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OC Register: Angels beat Rangers on Jose Briceño’s pinch-hit, walk-off home run


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    The Angels’ Jose Briceno hits a pinch-hit, walk-off home run in the 11th inning of their 5-4 victory over the Rangers on Monday night at Angel Stadium. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)

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    ANAHEIM, CA – SEPTEMBER 24: Jose Briceno #10 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim celebrates as rounds the bases after hitting a pinch hit walk off home run in the eleventh inning of the game against the Texas Rangers at Angel Stadium on September 24, 2018 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)

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  • GettyImages-103972908211.jpg

    ANAHEIM, CA – SEPTEMBER 24: Jose Briceno #10 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim celebrates as he crosses the plate after hitting a pinch hit walk off home run in the eleventh inning of the game against the Texas Rangers at Angel Stadium on September 24, 2018 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)

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    ANAHEIM, CA – SEPTEMBER 24: Mike Trout #27 celebrates with Jose Briceno #10 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim after he hit a pinch hit walk off home run in the eleventh inning of the game against the Texas Rangers at Angel Stadium on September 24, 2018 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)

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    ANAHEIM, CA – SEPTEMBER 24: Jefry Marte #19 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim pours a cooler of ice water on Jose Briceno #10 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim after he hit a pinch hit walk off home run in the eleventh inning of the game against the Texas Rangers at Angel Stadium on September 24, 2018 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)

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    ANAHEIM, CA – SEPTEMBER 24: Shohei Ohtani #17 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim gets high fives in the dugout after hitting a solo home run off the first pitch he saw in the game against the Texas Rangers at Angel Stadium on September 24, 2018 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)

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    ANAHEIM, CA – SEPTEMBER 24: Shohei Ohtani #17 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim hits a solo home run off the first pitch he saw in the game against the Texas Rangers at Angel Stadium on September 24, 2018 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)

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    ANAHEIM, CA – SEPTEMBER 24: Shohei Ohtani #17 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim hits a solo home run off the first pitch he saw in the game against the Texas Rangers at Angel Stadium on September 24, 2018 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)

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    ANAHEIM, CA – SEPTEMBER 24: Felix Pena #64 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim pitches in the first inning of the game against the Texas Rangers at Angel Stadium on September 24, 2018 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)

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    ANAHEIM, CA – SEPTEMBER 24: Jurickson Profar #19 of the Texas Rangers hits a two run home run in the sixth inning of the game against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Angel Stadium on September 24, 2018 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)

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    ANAHEIM, CA – SEPTEMBER 24: Jurickson Profar #19 celebrates with Rougned Odor #12 of the Texas Rangers after hitting a two run home run in the sixth inning of the game against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Angel Stadium on September 24, 2018 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)

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    ANAHEIM, CA – SEPTEMBER 24: Michael Hermosillo #59 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim of Anaheim is congratulated in the dugout after hitting a one run home run in the fifth inning of the game against the Texas Rangers at Angel Stadium on September 24, 2018 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)

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    ANAHEIM, CA – SEPTEMBER 24: Jefry Marte #19 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim of Anaheim of Anaheim is congratulated in the dugout after hitting a one run home run in the fifth inning of the game against the Texas Rangers at Angel Stadium on September 24, 2018 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)

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    ANAHEIM, CA – SEPTEMBER 24: Michael Hermosillo #59 is congratulated by Mike Trout #27 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim of Anaheim is congratulated in the dugout after hitting a one run home in the fifth inning of the game against the Texas Rangers at Angel Stadium on September 24, 2018 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)

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    ANAHEIM, CA – SEPTEMBER 24: Manager Don Wakamatsu #23 pulls starting pitcher Adrian Sampson #52 as Rougned Odor #12 and catcher Isiah Kiner-Falefa #9 of the Texas Rangers look on in the sixth inning against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Angel Stadium on September 24, 2018 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)

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    ANAHEIM, CA – SEPTEMBER 24: Pinch runner Delino DeShields #3 of the Texas Rangers beats the throw to Francisco Arcia #37 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on a single by Elvis Andrus #1 of the Texas Rangers to tie the score in the ninth inning at Angel Stadium on September 24, 2018 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)

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    Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani, of Japan, breaks his bat and grounds out against the Texas Rangers during the third inning of a baseball game in Anaheim, Calif., Monday, Sept. 24, 2018. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

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    Los Angeles Angels’ Mike Trout reacts after a strike against the Texas Rangers during the third inning of a baseball game in Anaheim, Calif., Monday, Sept. 24, 2018. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

  • Rangers-Angels-Baseball_26928381_197340.

    Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani, of Japan, breaks his bat and grounds out against the Texas Rangers during the third inning of a baseball game in Anaheim, Calif., Monday, Sept. 24, 2018. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

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    Los Angeles Angels’ Kole Calhoun tosses his helmet after striking out against the Texas Rangers during the fourth inning of a baseball game in Anaheim, Calif., Monday, Sept. 24, 2018. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

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    Los Angeles Angels’ Michael Hermosillo, left, gets a hug from Mike Trout after his home run against the Texas Rangers during the fourth inning of a baseball game in Anaheim, Calif., Monday, Sept. 24, 2018. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

  • Rangers-Angels-Baseball_26928457_587953.

    Los Angeles Angels’ Jefry Marte watches his home run against the Texas Rangers during the fourth inning of a baseball game in Anaheim, Calif., Monday, Sept. 24, 2018. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

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    Los Angeles Angels’ Jefry Marte, left, rounds the bases after a run home run off Texas Rangers starting pitcher Adrian Sampson during the fourth inning of a baseball game in Anaheim, Calif., Monday, Sept. 24, 2018. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

  • Rangers-Angels-Baseball_26928561_555040.

    Texas Rangers’ Jurickson Profar watches his two-run home run against the Los Angeles Angels during the sixth inning of a baseball game in Anaheim, Calif., Monday, Sept. 24, 2018. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

  • Rangers-Angels-Baseball_26928559_765483.

    Texas Rangers’ Jurickson Profar celebrates after his two-run home run against the Los Angeles Angels during the sixth inning of a baseball game in Anaheim, Calif., Monday, Sept. 24, 2018. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

  • Rangers-Angels-Baseball_26928563_608827.

    Los Angeles Angels’ Jose Fernandez gets out of the way of a pitch during the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Texas Rangers in Anaheim, Calif., Monday, Sept. 24, 2018. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

  • Rangers-Angels-Baseball_26928567_988340.

    Texas Rangers’ Jurickson Profar celebrates after his two-run home run against the Los Angeles Angels during the sixth inning of a baseball game in Anaheim, Calif., Monday, Sept. 24, 2018. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

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    Texas Rangers’ Delino DeShields, right, scores past Los Angeles Angels catcher Francisco Arcia on a single by Elvis Andrus during the ninth inning of a baseball game in Anaheim, Calif., Monday, Sept. 24, 2018. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

  • GettyImages-10397288461.jpg

    ANAHEIM, CA – SEPTEMBER 24: Jefry Marte #19 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim pours a cooler of ice water on Jose Briceno #10 after he hit a pinch hit walk off home run in the eleventh inning of the game against the Texas Rangers at Angel Stadium on September 24, 2018 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)

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ANAHEIM — Few details of the Angels’ plan Monday against the Texas Rangers looked ideal. In that way, it was the perfect September experiment for a young team far from postseason contention.

Andrelton Simmons missed the game with a sore knee, so Kaleb Cowart got his first major league start at shortstop. Jose Fernandez shifted to second base – also a first – and made his debut in the cleanup spot. He did not hit a home run, but rookie left fielder Michael Hermosillo did.

The finishing touch: Rookie catcher Jose Briceño hit a pinch-hit home run against Matt Moore (3-8) in the 11th inning to cap the Angels’ 5-4 win. It was only the second game the Angels have won this season with a home run in their final at-bat.

Briceño’s fifth home run this season was only the second pinch-hit home run by an Angel in 2018. Coincidentally, Briceño hit the first Sunday in Houston.

Five days after one of the worst games of his career, Angels starter Felix Peña was tasked with stopping a five-game losing streak. He responded by allowing three runs in seven innings before the announced crowd of 29,052 at Angel Stadium.

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The Angels led 4-3 in the ninth inning before Ty Buttrey allowed the game-tying run. He got two quick outs then blew his second consecutive save opportunity when Elvis Andrus singled in Ronald Guzman to tie the score at 4.

Shohei Ohtani and Jefry Marte also hit home runs for the Angels (76-81), who avoided matching their longest losing streak of the season.

Ohtani gave the Angels a 1-0 lead in the first inning with his 21st home run of the season, extending his record for the most ever by a Japanese-born rookie. Estimated at 428 feet, its fate was assured long before it landed between two tunnels in the right field bleachers.

Ronald Guzman’s solo home run to right field tied the score 1-1 in the second inning. The Angels pulled ahead 3-1 on the home runs by Hermosillo – the first of his career – and Marte. In the sixth inning, Texas tied the score when Jurickson Profar sent an 0-and-1 slider from Peña over the right field fence for a two-run home run.

The Angels pulled ahead in the bottom of the sixth inning. The first batter, Marte, was hit in the right hand with a pitch from Rangers starter Adrian Sampson. He advanced to second base on a balk and reached third on a groundout by Francisco Arcia.

Rookie Connor Sadzeck was summoned from the bullpen to pitch to Hermosillo, and he threw a changeup in the dirt on 3-and-2. When the pitch eluded catcher Isiah Kiner-Falefa and bounced toward the backstop, Marte scored easily from third base to give the Angels a 4-3 lead.

Peña came back out for the seventh inning, did not allow a run, and left in line for the victory. He allowed a total of five hits, walked one batter and struck out six. It was a vast improvement over his most recent start, a four-inning debacle last Wednesday in Oakland in which he allowed six runs. The Angels lost that game, 10-0, and had not won since.

Left-hander Jose Alvarez pitched a scoreless eighth inning. Buttrey, the rookie right-hander, took the mound in the ninth in search of his fifth save. He got Profar to ground out and struck out Joey Gallo before Guzman belted a double to straight-away center field.

The next batter, Andrus, poked a single to left field. Guzman was running on contact and scored easily from second base, tying the score again at 4-4.

It was the second blown save in as many games for Buttrey, who converted his first four save opportunities after being recalled from Triple-A Salt Lake. Buttrey was charged with five runs in the eighth inning Saturday in Houston.

Angels center fielder Mike Trout finished 0 for 3 with two walks, giving him a franchise-record 117 walks for the season. Trout was the previous record-holder too. He walked 116 times in 2016.

Taylor Cole (3-2) pitched a scoreless 11th inning to pick up the win.

More to come on this story.

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