After 7 consecutive scoreless innings for both teams, it seemed as if the Angels and Tigers would never break their 3-3 tie. Then, Los Angeles slugger Mark Trumbo stepped to the plate against Detroit’s Phil Coke to lead off the 13th inning and blasted a 3-1 pitch over the left field wall for a walk-off victory.
Trumbo’s blast catapulted the Angels to a much needed 3-game sweep of the Tigers, as Los Angeles entered the series with a dismal 4-10 record. It was only the second home run for Trumbo this season, as he has traded power (he hit 29 homers in 2011 and 32 in 2012) for on-base percentage (.317 last year, .362 so far in 2013) this season, at least in the small sample size of 17 games.
In addition to the heroics of Trumbo, the Angels were led by an incredible pitching performance from their bullpen. Five different pitchers combined for 7 shutout innings in relief, and the final three stellar innings were tossed by Jerome Williams, who needed just 36 pitches to get the final 9 outs. It was a solid outing from CJ Wilson as well (6 innings, 3 ER), but the big-time credit belongs to the bullpen.
On the Tigers side, it was an ugly loss to cap an even uglier series. Detroit managed to scratch across only 4 runs in the three-game series, and while the offense produced a semi-credible 3 total runs on Sunday, they went completely silent over the final 8 innings.
In a season of giant expectations for the Angels, this is the type of victory that could propel a team with momentum for weeks. It will be very, very interesting to see how both teams respond.