Angels rally after trailing Felix by seven

Angels rally after trailing Felix by seven

Angels rally after trailing Felix by seven

ANAHEIM -- Trailing by seven and facing Mariners ace Felix Hernandez is not where the Angels hoped to find themselves.

However, as daunting of a task as it appeared to be, the Angels scored in four consecutive innings to tie the game in the sixth and scored twice in the eighth to complete the largest comeback of the season -- and the second biggest in team history -- with a 10-9 win over the Mariners on Thursday night at Angel Stadium.

"These guys in the dugout, on the field, just kept chipping away against one of the best pitchers in our league and finished it off against a good bullpen," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "A lot of good things that we can talk about in the game, but I think the most important thing is that we kept playing baseball, kept playing hard."

The Angels trailed 7-0 in the third, 8-1 in the fourth, 8-2 in the fifth and 9-8 in the eighth, but managed to pull out their sixth win in the past eight games while taking three of four from the Mariners.

The Angels scored a run in both the third and the fourth innings, but the comeback really gained traction throughout a fifth frame that consisted of nine batters, five runs and seven consecutive hits off of Hernandez -- two of which were home runs.

Hernandez has struggled against the Angels throughout his career -- 7-13 with a 3.96 ERA entering the game -- but the right-hander seemed poised to collect his ninth win of the season.

Then, it all fell apart as Hernandez -- who has allowed 12 or more hits eight times in his career with four of those games coming against the Angels -- could not get the Angels out.

"I just blew the lead," Hernandez said. "It's all my fault. Nobody else's, just me."

Peter Bourjos -- who scored three runs and recorded his fourth three-hit game of the season -- led off the fifth inning with a home run -- his first since April 15. Erick Aybar, Mike Trout and Albert Pujols followed with singles and Mark Trumbo put the finishing touches on the inning with a three-run homer and what was once a rout had turned into an 8-7 game.

"We got down seven early, kept scratching, put one up, put two up, then we had that big inning," said Trout, who tied a career-high with his second four-hit game of the season. "Tonight was exciting, back and forth the whole night."

The Angels then tied the game an inning later when Bourjos singled and scored on Pujols' RBI knock, which followed the Mariners walking Trout to get to the Angels slugger.

After the Mariners took a 9-8 lead in the eighth with hits off Kevin Jepsen and Scott Downs, the Angels struck twice in their half of the inning, taking their first lead when a contest that featured 29 hits and 19 runs was decided by a bases-loaded walk, Yoervis Medina yielding a free pass to Alberto Callaspo that brought Pujols in with the winning run.

"That's baseball," Trout said. "Callaspo was up there trying to get a pitch to drive and didn't get one, had a great at-bat and went to first."

While the Angels certainly enjoyed the offensive fireworks, Tommy Hanson turned in his worst performance of the season.

For just the second time this season, Hanson started a game after a regular four days of rest.

Prior to the start, the right-hander said the lack of consistency had made him feel "shaky" and that he was never really able to develop a routine between starts.

Hanson lasted just two-plus innings -- tying the shortest outing of his career. He allowed six hits, was charged with seven runs and saw his ERA balloon from 3.94 to 5.10.

"I think I was just pulling my pitches," Hanson said. "They were getting too much of the plate and they let me know."

Thursday's win counts just the same as any other win in the standings, but Scioscia hopes the Angels can use the experience to keep fighting as there will be various deficits throughout the remainder of the season.

"Hopefully it'll inspire you the next time you're down by two or three runs at any time in the game to keep playing baseball," Scioscia said.

William Boor is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.