Back-to-back blasts were reliever's first-ever yielded in career
By Kerry Walls
MINNEAPOLIS -- Angels reliever Joe Smith isn't accustomed to giving up runs in general, and even less so via the long ball. However, on Saturday at Target Field, he surrendered two homers in an inning for the first time in his career, leading to Minnesota's 6-4 victory.
With one out in the eighth, Smith threw a 2-0 sinker low-and-away to Oswaldo Arcia, who went with the pitch, depositing it into the bullpen in left-center for the go-ahead run. Byung Ho Park then punished a 2-2 hanging slider to dead center. The homer was measured at 462 feet.
"[Arcia] did a great job," Smith said. "I'd throw [the slider] again. I thought I located it well. He put a great swing on it and took it out to the opposite field. Great piece of hitting.
"Park, I threw a slider right down the middle. He did what he was supposed to do."
Smith has never given up more than five homers in a season. Last year, he surrendered four and didn't give up his second until August 29.
"Joe usually keeps the ball in the park," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "He got into a bad count with Arcia, and he put a good swing on it, went down and got it. He hung a slider to Park. Those were two mistakes he made."
It was the second game in Minnesota where the Halos entered the eighth inning tied before having the bullpen uncharacteristically falter late.
"Our bullpen hasn't been as good as we've wanted to be," Smith said. "[Jered Weaver] did a good job of getting us through what he could, and [Cory Rasmus] came in and threw the ball outstanding. I'm supposed to come in before [Huston Street] and make sure nothing happens. Unfortunately, the last few nights, we haven't been able to do that.
"We've got to get it going down there on our end. These guys are playing too well."
Kerry Walls is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.