It all worked out in the end for the Angels on Friday night, as Chris Iannetta drove a two-out single off the left-center field wall in the 11th inning to score Kole Calhoun from first base for a 3-2 walk-off victory over the Seattle Mariners.
Matt Shoemaker allowed only two hits in five scoreless innings in his major league debut, and Dane De La Rosa, Ernesto Frieri, Juan Gutierrez and Cory Rasmus each threw scoreless relief innings to help the Angels win for the 20th time in 27 games and prevent them from being mathematically eliminated from playoff contention.
But critics of Manager Mike Scioscia’s small-ball tendencies were probably howling in the 10th inning when J.B. Shuck led off with a walk and Scioscia had Howie Kendrick, who had doubled in his previous at-bat and is hitting .304, bunt, a move that took that bat out of the hands of Mike Trout, the team’s best hitter.
Seattle Manager Eric Wedge summoned left-hander Bobby LaFromboise, who got Josh Hamilton to ground into an inning-ending, 4-6-3 double play.
Scioscia said he knew the Mariners would walk Trout — they did the same thing after Kendrick’s leadoff double in the eighth — but he felt confident with the way Hamilton and Mark Trumbo were swinging that one of them would come through with a game-winning hit.