Angels keep pace in race with Freese's homer in ninth

Reuters News
Posted: Sep 27, 2015 2:07 AM

(The Sports Xchange) - As the clock approaches midnight on the season, the Los Angeles Angels refuse to turn into pumpkins.

David Freese homered in the bottom of the ninth inning to give the Angels a 3-2 win over the Seattle Mariners on Saturday night in front of 37,866 at Angel Stadium.

The Angels used their fourth consecutive victory to remain half a game behind the Houston Astros, who hold the American League's second wild-card spot, and move within four games of the first-place Texas Rangers in the AL West with eight to play.

But Los Angeles might have lost closer Huston Street, who leads the league with 40 saves. Street left the game in the top of the ninth after running to cover third base on a ground ball.

As Street was running, he pulled up and was unable to put any weight on his left leg.

"It looks like it's right around the groin," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "I don't know how severe this one is. We'll see."

Street, who faced only two batters and allowed one hit in one-third of an inning, is the second reliever to suffer an injury within the week. The Angels lost right-hander Joe Smith, their eighth-inning specialist, when he sprained his left ankle while walking down a hotel stairway Sept. 19.

"It's a huge loss for us," Angels center fielder Mike Trout said of Street's injury. "It's devastating. I hope Joe gets back in the next few days."

Freese, the first batter in the bottom of the ninth, powered an 89 mph fastball from right-hander Danny Farquhar (1-5) over the outstretched glove of center fielder Shawn O'Malley and the outfield fence for his 12th homer of the season.

Right-hander Fernando Salas (4-2) picked up the victory in relief.

Before Freese hit his home run, Trout made the game's biggest play by stealing a three-run homer in the top of the fourth from first baseman Jesus Montero.

With runners at first and second and the Mariners holding a 2-1 lead, Montero pounded a deep fly ball to center field. Trout jumped, grabbed the top of the fence with his right hand, jumped and made a backhanded catch about three feet from the top of the fence in front of the 396-foot sign.

"Honestly, I didn't think I could catch it," Trout said. "When he hit it, I thought it was going to be way gone. So I told myself, 'Get to the wall.' Once I got there and looked back up at the ball, I said, 'Man, I've got a chance.' Everything was stone cold. Everything was just perfect."

(Editing by Patrick Johnston)