Tag: Efren Navarro

Eric Hosmer

Eric Hosmer homers in 11th, sends Royals up 2-0 in the ALDS against the Angels


The Royals became the first team to go to extra innings in three consecutive games to begin the post-season. And the Royals are now 3-0 in those games. Eric Hosmer belted a two-run home run in the top of the 11th inning off of Angels reliever Kevin Jepsen to break a 1-1 tie, ending hours of offensive frustration even after starters Yordano Ventura and Matt Shoemaker were long gone.

Alex Gordon gave the Royals a 1-0 lead in the second inning, sending a single to center field to bring around Hosmer who had singled to lead off the inning. The Angels tied it up in the sixth, when Albert Pujols pushed a single into the hole between first and second base, allowing Kole Calhoun to score. And that was it offensively for most of the game.

Yordano Ventura rebounded from a tough relief appearance in the American League Wild Card game, in which he served up a three-run home run to Brandon Moss in the sixth inning. Unlike the Athletics, the Royals couldn’t muster much of anything against the right-hander. Ventura repeatedly reached triple digits in velocity, fanning five batters in total while scattering five hits and a walk in seven innings.

Matt Shoemaker was equally as good. Shoemaker hadn’t pitched since September 15 due to an oblique injury, but it certainly didn’t seem to bother him any on Friday night. The right-hander punched out six batters while allowing five hits and a walk.

Both bullpens followed suit. The Angels’ bullpen put up four hitless innings in the seventh, eighth, ninth, and 10th innings. The Royals’ bullpen allowed just one hit in three innings of work in the eighth, ninth, and 10th.

Lorenzo Cain started the Royals’ rally in the top of the 11th, narrowly beating out an infield single. Hosmer then slapped a home run well over the fence in right field to give the Royals a 3-1 lead. The Royals weren’t quite done, however. Alex Gordon drew a two-out walk, stole second, and advanced to third base on an errant throw by catcher Chris Iannetta. Following that, Salvador Perez punched a single up the middle that had just enough oomph before shortstop Erick Aybar flagged it down, allowing Gordon to score and Perez to reach safely. Omar Infante flied out to center to end the three-run 11th inning for the Royals.

Closer Greg Holland took the mound in the bottom half of the 11th, retiring Efren Navarro and Chris Iannetta quickly. Kole Calhoun reached on a throwing error by second baseman Infante and was given second base when the throw skipped out of play. Holland struck out Mike Trout swinging on a high slider to end the contest for a 4-1 win, giving the Royals a 2-0 cushion in the American League Division Series.

Trout is 0-for-7 with two walks in two ALDS games for the Angels. Josh Hamilton is 0-for-9. Pujols is 1-for-8 with a walk and the RBI single. The Angels’ best hitters have been stymied by Royals pitching.

The Royals and Angels will have Saturday off to travel, then they’ll resume the series on Sunday night in Kansas City when C.J. Wilson will oppose James Shields. The Angels will have to win three games in a row if they hope to extend their season further into October.

Josh Hamilton can’t hack it in first game in weeks

Josh Hamilton, Gary DiSarcina

Making his first appearance since Sept. 16 — and just his second since Sept. 4 — Josh Hamilton, returning from shoulder, chest and rib cage injuries, went 0-for-5 in Thursday’s 3-2 loss to the Royals, four times getting retired by left-handed pitchers. He popped up to third base to end the game in the 11th.

In both the seventh and ninth innings, the Angels worked to set things up for Hamilton; the leadoff man got on and Erick Aybar bunted him over both times, even though there was a left-handed pitcher on the mound. In the seventh, Hamilton hit a routine grounder off rookie Brandon Finnegan. In the ninth, he struck out in a poor at-bat versus Tim Collins.

Manager Mike Scioscia was due to face questions afterwards whether starting Hamilton was the right call. This was actually a pretty good matchup for Hamilton, though; not only did he hit .330 in 91 at-bats against lefties during the regular season, but he had three career homers in 27 at-bats against Royals starter Jason Vargas (albeit with a .222 average). If Hamilton was going to play during the series, then there was no reason not to use him tonight.

Tonight was the lesser question, though. The bigger one is whether Hamilton should be playing at all. We’ll get a better read on that Friday when he faces flamethrowing Yordano Ventura. If Hamilton is overmatched, the Angels should strongly consider trying something different in left field in Game 3, which would probably mean playing Efren Navarro.

Settling the Score: Friday’s results

Angels walkoff getty

It took a little while, but the Angels continue to roll.

Thanks to a walk-off single from Efren Navarro in the bottom of the 16th inning, the Angels topped the Mariners 3-2 last night (or early this morning, really) at Angel Stadium. The game took five hours and 14 minutes to complete and ended at around 3:20 a.m. ET. I’ll be honest, I was fast asleep by then.

The Angels had an early two-run lead in this one, but the Mariners tied it up by scoring two runs in the seventh inning. The bullpens took over from there and they were both tremendous. The Mariners ended up using eight pitchers (including four scoreless innings from Tom Wilhelmsen) while the Angels used nine. However, the Angels finally got something going after Mike Trout hit a one-out double off Dominic Leone in the 16th. Albert Pujols hit a comebacker for the second out of the inning, but after Josh Hamilton was intentionally walked, Navarro sent Angels fans home happy with a base hit up the middle.

The Angels have won six straight games and now sit at 58-37 on the year. While they are 1 1/2 games behind the first-place Athletics in the American League West, they own the second-best record in the majors.

Your Friday box scores:

Mariners 2, Angels 3 (16 innings)

Rangers 5, Blue Jays 1

Brewers 4, Nationals 2

Indians 9, Tigers 3

Rockies 2, Pirates 4

Reds 3, Yankees 4

Royals 4, Red Sox 5

Giants 9, Marlins 1

Astros 2, White Sox 3

Phillies 4, Braves 6

Rays 6, Twins 2

Dodgers 2, Cardinals 3

Cubs 4, Diamondbacks 5

Orioles 4, Athletics 5

Mets 5, Padres 4