Angels’ Hank Conger hits first HR of the season

April 14, 2014
Hank Conger

Los Angeles Angels’ Hank Conger celebrates after he was hit by a pitch to force Raul Ibanez home to score the game winning run during the 11th inning of a baseball game against the New York Mets on Friday, April 11, 2014, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

By Lee Kyutae

The Los Angeles Angels’ Korean American catcher Hank Conger had himself a nice weekend. He took one for the team to bring in the winning run on Friday night, and dished one out himself as he hit his first home run of the year to put the game out of reach on Sunday afternoon.

Conger, whose Korean name is Choi Hyun, was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded in the 11th inning of the opener against the New York Mets. That was his first run-batted-in (RBI) of the season as the Angels won 5-4.

Conger did even better in the rubber match of a three-game series as he contributed two runs and two RBIs to the 14-2 rout.

The Angels came out swinging on Sunday as Mike Trout, Albert Pujols and Raul Ibanez hit consecutive home runs off Bartolo Colon in the first inning.

Conger also went deep against Colon, who won the American League Cy Young Award in 2005 with the Angels.

Over the previous four seasons, Colon was 6-1 with a 1.75 ERA in nine starts against the Angels.

Conger’s batting average for the season is 0.357 (5 for 14), as opposed to Chris Iannetta’s 0.125 (4 for 32). Iannetta currently starts ahead of Conger for defensive reasons.