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Halos squeeze past Texas in another stunner
By Maria Guardado and T.R. Sullivan
ANAHEIM -- The Angels staged their second consecutive come-from-behind victory on Tuesday night, scoring three runs in the ninth inning to force extra innings before completing their improbable rally on Carlos Perez's walk-off bunt single in the 10th, which lifted the Halos to a 6-5 win in their series opener with the Rangers at Angel Stadium.
With the game tied, 5-5, Cameron Maybin drew a leadoff walk off Jeremy Jeffress and advanced to third on Danny Espinosa's one-out single to right field. Perez followed by executing a perfect safety squeeze up the first-base line to score Maybin, earning his second career walk-off hit.
Perez said manager Mike Scioscia called for the squeeze play before his at-bat and added that he felt confident bunting in that situation.
"I'm really comfortable," Perez said. "I know I can put the ball down. I was just trying to not be too perfect and just put the ball down and fair."
The Angels also scored seven runs in the ninth inning on Sunday to stun the Mariners for a 10-9 win. They have now won four in a row, bringing their record to 6-2 after eight games.
The victory spoiled an impressive outing for Rangers left-hander Cole Hamels, who tossed seven innings of one-run ball in his second start of the season. Hamels blanked the Halos through the first six innings before yielding a solo home run to Jefry Marte in the seventh. Marte's homer proved to be the lone hiccup in an otherwise stellar night for Hamels, who allowed just four hits while walking four and striking out five.
"We have a lot of games to play," Hamels said. "There are going to be some misfortunes here and there. It's good to identify them early so you can make the necessary changes with the thought process of how we are going to attack."
Left-hander Tyler Skaggs delivered his second straight rocky outing for the Angels, giving up five runs on eight hits while walking two and striking out five over five-plus innings. The 25-year-old southpaw, who also allowed five runs over 5 1/3 innings in his season debut against the A's, now has an 8.71 ERA over his first two starts of 2017.
"It's frustrating," Skaggs said. "Having my team pick me up, though -- this is one of the best teams I've ever played on, and I've only been playing with them for two weeks. It's unbelievable."
Right-handers Bud Norris, Yusmeiro Petit and Cam Bedrosian combined to work five scoreless innings in relief of Skaggs, giving the Angels a chance to gradually chip away at their early five-run deficit.
"We're not going to have a comeback if they keep tacking on runs, so our bullpen did a terrific job," Scioscia said.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Dyson blows three-run lead: Rangers closer Sam Dyson took over in the ninth trying to protect a 5-2 lead. But the Angels rallied to tie the game and Dyson suffered his second blown save of the season. Espinosa led off with a home run, Escobar doubled with one out and scored on a two-out double by Mike Trout. Dyson almost caught Trout looking with a 1-2 fastball that just missed outside. Albert Pujols drove in the tying run with a single to left. More >
Trout steals home run: Trout also had a big defensive play in the top of the 10th after Bedrosian took over on the mound for the Angels. Napoli, leading off the inning, crushed one to deep center but Trout got to the wall, timed his jump and took at least extra bases -- possibly a home run -- away with the catch.
"He made it look easy," Scioscia said. "That was not an easy catch."
"I definitely had to battle. You're not many of my games with as many balls as strikes. You just have to keep battling. I've had a few in my career. You just keep throwing strikes and pounding the zone as much as possible." -- Hamels, who threw 100 pitches and only 51 strikes
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS Ryan Rua, in the third inning, ripped a 370-foot line drive that had a 110.2-mph exit velocity and 20-degree launch angle, giving it a 92-percent hit probability. However, Angels left fielder Cameron Maybin made the catch. In the Statcast™ Era, only once had the Rangers suffered a harder-hit out on a barrel -- a ball with at least a .500 expected average and 1.500 expected slugging percentage.
WHAT'S NEXT Rangers: Right-hander A.J. Griffin pitches for the Rangers at 9:07 p.m. CT Tuesday against the Angels. Griffin allowed four runs in 3 1/3 innings in his first start against the Athletics last week.game.
Angels: Right-hander Jesse Chavez makes his second start of the season against the Rangers Tuesday night at Angel Stadium. Chavez picked up a win in his Angels debut after allowing one run over 5 2/3 innings against the Mariners last week. First pitch is slated for 7:07 p.m. PT.
T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.