Jo-Jo Reyes was three weeks into his off-season when he got a call from an unknown number last weekend.
“I saw a Massachusetts number and said, ‘Who’s this?’” said Reyes, a journeyman left-hander who hadn’t pitched since the triple-A season ended on Sept. 7. “I thought it was a telemarketer, and I wasn’t going to answer it.”
It was Angels Assistant General Manager Matt Klentak telling Reyes to come to Anaheim for a workout. Reyes, who pitched two years in Korea and the first half of this season in Mexico, threw in the bullpen and was added to the roster Wednesday.
Reyes, making his first big-league appearance in four years, entered Saturday’s game and threw one pitch, getting Prince Fielder to line out to shortstop to end the eighth inning. He wound up notching the win when the Angels rallied for five runs in the top of the ninth.
“Right place, right time,” Reyes, 30, said. “These guys did all the work. I threw one pitch. It was one of the funnest games I’ve ever been a part of.”
Reyes got the win, but left-hander Jose Alvarez delivered the biggest relief effort. After the Rangers scored four runs in the fifth to tie the score, 5-5, Alvarez, with two on and no outs, struck out Fielder, got Mike Napoli to fly to left and struck out Josh Hamilton to keep the teams even.
“After I got those two outs, I fought with everything I had against Hamilton,” Alvarez said through an interpreter. “Thankfully it went our way and the game stayed right there, giving us a chance to win.”
Rangers second baseman Rougned Odor apologized for a hard fifth-inning slide on which he spiked Johnny Giavotella on the left shin. “I’m not holding any grudges,” said Giavotella, who had the game-winning hit in the ninth, “but I’m very grateful I came up with that big knock.”
The 18 pitchers used by the Rangers and Angels set an American League record for a nine-inning game and tied the major league record set by St. Louis and Pittsburgh on Sept. 30, 2007.
Giavotella scored on a wild pitch in a four-run fifth, the major league-leading 18th time the Angels have scored on a wild pitch this season.
Follow Mike DiGiovanna on Twitter @MikeDiGiovanna