On the night the Angels played Sweet Caroline to honor the city of Boston, instead of Buttercup during the Seventh Inning Stretch a funny thing happened. THEY WON. Could it be that not playing Buttercup, the song about being a constantly-teased loser, sparked the team to victory?
(UPDATE: Word from those at the game is that they played Buttercup an inning later than normal, but still... the pattern has been broken)
The Angels fired on all cylinders with shutdown starting pitching, solid relief and timely hitting that took advantage of sloppy Tiger fielding. With the potent Detroit offense, a late 3-0 lead did not seem safe but the Angels did not back away meekly.
Torii Hunter got a warm, standing ovation from the Angel Stadium crowd in his first game back at the Big A since leaving the team. He tipped his cap (actually his batting helmet) to the fans. Then he faced the player currently wearing his jersey number, starting pitcher Tommy Hanson and hit a single. Many an Angels fan cheered this but there were plenty of claps when he was left stranded at the end of the inning. When Hunter finally did come around to score in the game he made it 8-1 in the top of the ninth. Thanks Torii!!!!
Compare that to how the hayseed Texas Rangers fans greeted Josh Hamilton upon his return. ¡Ai Cocinos!
Hanson scattered six hits in six innings pitched, walking four and struck out two in a huge improvement over his disastrous start last Friday night at the stadium. When Mark Lowe walked two batters with one out in the seventh, Sean Burnett came in and gave up a single to load the bases. With the score 2-0 in favor of the Angels Burnett got Prince Fielder to ground into a double play to end the inning.
On offense rookie Luis Jimenez scored two runs on a night he got two hits and a walk. Brendan Harris doubled in Chris Iannetta in the fourth. Meanwhile Arte Moreno's billboard boy Josh Hamilton was 1 for 5 with three runners left on base. He is batting .200 and remains in the cleanup spot. Peter Borjous had the big hit of the night in the bottom of the eighth. Up 3-0 with two outs and the bases loaded in the bottom of the eighth, Peabo tripled to make it 6-0 and scored on a Mike Trout double.
What a treat for the hometown faithful - coming into this game, the high octane Tiger offense looked terrifying with the number five starter Hanson on the mound.