DENVER — The Angels made some fun trivia and got off to an innocent start, becoming the first team in nearly three years to hit back-to-back homers on three pitches.
But it only got more frantic from there for the Angels, who couldn’t seem to stop the run against the Rockies. Three straight homers sparked a 13-run third and the Angels went on to an 8-run fourth inning in a 25-1 victory Saturday at Coors Field. The 24-run victory was the largest in franchise history and the third largest by any club since 1900.
“We were aggressive, we hit pitches in the zone, and the hitting was contagious at times,” manager Bill Nevin said. “To be honest, we found some holes, but the big hits helped us add up.”
Their previous high was 24 in a 24–2 win over the Blue Jays on August 25, 1979, while the previous high in hits was 26, which they accomplished twice. Their 13-run third tied a franchise record set in both 1997 and 1978. They also tied a club record with four homers in the frame.
The Angels scored 23 runs in their first four innings, the third most in MLB history behind only the Cubs (25) on August 25, 1922 and the Pirates (24) on June 6, 1894. Also tied for 21st in MLB history with the 1894 Pirates in two consecutive innings.
But Nevin tried not to gloat about the historic performance.
“I’m glad we came out swinging the bats and everything, but it gets to where you don’t want to disrespect the game,” Nevin said. “Friend Black and the people there are people I love, so you don’t want it to get out of hand.”
Notable performances included Mickey Moniak and Hunter Renfro, both of whom went 5-for-5. Moniak hit three doubles and a homer to tie the franchise record with four extra-base hits in a game. Moniak fell just shy of a triple in the cycle and nearly fell on his way to second in triples that his teammates could have laughed off in the sixth.
“I got a little excited,” Moniak said with a smile. “Not sure if I fell on the bag or my cleats. Anyway, it is what it is. At least I’m healthy.
Superstar Mike Trout opened the frame with an epic third inning with a 1-0 fastball before Brandon Drury hit a first-pitch cutter of his own.
Matt Theis jumped across a first-pitch curveball for a dinger to give the Angels back-to-back homers for the second time this season.
Nevin said he believes the homers got the Angels, much like the boost the clubhouse received from trading Eduardo Escobar on Friday and Mike Moustakas on Saturday.
“When the big boys do things like that, it sets the clubhouse on fire,” Nevin said. “The room knows that our general manager is still working and getting the pieces to help us when we’re losing pieces right away. It shows that we’re in this together.
That sparked a 13-run inning for the Angels, with Ward and Ohtani later adding RBI singles. Drury also delivered a two-run single and Renfrow brought in three runs with a double. Escobar followed with an RBI single to give the Angels a 15-0 lead before Moniak ripped a two-run homer.
“I don’t think I’ve ever been a part of that,” Moniak said. “It was one after another, and the quality of the at-bats was unbelievable.”
The four homers in this inning tied the Angels franchise record with a feat accomplished on May 28, 2000 at Kansas City. David Fletcher closed out the third, an inning that saw the Angels score 10 hits and walk three.
The Angels backed it up with an eight-run fourth capped by Fletcher’s three-run homer before scoring another run in the sixth and eighth. Fletcher opened the scoring with two runs in the second inning.
Perhaps lost in the shuffle, right-hander Griffin Canning threw six scoreless innings with seven strikeouts, and the Angels’ only run on the night was Brendan Doyle’s homer in the eighth off lefty Golden Ingram.
“The highlight of the night for me was how Griffin threw the ball,” Nevin said. “He started a heck of a game and they might as well get away from you.”