DENVER (AP)Jared Walsh felt the solid contact and heard the dugout erupt.
After that, he’s foggy on details. Being on cloud nine can do that.
Walsh hit a two-out, three-run homer in the 11th inning and the Los Angeles Angels beat the Colorado Rockies 5-2 on Saturday night.
The 27-year-old first baseman lined a slider from Tyler Kinley (0-2) over the wall in right-center. He knew in an instant it was gone, posing for just a moment before tossing his bat aside.
This was Walsh’s fourth straight game with a homer.
”It’s something I’m going to hold on to for a long time and cherish no matter how my career goes,” Walsh said.
He’s made quite an impact since being recalled from the team’s alternate training site on Aug. 28. He just needed a little time to settle in.
”I think most people that are not experienced at this level are a little bit nervous,” said Walsh, a 39th-round pick in 2015 out of the University of Georgia. ”I’m pretty sure if I played in a beer league softball game I’d have some nerves.”
Ty Buttrey (2-3) pitched out of a jam in the 10th to earn the win. Matt Andriese picked up the save by throwing an efficient 11th as the Angels improved to 3-5 in extra innings. Anthony Rendon ended the game with a catch over the dugout railing.
Kinley struck out four in 1 2/3 innings of work. In the 11th, he walked Andrelton Simmons with Shohei Ohtani starting at second base under baseball’s new extra-inning rules. That set the stage for Walsh.
”He’s got power. His hands are that good,” Angels manager Joe Maddon said. ”It’s no big secret as to why he can do what he’s been doing.”
Both teams squandered opportunities in the 10th. Justin Upton and Max Stassi struck out with a runner at third.
In the bottom half, Trevor Story fanned and Nolan Arenado grounded out to strand a runner at third.
”We had an opportunity in the 10th and Buttrey threw a low fastball that Trevor didn’t pull the trigger,” Rockies manager Bud Black said. ”That’s baseball. We had some chances along the way.”
Albert Pujols had two hits, including an RBI double in the sixth that tied the game at 2-apiece. It was his 669th career double, which moved him past Craig Biggio for fifth on the all-time list.
The 40-year-old Pujols sits one homer away from moving into a tie with Willie Mays (660) for fifth on the major league home run list. Pujols hasn’t homered since Aug. 4.
Ryan McMahon staked Colorado to a 2-1 lead in the fourth when he lined a two-out single to left in a nine-pitch at-bat. He saw an array of sliders and fastballs from Jaime Barria before driving in his 20th run of the season.
McMahon tied the game the night before with a ninth-inning homer, paving the way for Charlie Blackmon’s walk-off grand slam.
Both starters didn’t figure in the decision despite strong outings. Barria threw 5 1/3 innings and allowed two runs.
Kyle Freeland turned in his eighth quality start as he went six innings and gave up two runs. He also struck out four.
”I thought Kyle did his job, did his part to give us a chance to win,” Black said.
David Dahl returned to the lineup after missing 19 games with a sore back. His single in the second was his first hit since Aug. 9.
Rockies: RHP Jon Gray (shoulder inflammation) was scheduled to throw a light bullpen session Saturday.
Before the game, the Angels reinstated infielder David Fletcher from the injured list and optioned left-hander Jose Quijada to the team’s alternate training site. …. The Rockies reinstated reliever Wade Davis from the injured list (strained right shoulder) and optioned righty Ashton Goudeau to their alternate training site.
Barria had his glove taken off by an Arenado line drive in the third. But he picked up the ball and threw out Arenado. Fletcher also made a diving stop in the hole at second base in the third.
Not to be outdone, Arenado had a ball glance off him and straight to Story, who threw out Rendon.
The Rockies will send right-hander Ryan Castellani (1-2, 5.34) to the mound Sunday to close out the three-game series with Los Angeles. The Angels will throw lefty Andrew Heaney (3-3, 4.04).
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