ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Randal Grichuk was looking forward to getting Thursday off for physical recovery and mental recalibration after the Los Angeles Angels put him on waivers for the second time in two weeks.
The worn-out outfielder was forced into action anyway in the first inning after teammate Luis Rengifo hurt himself with a swing in the on-deck circle — maybe the most freakish version yet of the steady misfortune that has pelted the struggling Angels all summer.
About three hours later, Grichuk got a hit that reminded him and the Halos just how much fun baseball can be.
Grichuk delivered a two-out, walk-off single with the bases loaded, and the Angels snapped their six-game skid with a 3-2 comeback victory over the Cleveland Guardians.
Kyren Paris tied the score with his first career RBI before scoring the winning run for the Angels, who rallied in the ninth against Emmanuel Clase (2-8) for only their second win in 11 games. A lengthy rally came down to Grichuk, and he drilled a 1-2 cutter to center for his sixth career walk-off hit.
“It's definitely big to get a win,” Grichuk said. “It's been tough. Am I moving? Am I not moving? But I'm still here. Happy to be here.”
Clase gave up Chad Wallach’s one-out double and Phillips’ single before Paris hit a short drive to right for his second career hit. Phillips got forced out at home on Brandon Drury's bases-loaded grounder for the second out, but Grichuk delivered.
“That was an impressive inning (against an) elite arm,” Grichuk said. “We were able to string a bunch of good at-bats together.”
Clase blew a save for the 10th time in 48 chances.
“He's had his moments this year,” Cleveland manager Terry Francona said about Clase. “That's the way the game goes. He's been good this year. They're humans.”
Steven Kwan and José Ramírez had three hits apiece for the Guardians, who opened a seven-game California trip with their fourth loss in five games and fell 6 1/2 games behind AL Central-leading Minnesota.
Jose Soriano (3-2) pitched the ninth for Los Angeles.
Cal Quantrill excelled for Cleveland in his second start back from a two-month absence with a shoulder injury, throwing six scoreless innings of three-hit ball. The right-hander struck out six and allowed no Angels to reach third base, but the Halos’ late rally deprived him of his first victory since May 7.
The teams traded six scoreless innings before Cleveland got three consecutive one-out singles and an RBI groundout off Aaron Loup. Phillips had an RBI single in the seventh for the Angels.
Shohei Ohtani missed his fourth consecutive game for the Angels with a right oblique injury, but manager Phil Nevin indicated the AL MVP front-runner could be back in the lineup soon.
A rare bit of good injury news for the Angels was naturally followed up by another setback, however: Rengifo left after he strained his left biceps while taking a practice swing with the heavy bat, and Nevin said the injury "doesn't look good."
“I'm never going to say I've seen it all, as far as these things go,” Nevin said. “But I'm getting there.”
MORE NEW GUYS
Jhonathan Díaz started and got five outs in his season debut for the Angels, and Davis Daniel followed in the fourth with three scoreless innings in his major league debut for Los Angeles. Díaz and Daniel are the major league-leading 63rd and 64th players to play this season for the Halos, who set the franchise record last season by using 66 players.
Angels first baseman Nolan Schanuel, who was drafted just 60 days earlier, set a franchise record when he reached base for the 16th consecutive game to begin his career with a seventh-inning single. Schanuel surpassed the mark set by Darin Erstad in 1996.
Guardians: Orange County native Shane Bieber threw to hitters Thursday in Cleveland for the first time since going on the injured list in mid-July. Francona said the team will see how the 2020 AL Cy Young winner responds to the work before determining the next step in his return from elbow inflammation.
Angels: CF Mickey Moniak was scratched shortly before first pitch due to back tightness. ... RHP Jaime Barria went on the injured list with right hamstring tightness. He felt the injury Wednesday when he covered a base while throwing three innings of relief.
Logan Allen (6-7, 3.77 ERA) takes the mound for Cleveland on Friday against Los Angeles' Griffin Canning (7-5, 4.30) in the second meeting of the four-game series.
AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB