Zack Cozart received a hero’s welcome at home plate Wednesday after hitting a full-count pitch for a walk-off home run in the 13th inning off Indians reliever Zach McAllister to give the Los Angeles Angels a 3-2 win over Cleveland at Anaheim, Calif.
The Angels’ unsung heroes were the eight relievers who combined for 8 1/3 scoreless innings of relief.
Jim Johnson, Jose Alvarez, Cam Bedrosian, Keynan Middleton, Blake Wood, Blake Parker, Luke Bard and Noe Ramirez (1-2) not only held the Indians scoreless, but they allowed just two hits in reliever of starter Tyler Skaggs.
The extra-inning affair was made possible by another home run by two-way player Shohei Ohtani, whose two-run blast in the fifth inning off Indians starter Corey Kluber tied the game at 2-2.
Skaggs found trouble at the outset, the Indians loading the bases with one out in the top of the first inning. Brandon Guyer drove in the first run of the game with an RBI single, and the bases were still loaded.
Skaggs, though, escaped further damage by inducing a 1-6-3 double-play grounder from Yonder Alonso. Although Skaggs gave up just the one run, he had to make 32 pitches to get out of the inning, and it set the tone for his outing.
Skaggs lasted just 4 2/3 innings, his 103rd and final pitch being hit to center field for an RBI single by Jason Kipnis, giving Cleveland a 2-0 lead.
Meanwhile, Kluber held the Angels hitless until Andrelton Simmons bunted for a single with one out in the fifth. With two outs and Simmons on second, Ohtani got ahold of a 92 mph fastball on an 0-1 count and drove it over the fence in center field to tie the game.
The Ohtani homer was Kluber’s only blemish, as the reigning American League Cy Young Award winner got through seven innings, allowing the two runs on three hits and two walks. He struck out six.
Both bullpens were effective, keeping the game tied and sending it into extra innings.
McAllister (0-1) struck out the first batter he faced before Cozart ended the game.
—Field Level Media