Corey Seager given bases-loaded intentional walk in Rangers’ 9-6 loss
(AP photo/Michael Ainsworth)
ARLINGTON — The Los Angeles Angels beat the Texas Rangers 9-6 on Friday night behind two Shohei Ohtani home runs and in spite of their manager.
Make no mistake that Joe Maddon’s decision to intentionally walk Corey Seager with the bases loaded in the fourth inning did not help the Angels win — no matter what he said afterward.
That’s right: Maddon ordered that his pitcher walk in a run.
The Seager free pass was the seventh intentional walk in baseball history and the third in the Expansion Era, which dates to 1969. Arizona walked Barry Bonds in 1998, and the last instance before Friday came in 2008 when Tampa Bay walked Josh Hamilton.
The Rays’ manager? Maddon.
The Hamilton walk came with Tampa Bay leading by four with two outs in the ninth inning. The Seager walk came with one out in the fourth inning and the Angels down a run. The next batter, Mitch Garver, nearly hit a grand slam but settled for a sacrifice fly, and Austin Warren balked in another for a 6-2 edge.
“Any time you can get your 4-5-6 guys up with the bases loaded, good things happen,” Seager said. “And they did.”
The only scenario that would have been worse for the Angels had Seager batted would have been a grand slam and a 7-2 deficit.
Maddon said he made the move, in part, to jump-start is team.
“For me the human element right there required what we did,” he told reporters in the visiting clubhouse. “It had nothing to do with math. It was just the right thing to do in the moment to minimize their damage, possibly, and also possibly to pump us up a bit.”
The Angels immediately matched the Rangers’ fourth with five runs in the fifth, all against left-hander Kolby Allard and with their meat of their order doing the damage. Ohtani clubbed his second homer, a two-run shot, in the inning. His first came on the game’s first pitch, by Matt Bush.
Rangers pitchers surrendered five home runs.
Jeff Wilson, email@example.com