Angels closer Huston Street fell to one knee late Wednesday night as Ben Paulsen’s grounder rolled to second baseman Johnny Giavotella, who threw to first base for the final out of a somewhat stressful 3-2 victory over the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field.
Street wasn’t thanking his higher power for his 24th save this season and the 299th of his career or for a recent hot streak in which the Angels won nine of 10 games to pull to within 1 1/2 games of the Houston Astros in the American League West.
The veteran right-hander tweaked his left groin on his second-to-last pitch of the game, he aggravated it on the final pitch, and he didn’t want to put any more weight on it as the game ended.
While the injury is not believed to be serious enough to send Street to the disabled list, it could sideline him for the four-game series in Seattle that will take the Angels to the All-Star break.
“I don’t think it’s that bad,” said Street, who has had several groin injuries over the years. “I’ve had it in the past where I can’t walk around on it. My gut tells me this one isn’t that bad. Worse comes to worst, if I can’t be back by the Seattle series, we have the All-Star break.”
With the game delayed 2 hours 7 minutes because of rain, it was shortly after midnight local time when Street took the mound following Giavotella’s two-out, run-scoring single that gave the Angels a 3-2 lead in the top of the ninth.
DJ LeMahieu singled to open the ninth and Troy Tulowitzki flied out to deep left field. LeMahieu advanced to second on a wild pitch. Street struck out Carlos Gonzalez and intentionally walked National League RBI leader Nolan Arenado, who represented the winning run.
Paulsen grounded weakly to second to end the game, but it came at a price for Street and the Angels, who will use setup man Joe Smith as the closer in Seattle.
“You’re frustrated, you're furious anytime you feel like you are letting your teammates down when you can’t be out there,” Street said. “But you turn the page and try to get back as quickly as you can.”