Down 5-2 entering the ninth inning the Angels battled back, or took advantage of a Grant Balfour meltdown if you like, setting Mike Trout up to the plate as the winning run with two on, one run across and nobody out.
After a few pitches, telecaster Mark Gubicza pointed out that Trout had never had a walk off home run and perhaps right now would be a good time to do so.
And Trout hit the next pitch into the Left Field seats.
The Angels had played a pretty lackluster game up to the sixth inning. Down 4-0, Howie Kendrick scored on a fielding error and Raul Ibanez pinch hitting drove in C.J. Cron. The deficit cut in half a gutty Tyler Skaggs wilted and gave up a home run right away in the top of the seventh. I was at In-N-Out Burger picking up dinner and missed it all. The highlight of the game was Mike Scioscia winning TWO challenges of out calls at 2B
Skaggs allowed five earned runs in 6+ innings pitched. He struck out five and allowed eight hits, walking only one.
So then I get back and Kevin Jepsen is in for Skaggs, the Angels are down 5-2 and I'm like (thought bubble: this one is done). I ate dinner while Jepsen threw 23 of his 30 pitches. Oh did I have a postgame report reaming him walking two guys with two outs. Try the "secret menu" well done fires at I-N-O, they are great.
But the epic ninth started with walks to Hank Conger (Conger started the Plate Appearance at 1-2) and Efren Navarro (who started his PA at 0-2). Balfour granted ball four twice and looked a little like Neal Cassady talking to himself out there on the mound. He then allowed a base hit to Collin Cowgill. Conger scored, Navarro made it to 3B (remember the glory days of "first to third") and Rays manager Joe Maddon removed Balfour. Rays reliever Brad Boxberger started Trout off with three changeups, as that has been the most successful pitch against the formerly struggling Halo CF. The third consecutive changeup from Boxberger was crushed on Gubicza's command. It was kind of awesome.
Fernando Salas pitched a scoreless top of the ninth 1-2-3 and got the Win.
Also, reports just in, Trout did not break his ankle on home plate.