Win in 12th Keeps Angels Momentum Going

Some days it’s just a beautiful day to play hooky from work and go to the ballpark. Thursday was just that kind of day for Angels fans.

Jeff Mathis got his first-ever walk off hit with a single in the bottom of the 12th inning that gave the Angels a 5-4 win over the Red Sox. The win leaves the Angels with nine wins in their last 11 games, and just 1.5 games back of the Texas Rangers for the division lead.

And next up this weekend — those very same Rangers.

It was a dramatic win for the Angels. Juan Rivera led off the 12th with a single for the Angels, then he was replaced by the speedy Reggie Willits. Then Erick Aybar came up and scarified him to second base.

That put the pressure on Mathis, hitting a solid .283 in the last spot in the order for Los Angeles. He looked at a strike then a ball before smacking a Manny Delcarmen offering into left center and bringing home Willits with the winning run.

Just like a beautiful sunny day at the ballpark can fill a person with hope, so can a good outing from one of the Angels army of injured pitchers. Ervin Santana. He gave up three earned runs in five innings, striking out five. It was not a dominant performance, but it was a good one — 52 of his 92 pitches were for strikes — and he will only provide more to the starting rotation over the coming months.

Another good sign — five Angels pitchers came out of the bullpen and they gave up no runs in the extra innings.

Torii Hunter also had a big game for the Angels, going 3 or 5 and driving in three runs. Hunter was one of three Angels with a triple in the game (Aybar and Bobby Abreu had the others).

It was the kind of win that has the team feeling good heading into as big a series as one can have in May.

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