Brandon Phillips

Angels hope Luis Valbuena's clutch hit spurs the miraculous

Angels hope Luis Valbuena's clutch hit spurs the miraculous

Five times this season, Luis Valbuena had faced Chris Devenski, and five times Devenski had struck him out, wielding his wicked changeup to great success. So, when Valbuena stepped up to face him with the bases loaded in a tied seventh inning Sunday at Minute Maid Park, he resolved to locate redemption, as long as it took. He wanted to clobber a changeup.

“I waited for my pitch,” Valbuena said.

It took 11 pitches, five fouls. Eventually it came, a changeup suitably low in the zone. Valbuena banished the baseball to the right-field wall, ferociously flipped his bat, and made his way to second base. His two-run double represented the difference in the Angels’ 7-5 win over the...

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