Angels catcher Chris Iannetta drives in two runs with a single in the 13th… (David Kohl / Associated…)
CINCINNATI--Chris Iannetta lined a two-out, two-run single to left field in the top of the 13th inning Monday to lift the Angels to a 3-1 victory over the Cincinnati Reds in a marathon of a season opener at Great American Ball Park.
Angels closer Ernesto Frieri struck out two of four in a scorelss bottom of the 13th to cap a brilliant effort from the Angels, who got six scoreless innings from relievers Garrett Richards, Sean Burnett, Kevin Jepsen, Scott Downs and Mark Lowe. The 4-hour, 45-minute game was the longest season opener in Angels franchise history, topping the 4-hour, 23-minute, 14-inning opener against the Chicago White Sox in 1966.
Josh Hamilton sparked the Angels' winning rally with a one-out walk off Reds right-hander J.J. Hoover. Mark Trumbo grounded out to third, Hamilton taking second, and Cincinnati elected to intentionally walk Howie Kendrick to pitch to pinch-hitter Hank Conger, the last man on the Angels' bench.
But Hoover hit Conger with a pitch to load the bases, and Iannetta, after fouling off two full-count pitches, laced his game-winning hit to left. Iannetta also hit a solo home run in the third inning for the Angels.
Less than a week after signing a minor league contract with the Angels, reliever Mark Lowe came up big on Monday, throwing two scoreless innings to keep his new team tied with the Cincinnati Reds, 1-1, going into the 13th inning at Great American Ball Park.
Lowe pitched his way out of a two-on, one-out jam in the 11th, striking out Todd Frazier and getting Jack Hannahan to ground out to end the inning. The right-hander took a wicked liner off the back of his right leg from Ryan Hanigan to open the 12th but recovered to get the out at first. He then struck out Cesar Izturis and Shin-Soo Choo to end the inning.
The Angels failed to capitalize on a great scoring chance in the top of the 12th after Peter Bourjos, who entered the game as part of a quadruple-switch in the bottom of the 11th, crushed a one-out triple over the head of center fielder Shin-Soo Choo.
Up stepped Mike Trout, the 2012 American League rookie of the year and most valuable player runnerup with a chance to put the Angels ahead, but the outfielder struck out on a 93-mph fastball from Reds right-hander J.J. Hoover. Erick Aybar then grounded out to second to end the inning.
The Angels and Cincinnati Reds are tied, 1-1, going into the 11th inning of Monday's season opener at Great American Ball Park.
Reds closer Aroldis Chapman struck out two of four batters in the top of the ninth, and Angels right-hander Kevin Jepsen struck out two of three in the bottom of the ninth to send the Angels to extra innings in the season opener for only the fourth time in club history.
Cincinnati right-hander Sam LeCure allowed one hit in a scoreless top of the 10th, and Angels lefty Scott Downs retired the side in order in the bottom of the 10th. The teams have combined for only seven hits.
Veteran left-hander Sean Burnett, making his first appearance with the Angels after signing a two-year, $8-million deal over the winter, struck out Jay Bruce with the bases loaded to end the bottom of the eighth inning, preserving a 1-1 tie with the Cincinnati Reds.
Pinch-hitter Xavier Paul reached on second baseman Howie Kendrick's fielding error to open the inning, and Shin-Soo Choo singled to right off Angels reliever Garrett Richards. Both runners advanced on Brandon Phillips' sacrifice bunt, and Joey Votto was walked intentionally to load the bases.
But Richards struck out Chris Heisey with a 94-mph fastball, and Burnett came on to whiff Bruce to end the inning. Reds left-hander Aroldis Chapman came on in the top of the ninth.
Reds starter Johnny Cueto pitched out of a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the top of the seventh inning, striking out Chris Iannetta and pinch-hitter J.B. Shuck, to preserve a 1-1 tie against the Angels.
Josh Hamilton had led off the seventh with a walk, and Mark Trumbo, who struck out in his first two at-bats, grounded a single to left field. Both runners advanced on Howie Kendrick's sacrifice bunt, and Alberto Callaspo was walked intentionally to load the bases.
Iannetta, who hit a solo homer in the third inning, worked a full count of Cueto but swung through a breaking ball that was a few inches off the plate. Shuck hit for Weaver, who allowed one run and two hits in six innings, and struck out. Garrett Richards came on to pitch the bottom of the seventh for the Angels.
The Reds tied the Angels, 1-1, in the bottom of the third inning when Shin-Soo Choo led off with a double to left, took third on Brandon Phillips' groundout and, after Ryan Ludwick's two-out walk, scored on Jered Weaver's wild pitch.