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Rookies Andrew Romine and Michael Kohn save Angels' win over Rangers

October 1, 2010 |  9:54 pm

Kohn_300 The Angels appeared to be on the verge of their second blown save of the evening Friday when reliever Bobby Cassevah, summoned in the 11th inning to protect a 5-4 lead against the Texas Rangers, walked Mitch Moreland to open the inning and hit Taylor Teagarden with a pitch while Teagarden was squared to bunt.

Right-hander Michael Kohn had thrown only seven warm-up pitches when he was called in from the bullpen to face No. 9 hitter Pedro Borbon in an obvious bunting situation. But Bourbon pulled his bat back and chopped a grounder over the head of third baseman Alberto Callaspo, who was playing in.

A bases-loaded, no-outs situation for the Rangers, right? Not quite. Andrew Romine, who entered the game at shortstop in the eighth inning, raced toward the hole, scooped up Borbon's grounder and dove head-first into the third-base bag just ahead of Moreland for the force out.

"That was a terrific play," Manager Mike Scioscia said of Romine. "He made an unbelievable play to get to that ball."

Kohn, who is emerging as a legitimate bullpen candidate for next season, then struck out Elvis Andrus swinging and Michael Young looking for his first big league save to preserve the Angels' 5-4 victory.

"That was a reaction," said Romine, who has only been in the big leagues for a week and a half. "You don't expect that to happen to often. In my mind, you know there's a chance he can slap, but it still catches you by surprise."

So has Kohn's relief work. The converted shortstop has only been pitching for 2 1/2 years, but he now has a 2-0 record and 2.11 earned-run average in 24 games since his July 26 promotion to the Angels and has had success in more pressure-packed situations.

"His makeup is definitely an asset," Scioscia said. "He has all the makings of a terrific back-end bullpen guy. He's definitely put himself on our depth chart with the way he's performed, and that's all you can do as a young player."

--Mike DiGiovanna in Arlington, Texas

Photo: Angels reliever Michael Kohn during an appearance at Angel Stadium last week. Credit: Kirby Lee / US Presswire