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Friday, May 06, 2011

Singles Night: Angels 2, Indians 1 (11 Innings)

Whew! The Angels' 8th extra-inning game this year, and the earliest they've ever played as many. The surprising thing was that Halos starter Tyler Chatwood actually outdueled Indians staff ace Justin Masterson (at least, as measured by hits — both ended up with no decisions), giving up a no-hitter as late as the fourth inning, though he was sloppy and generous with walks, ultimately recording five, one intentional. But he got as many strikeouts, so however it worked, the eight innings he posted against the league's second-best offense count as not only a personal triumph but a considerable feather in his cap. Of course, Chatwood doesn't look nearly as impressive if he doesn't get the brilliant help of the pint-sized Alexei Amarista to end the eighth. Amarista, dragooned into playing left, hadn't played an inning in the outfield since single-A, but made a highlight reel play in left to end the eighth.

Cleveland took a 1-0 lead in the fourth on Pronk's scoring groundout to first in the fourth inning. The Angels battled back to tie the game in the sixth, and could have taken the lead but for a brilliant play by Shin Shoo Choo in right, who converted a Torii Hunter fly ball out into a double play at third, erasing Maicer Izturis and effectively ending the Angels' threat. Eventually, things went into extras, and despite the appearance of Fernando Rodney, no catastrophes occurred (for the Angels). The Angels eventually won the affair on four straight singles, including Torii Hunter's first hit of the game.

Two games over Texas — and, shock! Oakland — now. Can we believe, a little?

Mild postscript: the Friday fireworks show was dogged by synchronization problems with the music (Katy Perry, though I doubt that was significant). People left in the middle of the show for the first time in memory, and even booed. Wow.

ESPN boxAngels recap

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