The Angels have become the masters of the big inning this summer, scoring four or more runs in an inning 21 times in the last 37 games, but this was a little ridiculous even by their standards.
After failing to score with the bases loaded and one out in the 11th and 12th innings Sunday, the Angels exploded for nine runs and eight hits in the 13th inning of a 17-8 victory over the Baltimore Orioles in Camden Yards.
Torii Hunter, in his first game after missing five weeks because of a strained right groin, broke an 8-8 tie with a bases-loaded single, Erick Aybar had a two-run single, and Juan Rivera capped the 13th-inning rally with a three-run home run to left field.
The Angels belted out a season-high 23 hits, eight for extra bases, and their 17 runs were the most in a game since Sept. 12, 2007, when they beat the Orioles, 18-8, in Camden Yards.
Their nine-run 13th was three shy of the major league record of 12 runs in an extra inning, set by Texas in the 15th inning at Oakland on July 3, 1983.
The last team to score nine runs in an extra inning was San Diego, in the 10th inning at Philadelphia on May 28, 1995.
It was the Angels' second nine-run inning of the season; they scored nine in the fourth inning against Minnesota on July 25.
"A nine-run 13th . . . that's certainly unusual," Manager Mike Scioscia said after the 4-hour 28-minute marathon. "But these guys, when they get going, can get on a roll and have a big inning. They've been doing it for a while now, and we definitely needed it today."
The Angels, who improved to 21-8 since the All-Star break and maintained their 4 1/2 -game American League West lead over Texas, began Sunday with a major league-best .308 average with runners in scoring position.
They were 12 for 24 with runners in scoring position Sunday, including six for eight in the 13th inning, and are now batting .312 with runners in scoring position on the season.
"Wow," Hunter said, when the numbers were run by him. "The 24 [at-bats with runners in scoring position] is stunning. We had guys on base all day. We got it going."
Chone Figgins, who had four hits, including three doubles and a sixth-inning run-scoring single that was his 1,000th hit, had the same reaction when told the Angels were 12 for 24 with runners in scoring position.
"Wow," Figgins said. "Stuff like that only happens when you have runners out there, and that puts you in better situations to hit."
Bobby Abreu, who hit his 11th homer in the third, Rivera, Aybar and Kendry Morales each had three hits, as the Angels overcame a shoddy start by Sean O'Sullivan (six runs, seven hits, four innings) and Brian Fuentes' fifth blown save in the ninth.
Relievers Jose Arredondo and Jason Bulger each provided two scoreless innings, with Arredondo pitching the 10th and 11th and Bulger striking out five of the six batters he faced in the 12th and 13th to gain the win and improve to 6-1.
Matt Palmer also relieved O'Sullivan and gave up one hit over 2 1/3 scoreless innings, another strong relief effort that could prompt Scioscia to return Palmer to the rotation.
"We got some big innings from guys to keep the game going," Scioscia said. "Arredondo and Bulger were terrific. We're going to need that depth in the bullpen."
After Hunter lined into a bases-loaded double play to end the 11th inning and Maicer Izturis grounded into a bases-loaded double play to end the 12th, Abreu opened the 13th with a single to center.
Rivera reached on an infield single, Morales walked to load the bases, and Hunter grounded a single through a drawn-in infield to give the Angels a 9-8 lead.
Aybar hit a two-run single off the right-field wall to make it 11-8, Howie Kendrick's RBI groundout made it 12-8, and the Angels tacked on with Figgins' RBI double, Izturis' RBI single and Rivera's 19th homer.
"Once we get runners on base," Figgins said, "we can be very dangerous."