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ANGELS

Kole Calhoun puts Angels over the top in win over Blue Jays, 7-5

J.B. Shuck goes into the stands to rob Jose Bautista and Calhoun's first career home run a game-winner for the Angels.

August 02, 2013|By Ben Bolch
  • Kole Calhoun went 4 for 5 at the plate and belted a two-run home run to give the Angels a 7-5 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays on Friday.
Kole Calhoun went 4 for 5 at the plate and belted a two-run home run to give… (Mark J. Terrill / Associated…)

The fans who received an unexpected meet-and-greet with Angels left fielder J.B. Shuck raised their arms in triumph.

Across the outfield, Kole Calhoun pounded his glove with his left hand as he whooped it up.

Angels players in the dugout doffed their caps and held them aloft as a tribute.

BOX SCORE: Angels 7, Toronto 5

You could go a lifetime without seeing a better catch at Angel Stadium than the one Shuck made in the fourth inning Friday night, tumbling into the stands after he had perfectly timed his leap in front of the wall to take away a two-run home run from Jose Bautista.

"You don't play many baseball games where there's a catch like that," Calhoun said.

The Angels ensured Shuck's catch wasn't just a feel-good footnote by rallying for three runs in the eighth inning of a 7-5 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays.

Shuck hit a run-scoring triple off reliever Steve Delabar and Calhoun followed two batters later with his first career homer, a two-run shot that capped the first four-hit game of his career.

"It's still going through my head right now," Calhoun said. "I was telling some of the guys, 'That's the best feeling of my life.'"

Angels closer Ernesto Frieri struck out the side during a scoreless ninth inning for his 26th save, easing the sting of back-to-back blown saves this week in Texas.

The beleaguered Angels bullpen combined for 32/3 scoreless innings after starter Tommy Hanson could not hold a two-run lead, the Blue Jays scoring three runs in the fifth inning to take a 5-4 advantage and quiet a crowd that had been abuzz over Shuck's catch.

Shuck ran a long way on Bautista's towering drive, slowing as he reached the wall before soaring to make the catch when he extended his glove over the wall.

"He hit it pretty high," Shuck said, "so I had time to get back to the wall and it started coming down and I knew I would have a chance at it and just jumped and tried to go get it. I don't really know what happened after that."

His momentum carried him into the stands, where fans cheered wildly as he quickly climbed back over the wall and fired the ball into the infield. The only thing that was damaged may have been a fan's outfit.

"I think my foot got caught in someone's shirt trying to get out," Shuck said, "so hopefully I didn't rip it up."

A smile eventually crept over Shuck's face. Bautista could only raise his arms in frustration as he rounded first base, but his unusual out contributed to the Blue Jays' second run. Umpires awarded Maicer Izturis, who had walked to lead off the inning, second base on Shuck's catch. Edwin Encarnacion followed with a single to left that gave the Blue Jays a 2-0 lead.

The only thing anyone will remember is the catch that made it possible.

"You're not going to see a guy go much further than J.B. did in the stands to take a home run away," Angels Manager Mike Scioscia said. "It was just a great effort."

ben.bolch@latimes.com

Twitter: @latbbolch

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