Angels blow lead in ninth and lose to Rockies on walk-off grand slam

The Angels let another victory get away on Friday night.

They gave up a walk-off grand slam to Charlie Blackmon in the ninth inning to lose 8-4 to the Colorado Rockies in Denver, coughing up a one-run lead they had just taken in the top of the inning.

“That’s the frustrating part of our season that we’ve been in this position often, and have been unable to close games,” Manager Joe Maddon said.

  • Charlie Blackmon #19 of the Colorado Rockies watches his walk-off grand slam in the ninth inning to defeat the Los Angeles Angels 8-4 at Coors Field on September 11, 2020 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)

  • Charlie Blackmon #19 of the Colorado Rockies celebrates his walk-off grand slam in the ninth inning to defeat the Los Angeles Angels 8-4 at Coors Field on September 11, 2020 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)

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  • Charlie Blackmon #19 of the Colorado Rockies celebrates his walk-off grand slam in the ninth inning to defeat the Los Angeles Angels 8-4 with Garrett Hampson #1 and teammates at Coors Field on September 11, 2020 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)

  • Justin Upton #10 of the Los Angeles Angels is congratulated on his RBI single by first base coach Jose Molina during the first inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field on September 11, 2020 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)

  • Shohei Ohtani #17 of the Los Angeles Angels runs to first base on a fielders choice as Josh Fuentes #8 of the Colorado Rockies watches the play during the first inning at Coors Field on September 11, 2020 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)

  • Starting pitcher Griffin Canning #47 of the Los Angeles Angels delivers to home plate during the second inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field on September 11, 2020 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)

  • First baseman Josh Fuentes #8 of the Colorado Rockies beats Jared Walsh #25 of the Los Angeles Angels to the bag for the first out of the third inning at Coors Field on September 11, 2020 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)

  • Elias Diaz #35 of the Colorado Rockies sprays water on Josh Fuentes #8 after the Rockies defeated the Los Angeles Angels 8-4 on a walk-off grand slam by Charlie Blackmon of the Colorado Rockies in the during the ninth inning at Coors Field on September 11, 2020 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)

  • Ryan McMahon #24 of the Colorado Rockies throws to first base to complete the double play to end the third inning as Mike Trout #27 of the Los Angeles Angels slides in during the third inning at Coors Field on September 11, 2020 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)

Ty Buttrey took the mound in the bottom of the ninth, not long after Jared Walsh’s game-tying homer in the eighth and Anthony Bemboom’s go-ahead homer in the ninth.

Buttrey retired the first hitter, but then gave up a homer to Ryan McMahon on a changeup over the outside corner. Josh Fuentes then doubled into right-center and the Angels intentionally walked Daniel Murphy, ending Buttrey’s night.

It was the fourth blown save of the season for Buttrey, who has struggled to find consistency for most of this short season.

“The stuff looks really good,” Maddon said. “There’s times he goes out there and he looks virtually unhittable and other times, the ball doesn’t have the same action on it. I don’t know why. I think he’s very good. I think he’s going to be very good for years to come. But we just got to get him on a more consistent path.”

Maddon summoned left-hander Jose Quijada. He struck out Raimel Tapia before walking Trevor Story and then giving up the homer to Blackmon.

The Angels had a chance to pull within 3 1/2 games of the idle Houston Astros for a playoff spot, but instead they fell to 4 1/2 back, with only 14 games to go.

It was the 13th blown save of the season for the Angels, one of the reasons their season has gone so far off the rails.

Another has been poor starting pitcher, but they actually got a decent performance out of Griffin Canning.

“I was really pleased with the way he continued to battle through the whole thing,” Maddon said. “It’s not easy to pitch in this ballpark.”

Canning was charged with three runs in 5 2/3 innings in his first outing at hitter-friendly Coors Field, but he deserved better.

He did not allow a run in the first two innings, but in the the third he gave up leadoff single to Fuentes and then a walk to Tony Wolters.

Canning recorded the first out on a flyout to left, and then Story hit a fly ball to right-center field, between Mike Trout and Taylor Ward. The ball seemed to be catchable for either of them, but it appeared there was miscommunication and Ward pulled up just before the ball ticked off Trout’s glove.

A run scored on that play, and another run scored on a subsequent sacrifice fly, which would have been the third out.

In the fifth, Story hit another fly ball to the wall in right, and Ward drifted back but could not make the catch. The ball hit the fence, just above his glove, allowing a run to put the Rockies up 3-2.

The Angels erased that deficit on Walsh’s homer in the eighth, his third homer in his last three games.

In the ninth, Bemboom belted his second homer of the season, briefly putting the Angels up 4-3.

“Boomer hits a homer in the end and, sometimes you think, alright the game’s over,” Buttrey said. “And unfortunately it just kind of punches you in the face like that. That’s just how baseball is. You think you got it and it’s not over until the last out’s made. You guys have seen this many times. It (stinks) today and we’ll go out and win tomorrow.”