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Bobby Abreu's aggressive approach pays off for Angels

September 11, 2010 | 12:34 am


It is rare for Bobby Abreu to swing at the first pitch. The Angels' veteran outfielder, known for his plate discipline and patience, swung at the first pitch in only 29 of 595 plate appearances this season before stepping into the batter's box in the 14th inning Friday night.

This time, Abreu took a different tack. With the score tied, he looked for a first-pitch fastball from Seattle reliever Brian Sweeney and got one, right over the middle of the plate. Abreu smacked it over the center-field wall for his 18th homer of the season to give the Angels a 4-3, walk-off victory over the Mariners and back-to-back victories for the first time since Aug. 10-11 against Kansas City.

"I was looking for a fastball, and he threw it," Abreu said. "I was thinking, 'Go up there and hack,' and it was worth it. You're not going to see that from me very often, but it worked this time."

It was the third walk-off hit and second walk-off homer of the season for Abreu, and it was the ninth walk-off win of the season for the Angels, who needed 16 innings to beat the Cleveland Indians, 4-3, in their previous game Wednesday.

Friday night's game went so long they sang "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" twice, in the middle of the seventh and 14th innings, and it ended so late the Angels had to postpone their traditional Friday night fireworks show. The team announced that there will be fireworks after Saturday night's game, which is scheduled for 6 p.m. at Angel Stadium.

--Mike DiGiovanna

Photo: Angels left fielder Bobby Abreu follows through on his home-run swing Friday night against the Mariners. Credit: Alex Gallardo / Reuters