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Alberto Callaspo's pinch-hit grand slam rallies the Angels to win

He's the sixth player in franchise history to deliver in a pinch with the bases loaded, leading to a 5-3 victory at Seattle, and the first to do it since 2004.

May 26, 2012|By Mike DiGiovanna
  • Angels pinch-hitter Alberto Callaspo, right, is congratulated by teammates after hitting a grand slam against the Mariners on Saturday evening in Seattle.
Angels pinch-hitter Alberto Callaspo, right, is congratulated by teammates… (Elaine Thompson / Associated…)

SEATTLE -- Alberto Callaspo delivered a pinch-hit grand slam -- the sixth in franchise history and first since 2004 -- in the sixth inning Saturday to lead the Angels to a 5-3, come-from-behind victory over the Seattle Mariners and ace Felix Hernandez at Safeco Field.

Albert Pujols also hit a solo home run to left-center field in the fourth inning, giving the slugger six homers in 11 games and 21 runs batted in during his last 20 games, to help the Angels extend their winning streak to five, a season high, and move into second place in the American League West, 6 1/2 games behind Texas.

Starter Jerome Williams gave up three runs and five hits in six innings, and Jordan Walden, Scott Downs and Ernesto Frieri combined to get the last nine outs, another fine relief effort by a bullpen that has given up only three earned runs in 37 1/3 innings over the last 12 games.

The Mariners scored twice in the fifth inning to take a 2-1 lead, a rally that featured John Jaso’s one-out double and run-scoring singles by Mike Carp and Dustin Ackley.

A mental miscue by Angels shortstop Erick Aybar, who threw late to third in an attempt to cut down Jaso instead of going to first on Miguel Olivo’s grounder, extended the inning for Seattle.

But the Angels rallied in the sixth inning, as Mark Trumbo led off with his third hit, an infield single to the shortstop hole, Howie Kendrick singled to left-center field and Aybar beat out a sacrifice bunt toward third to load the bases.

Hernandez struck out Kole Calhoun for the first out, but Callaspo, hitting for catcher Bobby Wilson, lofted the second grand slam of his career into the right-field seats for a 5-2 Angels lead. The last Angel to hit a pinch-hit grand slam was Shane Halter on May 8, 2004, against Kansas City.

Justin Smoak’s solo homer to right-center field in the bottom of the sixth inning pulled Seattle to within two runs, 5-3, but Walden struck out two of the three batters he faced, Downs gave up one hit and struck out two in a scoreless inning, and Frieri struck out three of the five batters he faced for his second save.

Callaspo’s game-winning slam capped a very productive week for the third baseman, who hit a two-run double in the 11th inning to give the Angels a 3-1 win over Oakland on Wednesday and drew a key walk during a three-run, ninth-inning rally that gave the Angels a 6-4 come-from-behind win over the Mariners on Friday night.

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