The back-to-back, two-out doubles by Brennan Boesch and Chris Iannetta in the top of the ninth inning, the white-knuckle save by closer Huston Street in the bottom of the ninth … none of it would have been possible if not for the Paul Bunyan-like feat of the shortest guy on the team.
Right fielder Kole Calhoun, a 5-foot-9, 200-pound bundle of grit and determination, leaped high above the wall in front of the bullpen to rob Brock Holt of a three-run home run in the second inning Tuesday night, the decisive play of the Angels' 4-3 victory over the Boston Red Sox in Fenway Park.
Calhoun seems to have a little chip on his shoulder, one that formed during a minor league career in which many doubted he had the size, tools or ability to play in the big leagues, and that showed when he was asked if he was surprised how high he jumped for the ball.
"I got hops, dude!" Calhoun said.
So did the Angels, who had a little more bounce in their step after Calhoun's catch, which ended the second. They promptly scored three runs in the third — Calhoun knocked in the first run with a single to center — en route to their sixth win in seven games.
"That was the difference in the game," said Angels pitcher Jered Weaver, who thrust both arms into the air after the catch. "It was a great play by Kole to stay with that.
"The little guy got over the little wall."
Weaver, after giving up a solo homer to David Ortiz in the first, gave up a two-out double to Mookie Betts and walked Christian Vazquez in the second.
Holt followed with a towering drive toward the 380-foot marker in right, but Calhoun, as he learned in his first-ever game in Fenway on Monday, knew he had a chance.
"This is the most unique right field I've ever played in," Calhoun said. "It's difficult knowing you have so much room behind you. You feel like you can get lost. But you can also run down a lot of stuff."
Calhoun got under the ball, timed his leap perfectly and made the catch as his waist hit the top of the wall. But unlike Detroit right fielder Torii Hunter in last year's playoffs, he did not flip over into the bullpen.
"I was kind of in control," Calhoun said. "I came down more on the wall than I thought I would, but it's all good."
Iannetta sparked the three-run third with a double. Calhoun singled in a run, Mike Trout hit an RBI triple to center, and Albert Pujols hit an RBI infield single for a 3-1 lead.
"That catch definitely changed the tone of the game," Iannetta said. "We go from being down by four to having an opportunity to take a lead."
The Angels lost their lead, giving up runs in the fifth and sixth, but they got it back in the ninth when Boesch snapped an 0-for-17 skid with a ground-rule double to right-center off Red Sox closer Koji Uehara, and Iannetta followed with an RBI double just out of the reach of leaping left fielder Daniel Nava to make it 4-3.
Street, who blew his first save as an Angel on Sunday in Texas, gave up a leadoff single to Yoenis Cespedes in the ninth, and Cespedes took second on Holt's sacrifice bunt.
Street struck out Dustin Pedroia on a slider in the dirt, and up stepped the dangerous Ortiz, who was hitless in seven at-bats with five strikeouts against Street but hadn't faced him in years. After a first-pitch ball, Manager Mike Scioscia opted to walk Ortiz intentionally. Street did not protest.
"After the first pitch, I looked over to the dugout, and I was probably going to voluntarily walk him, because sometimes you get those feelings," Street said. "He's a tough out. I was perfectly fine putting him on."
Street worked ahead in the count to Mike Napoli, striking him out on a 2-and-2 slider for his 10th save with the Angels.
"Both of those guys will hit a mistake," Scioscia said of Ortiz and Napoli, "and Huston didn't make one."
Twitter: @MikeDiGiovannaCopyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times