overall.
Colorado played without manager Walt Weiss, who had an appendectomy after going to the hospital before batting practice. Bench coach Tom Runnells took over.
"It's par for the course, the way things are going right now," Runnells said after the Rockies' latest long day. "You don't like to joke about things like that, and it's going to be a long, long road. But you know what? We're really proud of the way the guys battled. And if we keep battling like this, we're going to be fine."
Erick Aybar's bases-loaded single drove in the tying run in the seventh after the Angels managed just one baserunner in the first six innings despite the first-inning departure of Colorado starter Jordan Lyles, who injured his pitching hand on Pujols' comebacker.
Lyles' hand swelled, but X-rays showed no breaks. Christian Bergman filled in splendidly with 5 1-3 innings of three-hit relief in his native Southern California.
Hector Santiago pitched six innings of seven-hit ball for the Angels, striking out eight. He fanned seven of the Rockies' first 13 batters, but Colorado strung together three consecutive singles in the fourth, with Drew Stubbs driving in Wilin Rosario.
After Calhoun singled leading off the seventh, Pujols' double moved Trout to third and chased Bergman. Aybar drove a single to shallow center off Scott Oberg, but Pujols was thrown out at the plate by Stubbs.
Angels closer Huston Street pitched a perfect ninth after finalizing a contract through 2017 earlier in the day, giving him a guaranteed $18 million.
Rockies: Justin Morneau left in the eighth with some apparent dizziness after diving for a ball. ... Lyles broke his left hand last season while making a tag.
Rockies: Chad Bettis makes his first big league start of the season when Colorado opens a four-game set up the I-5 freeway at Dodger Stadium.
Angels: Jered Weaver (1-4, 4.98 ERA) looks to build on his first victory when the Angels open a 10-game trip Friday at Baltimore.