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Kole Calhoun's walk-off homer gives Angels an 8-7 win over Giants

March 17, 2014|By Bill Shaikin
  • Outfielder Kole Calhoun, who had a home run Monday in an exhibition game, hit .282 and drove in 32 runs in 58 games for the Angels last season.
Outfielder Kole Calhoun, who had a home run Monday in an exhibition game,… (Jim Cowsert / Associated…)

TEMPE, Ariz. -- The Angels walked off into their lone off day of the spring.

Kole Calhoun hit a walk-off home run Monday, powering the Angels to an 8-7 victory over the San Francisco Giants.

The Angels took a 6-3 lead into the bottom of the ninth inning, but the Giants scored four runs off Joe Smith. The Angels signed Smith to a three-year, $15.75-million contract last winter after watching their bullpen blow too many leads last season.

The runs were all unearned, and Smith would have worked a 1-2-3 ninth had shortstop Grant Green not committed an error on a ground ball. But, with two out, the Giants got four consecutive hits off Smith and took a 7-6 lead.

In the bottom of the ninth, Calhoun hit a 3-0 pitch from Jean Machi for his first home run of the spring, and for the game-winner.

Josh Hamilton made his Cactus League debut and had one hit in three at-bats. Hamilton, who had been slowed by a strained calf, took off for second base on one pitch.

“He’s able to run for sure,” said Angels Manager Mike Scioscia.

Hamilton was the designated hitter Monday. The Angels are off Tuesday. Scioscia would not say when Hamilton would play the outfield and would not say whether he could be ready for opening day.

“There are still some hurdles,” Scioscia said. “You want to get his at-bats up. He’s got to play left field.”

Although the A team played the Giants, the Angels sent a split squad to play the Chicago Cubs.

The Angels lost that game, 4-2. Joe Blanton, trying to persuade the Angels to keep him or another team to trade for him, pitched 5-1/3 innings and gave up three runs and four hits – the same totals as Hector Santiago posted with the A team.

In his first two spring outings, Blanton gave up nine runs in 5-2/3 innings. In the two outings since then, he has given up three runs in 10-1/3 innings.

The Angels scored both runs against the Cubs on wild pitches.

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