Kevin Pillar's first walk-off hit since 2018 gives Angels 6-5 victory over Tigers in 10 innings


ANAHEIM, Calif. — Kevin Pillar’s single with one out in the 10th inning drove in Taylor Ward and the Los Angeles Angels extended their winning streak to six, rallying for a 6-5 victory over the Detroit Tigers on Saturday night.

“Belief. You can feel the energy changing where maybe earlier we talked about going out and winning and hoping we win. I think we’re starting to expect that every time we go on the field,” said Pillar, who had the fourth walk-off hit of his career and first since 2018.

With Ward as the automatic runner in the 10th, Luis Guillorme had a sacrifice bunt to move Ward to third. Detroit decided to have five infielders with Pillar up and the outfielders playing in left center and right center. Pillar, who came in as the designated hitter in the seventh inning, hit a looping single into left off Jason Foley (2-2) for the Angels second walk-off victory of the season.

“The 10th inning set up perfectly for us. We had a guy who could bunt and a guy in the hole that has been in those situations before,” manager Ron Washington said.

Tigers manager A.J. Hinch said with the five man infield they tried to play to Pillar’s pull side, but he was able to get underneath the sinker.

“We played a good game. We didn’t play one or two runs enough to win it. It’s tough to start the road trip this way,” Hinch said.

The Angels trailed 5-2 before coming back. Ward had a two-run double in the seventh inning and Logan O’Hoppe tied it with a solo shot to center to lead off the eighth. It was the second straight night the Angels’ catcher homered in the eighth inning.

“We had some opportunities when we didn’t put the ball in play, but we kept grinding in every inning. Then Taylor came up with the big move to get us back in the game,” Washington said.

Jake Rogers had a two-run homer in the sixth inning and Reese Olson had a season-high nine strikeouts for Detroit, which has dropped five of six.

Rogers also had a sacrifice fly in the fourth inning as he had his second three-RBI game of the season.

The Angels had a pair of defensive gems in the final two innings. O’Hoppe also made an off balance throw and Guillorme made a leaping grab and tag at second base to get Riley Greene out on a stolen base attempt in the ninth inning. Zach Neto also made a nice play on a sharp grounder by Colt Keith to end the 10th.

Ben Joyce (1-0) retired the Tigers in order in the 10th for the win.

Detroit got its first three runners aboard in the first but could only manage one run when Wenceel Pérez scored on Keith’s fielder’s choice.

The Angels took the lead with a pair in the third. Nolan Schanuel came home after Olson threw a wild pitch with the bases loaded and Willie Calhoun’s grounder drove in Luis Rengifo.

Detroit responded with two in the fourth. Keith scored on Zach McKinstry’s fielder’s choice and Rogers’ sacrifice fly brought home McKinstry.

Rogers extended the Tigers’ lead to 5-2 in the sixth with a two-run shot to left-center. At 443 feet, it was the longest homer of his career.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Tigers: SS Javier Báez (lumbar spine inflammation) is expected to begin a rehab assignment on Monday at Triple-A Toledo.

Angels: CF Mike Trout (left knee) is hopeful for a return by late July … 3B Anthony Rendon (left hamstring strain) is expected to face live pitching next week.

UP NEXT

Angels lefty Tyler Anderson (7-7), who is eighth in the majors with a 2.63 ERA, takes on Detroit RHP Casey Mize (1-6, 4.54 ERA), who is 0-6 in his last 11 starts.

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AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb



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