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Ah, Shuck's catch, hitting ignite Angels

The SportsXchange

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- J.B. Shuck and Kole Calhoun aren't exactly household names.

In fact, nobody in their right mind could have expected Shuck and Calhoun to be manning the corner outfield spots for the Los Angeles Angels in August. Not when the club began the season with Mike Trout and Josh Hamilton playing those positions.

But such was the case Friday night at Angel Stadium.

Shuck and Calhoun combined for seven hits and keyed a three-run rally in the eighth inning to lead the Angels to a 7-5 win over the Toronto Blue Jays.

The Angels trailed 5-4 going into the bottom of the eighth when Shuck tripled to drive in Chris Nelson with the tying run against Blue Jays reliever Steve Delabar. Calhoun then untied it with a two-run homer, his fourth hit of the game, to put the Angels on top 7-5.

"I was just trying to put a ball in play," said Calhoun, who batted leadoff for the second night in a row. "Hitting in front of Trout (the DH on Friday) is like the best spot in the world to hit, so I knew I was going to get some pitches to hit.

"I got one up and just swung. Go-ahead run just 90 feet away, it doesn't take too much. Infield in, just put a good swing on it."

He did, hitting it over the fence in right field for his first major league home run.

Shuck had three hits, scored twice and drove in a run, but his biggest play of the night was his highlight-reel catch of Jose Bautista's potential home run in the fourth inning. The play kept the game close as Toronto increased the lead to 2-0 in the fourth on Edwin Encarnacion's RBI single and would have scored more runs if not for the spectacular catch by Shuck.

Bautista hit a high fly ball into the left field corner near the foul pole. Shuck got to the short wall in time and leaped into the seats while making the catch.

"He hit it pretty high so I had time to get back to the wall," Shuck said. "It started coming down, I knew I would have a chance at it, I just jumped and tried to go get it. I don't really know what happened after that."

Shuck hopped back onto the field and got the ball back to the infield. Because Shuck had left the field of play, Macier Izturis, who started the play on first base, was awarded second base. That was key because he scored from second on Encarnacion's single.

"I think I kind of landed on the backside of the wall and slid down it," Shuck said. "I went into the front row and I don't think I got any people or any seats. I think I got somebody's shirt, though. On the way out, my foot got caught on somebody's shirt, so hopefully I didn't rip it up."

Maybe the Angels were inspired by the play. They finally got something going against Blue Jays starter Todd Redmond in the bottom of the first.

With two out, Erick Aybar was hit by a pitch, stole second and scored on a single by Nelson to cut the Jays' lead to 2-1.

Shuck followed with a single, and Chris Iannetta's double to left center scored Nelson and Shuck for a 3-2 Angels lead, knocking Redmond out of the game.

After the outing, Redmond was optioned to Triple-A Buffalo.

Dane De La Rosa (5-1), one of six Angels pitchers, picked up the victory. Starter Tommy Hanson gave up five runs (four earned) and seven hits in 5 1/3 innings. Ernesto Frieri pitched the ninth for his 26th save.

Delabar (5-2) got the loss in relief for the Blue Jays, who used four pitchers. Redmond lasted just 3 2/3 innings and gave up three runs and seven hits.

The Angels had 14 hits, including three from Nelson and two from Erick Aybar. Jose Reyes led the Blue Jays with two hits, including his seventh home run of the season.

NOTES: Blue Jays LF Melky Cabrera underwent an MRI on his left knee, one day after coming out of the game and landing on the disabled list for the second time this season. Results of the MRI showed some damage to the meniscus, and he'll undergo further tests this weekend before the club determines a course of action. ... Trout got his first career start as the designated hitter. It was just a semi-day off for Trout, who has played in 107 of the Angels' 108 games this season. Hamilton got his second start of the season in center field in Trout's place.
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