Angels overcome early deficit, including a rare bases-loaded intentional walk – Press Enterprise

ARLINGTON, Texas — The Angels’ 9-6 victory over the Texas Rangers on Friday night likely won’t be remembered for their five home runs, or even the two hit by previously slumping Shohei Ohtani.

It will go down as the game in which Angels manager Joe Maddon issued a bases-loaded intentional walk to Corey Seager.

With his team losing.

In the fourth inning.

A bases-loaded intentional walk is one of the rarest events in baseball. The only two other times it happened since World War II were with two outs in the bottom of the ninth with the visiting team trying to avoid a star player to hold on for a victory.

Maddon issued the last one, to Rangers star Josh Hamilton in 2008, but that was nothing like this situation.

The Angels had just surrendered an early two-run lead and they trailed 3-2 in the fourth, when reliever Austin Warren walked the first batter he faced, Marcus Semien, to load the bases.

Maddon, who rarely comes to the mound other than to make a pitching change, then jogged out and had a lengthy conversation with Warren.

The Angels then told plate ump Ryan Blakney that they wanted to intentionally walk Seager, and he trotted to first as a run came home.

Ostensibly, Maddon was trying to avoid having the left-handed-hitting Seager facing the right-handed Warren, even at the expense of a single run. The next two hitters, Mitch Garvey and Adolis Garcia, were righties.

Warren did withdraw the two righties, but Garver hit a sacrifice fly and then Warren balked, so the Rangers added two runs anyway.

It was either the seventh or eighth time in major league history that a team has issued an intentional walk with the bases loaded, because of a discrepancy in the records from the first half of the 20th century.

In any case, it had happened only two other times since 1944. Maddon walked Hamilton 14 years ago with the bases loaded and the Tampa Bay Rays up by four. Ten years earlier, Arizona Diamondbacks manager Buck Showalter walked San Francisco Giants slugger Barry Bonds with the bases loaded and a two-run lead, also with two outs in the ninth.

Both the Diamondbacks and Rays retired the subsequent hitter to end the game.

This time, Maddon’s intentional walk added a run to his team’s deficit in the fourth inning, and by the time the inning was over the Angels were down by four.

But by the time they went back into the field, they were up by one.

The Angels scored five runs in the top of the fifth, one on a Kurt Suzuki homer, two on Ohtani’s second homer of the game, one on a Jared Walsh single and the go-ahead run on a Brandon Marsh sacrifice fly.

Walsh added a two-run homer in the seventh to pad the lead to three runs, which was enough for the Angels’ bullpen. The Angels also got a 447-foot homer from Jo Adell in the second inning. The shot into the second deck in the left field was the longest of Adell’s nine major league homers.

After Warren was pulled in the fifth, Aaron Loup (six outs), Ryan Tepera (five) and Raisel Iglesias (three) finished off the Rangers without another run scoring.

More to come on this story.

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