Angels’ bases-loaded intentional walk backfires

Los Angeles Angels manager Joe Maddon called for an intentional walk with the bases loaded in the fourth inning of Friday night’s game against the Texas Rangers — the decision quickly backfired.

With one out and the Angels trailing 3-2, Maddon visited with reliever Austin Warren before deciding to grant Rangers shortstop Corey Seager a free base, allowing Charlie Culberson to score from third to give Texas a two-run lead.

A sacrifice fly and a balk followed in the next two at-bats, bringing in two more runs to put L.A. in a four-run hole before an inning-ending foul out.

According to research by ESPN Stats & Information, Maddon’s decision marked just the third time in the past 70 years that a player was intentionally walked with the bases loaded. Interestingly, he was the manager the last time it happened — in 2008, when Tampa Bay Rays reliever Grant Balfour issued a walk to Josh Hamilton. The Arizona Diamondbacks also intentionally walked Barry Bonds with the bases loaded in 1998.

The two previous bases-loaded intentional walks also happened with two outs in the ninth inning. The Diamondbacks led by two runs when Bonds was walked, and the Rays led by four when Hamilton was walked.

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