Angels Defeat Orioles 8-3
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ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — The Baltimore Orioles came up empty both times they had the bases loaded, making it extremely difficult to overcome an early five-run hole newcomer Jo-Jo Reyes put them in.
Torii Hunter drove in five runs with two homers, one of them a three-run shot in the first inning, and the Los Angeles Angels got solo shots from Peter Bourjos and rookie Mike Trout on Friday night in an 8-3 victory that put the Orioles a season-worst 28 1/2 games out of first place in the AL East.
Reyes (1-2) gave up five runs, eight hits and three walks over five innings and struck out six. The left-hander is 6-6 with a 6.01 ERA in 13 starts after ending his major league record-tying winless streak of 28 starts on May 30 with Toronto.
Reyes, who has a 6.60 ERA in three starts since being claimed off waivers from Toronto, found himself behind 4-0 after just 12 pitches and four batters. Howie Kendrick’s single drove in Bourjos, who led off with a double, and Hunter sent the next pitch into the lower seats in the left field corner. By the time the inning ended, Reyes had thrown 34 of his 97 pitches.
“He’s obviously got to be better than that early on. He left stuff out over the plate and paid the price,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. “Our guys were on the field a long time in the first inning, right out of the chute, and it just weighs on you mentally.”
Bourjos made it 5-0 in the second with his sixth home run, the 18th Reyes has allowed this season.
“We just wanted to make Reyes work,” Hunter said. “We saw his last start on video, and he was erratic in the strike zone. So we just tried to get him behind in the count. We had him 1-0 and 2-0, and we were able to capitalize on it.”
Angels starter Dan Haren (13-6) escaped a bases-loaded jam in the second by striking out Nolan Reimold and retiring Josh Bell on a grounder to first base. Reimold has no RBIs in 38 career at-bats against the Angels — the only AL club he has not driven in a run against.
Scott Downs, who hasn’t given up an earned run at Angel Stadium all season, escaped his own bases-loaded jam in the eighth by striking out Bell and retiring J.J. Hardy on a flyball. Hardy has gone six games and 28 at-bats without driving in a run — after an eight-game RBI streak in which he had 13 and homered five times.
“J.J. will be the first to tell you he’s struggling a little bit, but he’s the kind of guy who gets right back on the bike,” Showalter said. “I think he needed a day off yesterday, but he came back out today and had some good at-bats for us.”
Haren earned his seventh victory in his last eight decisions and surpassed his combined win total of last year with the Angels and Arizona Diamondbacks. The three-time All-Star allowed three runs and nine hits over seven innings, struck out eight and walked none.
“I actually had good stuff, but I just fell behind in the count a few too many times,” Haren said. “I gave up a few hits, but the most part, I pitched out of major damage. I attacked the strike zone and didn’t walk anybody, so that’s the big thing. Big rallies get started a lot of times with walks, so I’ve been able to minimize that this year.”
The Orioles started chipping away at Haren’s five-run lead in the third with a two-out RBI single by Matt Wieters that Trout trapped on a diving attempt in short right field. Adam Jones narrowed the gap to 5-3 with sacrifice flies in the fifth and seventh innings. But Hunter responded in the bottom of the seventh with a two-run homer off reliever Willie Eyre, giving him 17 for the season and capping his 16th career multihomer game.
“I just closed my eyes and swung, man. I was lucky. If I went to the casino now, I’d win,” Hunter said.
The four-time All-Star is 27 for 63 with four homers and 13 RBIs during his hitting streak. He has 275 career homers, eight in his 215 career at-bats as a designated hitter.
“I’m trying to have playoff at-bats. That’s the only way I know how to play,” Hunter said. “This is a push. In the last two months, I’m trying to push and get to the playoffs. Hopefully, the guys are trying to follow my lead, but I’m not trying to be a leader. I’m just trying to lead by example and play hard. My body’s feeling good and my legs are feeling good.”
Orioles right fielder Nick Markakis threw out Hunter in the fifth when he tried to score from second on a two-out single by Erick Aybar. The Orioles have 28 outfield assists, second in the AL to Kansas City’s 43.
Trout, who was recalled from Double-A Arkansas on Friday, ended the scoring with a solo homer in the eighth off former Angels reliever Kevin Gregg. The right-hander, who gave up a grand slam to the Angels’ Vernon Wells on July 22 at Camden Yards, is with his fourth team in five seasons since the Halos traded him to the Florida Marlins in December 2006.
Notes: The Orioles, who are an AL-worst 47-75, would have to go 19-21 the rest of the way in order for Showalter to avoid tying his worst winning percentage as a big league skipper. His 1998 Arizona Diamondbacks were 65-97, but turned it around the following season and won a division title with a 100-62 record. … Bourjos’ father, Chris, is a scout in the Orioles’ organization. … It was the first time this season the Angels scored more than three first-inning runs at home. The Orioles have been outscored 94-42 in the first. … In his other outing against the Angels this season, Reyes lost a 3-1 decision to Jered Weaver on April 10 at the Big A. … The Angels ended a streak of 12 consecutive games in which their pitchers had given up at least one home run — their longest such streak since a 13-game stretch May 27-June 10, 2008. The franchise record is 17 straight (July 5-24, 1994). … DH Vladimir Guerrero faced the Angels for the first time in an Orioles uniform, going 2 for 5 after missing the three-game series at Baltimore because of a broken right hand. Guerrero, who won AL MVP honors in 2004 while playing for the Angels, was 22 for 74 with five homers and 17 RBIs in 19 games against them last season after signing as a free agent with the Rangers. … Haren fanned Markakis in the first for his 1,400th career strikeout.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)