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Angels

Andrelton Simmons goes down to a knee to get Angels out of hole

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Angels shortstop Andrelton Simmons goes to a knee as he follows through on a game-winning three-run home run in the eighth inning on Aug. 26.
(Stephen Dunn / Getty Images)

In honor of Vladimir Guerrero, the Angels reached out offensively and got a hold of something special.

What appeared to be a fourth straight loss turned into a 7-6 win Saturday against the Houston Astros on a night the Angels inducted Vladimir Guerrero into their Hall of Fame.

The Angels erased a 6-1 deficit with two runs in the seventh inning and four runs in the eighth inning, capped by Andrelton Simmons’ three-run home run.

Simmons hit the first pitch from Tyler Clippard into the Houston bullpen to send the crowd of 41,101 at Angel Stadium into a frenzy after a mostly dormant night at the plate.

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It was their 38th come-from-behind win this season.

“It’s good that we have that ability to never be out of the game,” Simmons said. “We grinded today. Today was a tough day. We had some tough calls ... and we chipped away.”

The Angels were in danger of losing their fourth straight, which would have been their longest streak since they dropped six in a row in April.

But Kole Calhoun, who hit a home run in the second inning, got it started with a single in the seventh, and Simmons followed with a double. Luis Valbuena and C.J. Cron drove in runs to draw the Angels to 6-3.

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Calhoun and Albert Pujols singled in the eighth and came home on Simmons’ blast, his 14th this season.

“I knew it was an out or a homer,” Simmons said. “By the time I got off the floor, [left fielder Josh] Reddick was already at the wall.”

Reliever Blake Parker retired the side, including a strikeout on Alex Bregman to end the game for his second save.

Starter Tyler Skaggs got into a 2-0 deficit in the first inning. Reddick fought through a 10-pitch at bat for a two-run single following a single by Bregman and a walk to Yuli Garriel.

Skaggs balked in a run in the second inning after he allowed two hits, including a double inside the first-base line to Jake Marisnick. An error by Valbuena, who couldn’t field a groundball cleanly, made it 4-0.

Marisnick, the No. 9 hitter, extended it to 5-1 with a fourth inning home run. George Springer hit a leadoff home run in the seventh inning, his career-high tying 29th, for a 6-1 lead.

“The first few innings were kind of a debacle,” Skaggs said.

“But at the same time, I thought I made some good pitches. The home run, I tip my hat, it was a good inside pitch, but other than that, I thought I persevered.”

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The balk was one of several disagreements the Angels had with home umpire Doug Eddings, who called strikes on what looked like below-the-knees pitches to Pujols and Simmons.

Pujols was visibly agitated and voiced his opinion to Eddings on the way to the dugout in the first inning.

Guerrero’s name was mowed into center field, and he took part in a pregame ceremony with Garret Anderson, Rod Carew, Chuck Finley, Bobby Grich, Bobby Knoop, Tim Salmon and Mike Witt.

It is a separate honor from having his number retired, but one of many anticipated post-career accolades. Guerrero, who won the 2004 American League MVP with the Angels and finished his career as a nine-time All-Star, would be the first Baseball Hall of Fame inductee to go in with an Angels cap, if he chooses them over the Montreal Expos.

“I don’t know yet,” Guerrero said before the game through an interpreter. “I have great years here with the Angels. I have great years with the Expos, but I won’t make the decision now.”

Guerrero fell short of Hall of Fame criteria in January when he got 71.7% of the vote — 75% is required. “I was very close,” Guerrero said. “But I wait here, [hope] with God, that next year I can make it.”

The next step in Guerrero’s legacy would be for the Angels to retire his No.27. Of course, Mike Trout wears that number. “He’s done a very, very, very good job,” Guerrero said. “He’s embraced the No.27.”

Short hops

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Garrett Richards will start in triple-A Salt Lake on Wednesday and will likely pitch three innings, manager Mike Scioscia said … Yunel Escobar (right oblique strain) might begin a rehabilitation assignment early next week … Mike Morin was optioned to Salt Lake.

sports@latimes.com


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