Opening Day (April 1, 2013) is 70 days away. We are counting down the 100 Walk Off Home Runs in Angels franchise history. Today we look at #70...
September 15, 1997 - The starting pitcher for the visiting Minnesota Twins was LaTroy Hawkins, who would pitch middle relief for the Angels fifteen seasons later in 2012. On this night at his future home park, he was pitching a good game, having allowed one run on four hits through five innings on eighty-seven pitches. Tom Kelly sent him out to pitch the sixth. Hawkins walked Jim Edmonds on five pitches and gave up a single to Dave Hollins. Jack Howell than crushed a 2-1 pitch into the seats to tie the game 4-4.
Dennis Springer gave up a hit to start the eighth and left the game with a 4-4 tie. The Angels bullpen made it 5-4 pretty quickly. In the bottom of the eighth, Dave Hollins hit a solo home run off of Greg Swindell to tie it 5-5.
Pep Harris had an awful top of the ninth. He loaded the bases after getting two quick outs, but Ron Coomer grounded out with the bases loaded to end the threat. It turns out, Pep could have allowed a few runs, as relievers Rick Trombley and Eddie Guardardo each allowed a baserunner apiece. With two on and only one out, closer Rick Aguilera was summoned form the bullpen. Garret Anderson battled him. In a thirteen pitch at-bat, GA finally ended it with a shot over the wall. Final Score: Angels 8, Twins 5.
Rick Aguilera faced the Angels 40 times in his career and recorded three wins, two losses and 25 saves. The loss in this game was charged to Rick Trombley. But the Walk Off Home Run charged to Aguilera was the third he surrendered to the Angels. That is the most Walk Off Home Runs allowed by an Angels opponent. You can say that Garret Anderson and he collaborated on setting that record.