Jim Thome

Cliff Pennington's grand slam helps lift Angels to win over A's

Cliff Pennington's grand slam helps lift Angels to win over A's

This month marked nine years since Cliff Pennington made his major league debut. Never in all that time had the reserve infielder managed a grand slam, not in more than 3,000 plate appearances. Not until Wednesday night at Angel Stadium, when his inconceivable seventh-inning blast completed a similarly unlikely Angels victory.

Once down five runs after their worst half-inning of the season, the Angels came back to beat Oakland, 10-8, and sweep the hapless Athletics in three games. After it ended, Pennington’s teammates teased him about how many text messages he had received congratulating his achievement.

He returned to 15 unread messages on his phone, he told them. Twelve...

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