ANAHEIM — This wasn’t the way the Angels wanted to win on a night that should have been about celebrating Mike Trout for equaling the franchise homer record, but they aren’t in position to apologize for any victories in this forgettable season.
Ty Buttrey and Matt Andriese and combined to blow a three-run lead in the ninth inning, before the Angels came back to beat the Houston Astros 6-5 in 11 innings Friday.
The Angels won for just the second time in seven extra-inning games. Andriese stranded the automatic runner in the 10th and 11th.
Trout struck out to strand the winning the run in the 10th, the first out he’d made all night. In the 11th he started at second and scored on Shohei Ohtani’s one-out single, his first career walk-off hit.
The Angels avoided what certainly would have been an agonizing loss on a night that Trout hit his 299th homer, equaling Tim Salmon atop the Angels all-time leaderboard.
Trout’s first-inning two-run homer against Lance McCullers Jr. sailed over the center field fence, pulling Trout even with Salmon in his 1,234th game. Salmon played 1,672 games with the Angels.
“Tim’s a great person,” Trout said on Thursday. “I got to know him over the years. It’s pretty cool. We’re always linked together because of our last names. Looking back on his career, what an unbelievable career. Just the way he represented the the Angels organization with such class. I hear nothing but great things about him. Every chance I get to talk to him when he’s around the ballpark, I take advantage of it.”
Trout’s homer, which gave him the major-league lead with 14 until the Padres’ Fernando Tatis Jr. tied him later in the night, was part of a three-run first inning. Jared Walsh homered to make it 4-0 in the third.
Dylan Bundy pitched seven strong innings, allowing just two runs in one shaky inning, and the Angels bullpen needed to get just six outs without giving up three runs.
They couldn’t do it.
They nearly blew it in the eighth, with Mike Mayers loading the bases before Luke Bard escaped, with the 5-2 lead intact.
In the ninth, Buttrey got the ball and he gave up ringing base hits to three of the four batters he faced. Buttrey allowed the Astros to get within 5-4 before he was pulled with two outs to go.
Andriese then entered. He retired Yuli Gurriel on a fly ball to shallow left — a nice catch by Taylor Ward — but then he gave up a game-tying double to Kyle Tucker.
Andriese struck out Carlos Correa to preserve the tie, though.
The blown lead nonetheless deprived Bundy of a victory he deserved.
Bundy had little trouble with the Astros in six of his seven innings. In the fourth, he needed 24 pitches to get through the inning, with the Astros cutting the lead to 4-2. He ended the inning, stranding two runners, by striking out Aledmys Diaz and Martin Maldonado on seven pitches.
Bundy finished with 100 pitches for seven innings, striking out eight and walking just one. He now has a 2.49 ERA after eight starts.
More to come on this story.