The fans would have loved it every single piece of this Angels rally.
In front of zero paid fans at Angels Stadium due to COVID-19, the Angels stormed from five runs behind to win a 10-9 thriller against the Oakland A’s — owners of MLB’s best record — on the second of superstar Mike Trout’s two home runs.
It was a star-studded rally led by the heart of the Angels’ lineup.
Trout homered twice and third baseman Anthony Rendon and designated hitter Shohei Ohtani went deep once each as the Angels 3-4-5 hitters went 8 for 12 with four homers, scored eight runs and drove in seven.
Trout provided the winning margin by driving a curveball from A’s reliever Yusmeiro Petit into the seats in left field in the bottom of the eighth inning after the Angels had earlier overcome a five-run deficit to Oakland.
Said Trout, who has hit six home runs since his return to the team after the birth of his son on July 30: “We had a tough stretch in Texas, but we just came home and turned the page. That’s something we can build off of.
“We’ve got great hitters on this team and you saw what we did tonight. We can score runs with the best teams.”
The Angels, who had struggled early with absences to Rendon (oblique injury) and Trout (paternity leave) improved to 6-11.
Manager Joe Maddon had earlier predicted that his Angels team would need to “win ugly — win a lot of 9-8, 11-10, 7-6 games.”
With the win, the Angels broke out of a three-game losing streak and snapped Oakland’s major-league best nine-game winning streak.
Rendon broke an 0-for-21 slump with a two-run homer in the first inning off Oakland left-hander Sean Manaea.
Angels manager Joe Maddon said: “It has to take a little bit of a load off. It’s something that can lead to a very good hot streak for him, because he’s one of those guys that can get hot and stay hot.”
But Rendon only staked the Angels to a lead. Angels starter Julio Teheran and long relief man Matt Andriese were pummeled by Oakland’s lineup — particularly third baseman Matt Chapman, who hit two homers and drove in six runs as the A’s streaked to a 9-4 lead after the top of the fourth.
The Angels’ rally, however, had the hallmarks of a game that could change the team’s season’s fortunes.
Five Angels had multiple-hit games, and they chipped into Oakland’s lead when Trout scorched a two-run line-drive homer to left in the bottom of the fourth. Albert Pujols drove in another run in the frame on a ground out but things looked far from and Angels’ victory.
They tied it at 9-9 in the sixth when Ohtani smashed a two-run homer off A’s reliever Lou Trivino.
Ohtani said, through interpreter Ippei Mizuhara: “I started feeling much better yesterday, little by little, and I think it worked into today. This was just an extension of the work I’ve been putting in.”
The Angels’ bullpen settled in — with Noe Ramirez, Keynan Middleton and Felix Pena providing a bridge to the win and an eventual save by Ty Buttrey.
But Trout’s eighth-inning home run, the game winner, was the amazing even in the eyes of a fellow American League All-Star, Chapman.
Said Chapman: “You think you’ve seen it all, but then (Trout) keeps doing it. He can change the game with one swing of the bat, and it’s always awesome to play against him. He’s … in my opinion, he’s the best player in the big leauges and maybe the best to ever do it.”