A day after getting rained out for the first time in 20 years, the Angels were tasked with finishing up a four game series with the Red Sox via a Monday doubleheader. The first game would still feature Hector Santiago for the Angels, and newcomer Eduardo Rodriguez for the Boston bad guys. Perhaps the anticipation to play yesterday, all while huddled in the clubhouse, proved to be an asset, because while the skies were clear as a bell today, the Angels would uncork that pent up, rain delay energy in the form of an 11-1 drubbing.
Almost all of the action would take place in the second inning, when the Angels poured everything they had on Rodriguez, eventually knocking him out of the game and getting to the Red Sox bullpen far earlier than they would ever had hoped. Chris Iannetta kicked things off by knocking in a run with a single, then he was followed by a Daniel Robertson double that was hilariously misplayed by recently-turned outfielder Hanley Ramirez. With the bottom of the order coming through with men on, it was now time for the meat of the lineup to open the flood gates. Johnny Giavotella hit a two-run single, scoring both Iannetta and Robertson. Kole Calhoun, just 48 hours from having an epic, two homer night, hit his third blast of the series, making the score an outrageous 6-0. Kole is now batting .329 with 7 homers in his last 17 games. That Angels outfield is getting more bonkers by the minute(pay no attention to left field, for now, ok?).
Not to be outdone, and just when fans were beginning to look at his July numbers and groan(as oppossed to jump for joy, like in June), Albert Pujols knocked a ball into the left field bullpen area with a low, looping swing straight out of one of his golf tournaments. It was career homer #547 for Pujols, one behind Mike Schmidt on the all-time list, and it also tied him with Ty Cobb on the all-time extra base hit list(12th place, to be exact). Rarefied air, to say the very least.
So the Angels had a 7-0 lead after the Halo Blitz that was the second inning, plenty of wiggle room for Hector Santiago to work with. He's been quite lucky lately, pitching on days when the Angels turn into a run-scoring juggernaut, but that's not to say Santiago coasted in this game. It took him 51 pitches just to get through the first two sides, although in those two innings he had five Ks. That was pretty much how the rest of the afternoon went for the all star, as he had an extremely ineffecient 114 pitches over 5.0 IP, but his strikeout game was on point throughout. He finished with a career-high-tying 10 Ks over those five innings, and only gave up one run(a Mike Napoli RBI single, naturally). Still, it was good to see him gun down so many Red Sox, all while backed with an out-of-control score.
The Angels would go on to score four more runs in the game, after that second inning deluge, most notably on David Freese's 3-run shot in the fourth. This was an unusually Ruth-ean bomb from the third baseman...one that went 451 feet, according to Statcast, and was Freese's 2nd longest homer of his career. Someone had a few extra pancakes in the morning for breakfast.
The Angels bullpen would fill in nicely for Hector, and the team would go on to stomp the Red Sox 11-1, and are now a season best 11 games over .500. Their work is not quite done today, however, as they have another contest against their heated rivals at 7pm, but the momentum is clearly in the Halos' favor. Lesson learned: make the Halos sit around and wait to play in a rain delay, and you're going to see that pent up power get poured upon the unsuspecting opponent in a way that almost makes you feel bad for them. This is the Red Sox, though, and I said ALMOST.