It’s been more than three years since Albert Pujols hit a walk off home run, but his big swing in the 19th inning gave the Los Angeles Angels a 5-4 win over the Boston Red Sox, coming after over six and a half fours of baseball at Angel Stadium, with Mike Trout hitting a home run as well.
The Red Sox were bound to give up plenty of hits with Clay Buchholz on the mound. One of the least impressive starting pitchers in the American League this season gave up six hits and three runs in eight innings, which is actually an improvement for him, actually improving his ERA to 5.99. The Red Sox’ relief kept giving up hits, and it was Junichi Tazawa who blew a save for the fourth time this season, allowing Mike Trout’s grounder to give the Angels a tying run in the 14 after David Ortiz’ sacrifice fly gave the Red Sox a short lead.
In the end, it was Pujols. He started off the scoring in the game with a two-RBI double, and finished the game scoring his 22nd home run of the season, reaching 73 RBIs. Trout hit his 26th homer in 2014, making it to 84 RBIs, as the duo combined to drive in all five runs for the Angels in a day that seemed like it was never going to end for both teams.
Garrett Richards started for the Angels, lasing 6.1 innings and giving up three runs before a long list of relief pitchers came on to try and prevent the Red Sox from scoring. Cory Rasmus nearly lost the game for the Angels but Trout’s RBI let him off the hook. Matt Shoemaker came in for the final three innings and picked up his 10th win of the season, striking out four batters while not giving up a hit or walking anyone from the 17th inning onward.
Both teams combined to throw 558 pitches and use a total of 18 pitchers (nine each) in a marathon that had a total of 21 hits, 15 of them by the Angels. The Angels would have a lot to gripe about had they lost the game, going an awful 3-for-16 with runners in scoring positions, while the Red Sox struggled except for very short stretches in the game, as most of their firepower came from David Ortiz himself, finishing with two RBIs.
I had the opportunity twice to give the team the lead and I didn’t come through, but you just need to stay positive all the time and look for a pitch to hit. I did, and I put my best swing of the second half on it. That tells you something about this ballclub. We could have easily just say, `Forget it’ after David Ortiz’s sacrifice fly and just come back tomorrow. But Chris came back a hit a huge double and we ended up tying the game. A game like this can hopefully turn things around for us. And if that’s the case, it’s worth it to play 19 innings.