Opening Day, April 1, 2013 is 49 days away. There have been one hundred walk off home runs in Angels history. This is the story of #49, the first walk off home run in club history to be hit in consecutive games.
August 30, 1986 - The Saturday night crowd of 39,000+ on hand was 7,000 more than had been on hand the night before as the Angels took game two of their four game series with Spark Anderson's Detroit Tigers. The greatest comeback in the history of the team had likely taken place Friday and what then would the Angels do for an encore?
Detroit's Dan Petry did his job, allowing only one earned run on three hits in seven innings pitched, but two unearned runs scored in the bottom of the third after a Darnell Coles bobble at 3B. Ray Chadwick started for the Angels and allowed three earned runs in six innings pitched. Gary Lucas allowed one in his three innings of relief.
In the bottom of the ninth, though, the fans got what they had paid for - A walk to Brian Downing represented the tying run to lead off the bottom of the ninth. Reggie Jackson followed and the scent of home run had to be in the air. But Reggie struck out. Down 3-4 with one out and a possible double play in order to win the game, Tigers reliever Bill Campbell pitched to Doug DeCinces who hit a come form behind walk off home run, the second in two nights over the Tigers. The Angels had a six game winning streak and would finish the four-game sweep of the Motor City Cats on Sunday afternoon.
This was a Detroit team with most of the working parts from its monster 1984 championship squad still in place. The 1986 Angels were at their hottest in the late Summer of that exciting division championship season. With one day left to go in a magical August, the final score that night in Anaheim was Angels 5, Tigers 4, Gary Lucas was the winning pitcher, Doug DeCinces the hero.