ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — The Baltimore Orioles ‘ latest defeat in a season full of embarrassing ones will be remembered most for consecutive plays third baseman Josh Bell wasn’t able to execute with his team leading by two runs in the 12th inning, and a desperation bunt in the 12th inning by — of all people — slugger Mark Reynolds.
Closer Kevin Gregg couldn’t get out of the 12th after four of the five batters he faced got on, and Troy Patton gave up a bases-loaded sacrifice fly by Bobby Abreu as the Los Angeles Angels beat the Orioles 9-8 on Saturday night.
“Every time you come to the park, you expect the best. But things didn’t go out way at the end,” Bell said after the Orioles’ record slipped to an AL-worst 47-76. “I don’t like the outcome. You’ve got to put them away.”
Hisanori Takahashi gave up a one-out walk to Bell and a single to J.J. Hardy in the Orioles’ 12th before retiring Nick Markakis on a popup. Manager Mike Scioscia then brought in Fernando Rodney, who gave up Adam Jones’ single to right and didn’t bother to back up the plate as Hardy scored behind Bell on a throwing error by right fielder Torii Hunter. But Rodney (3-5) still ended up with the win.
“I don’t think like we felt that we were out of it tonight,” said Mark Trumbo, whose two-run homer in the ninth inning Thursday night beat the Texas Rangers. “We got a little momentum going in the 12th inning, and that obviously helped. Hopefully we’re just going to ride this into tomorrow and keep doing what we’re doing.”
Takahashi gave up a leadoff single in the 11th to Baltimore’s Matt Wieters before getting the force at second on the surprise bunt toward the mound by Reynolds — who has only two sacrifice bunts in his five-year career and none since July 26, 2008, with the Arizona Diamondbacks. Robert Andino then grounded into a double play.
“It wasn’t my decision. He did it on his own,” manager Buck Showalter said. “I’m not going to bunt him there with where we were in the order because I know what his capabilities are. I appreciate the fact that he was thinking from a team standpoint, but it didn’t come from the dugout or the third base box. That’s not what cost us the ballgame, so it’s not something we’re going to dwell on.”
Gregg (0-2) gave up a leadoff single to Erick Aybar in the bottom half and hit rookie Mike Trout. Hank Conger laid down a sacrifice bunt toward Bell, whose wild throw allowed Aybar to score. Bell then made a diving stop on Peter Bourjos’ grounder in the hole, checked the runner at third and threw too late to get the speedy Bourjos.
“I played with him coming up through the minor leagues, so I knew he was fast,” Bell said. “After I got the ball, I just wanted to make sure that the runner wasn’t going. But he’s really fast, so you’ve got to get rid of the ball.”
Gregg walked Alberto Callaspo to force in the tying run, and Patton gave up Abreu’s scoring fly to deep center on a 1-1 pitch. Tommy Hunter gave up six runs and 10 hits over 6 1-3 innings and did not strike out a batter in his fourth start for the Orioles, who acquired the 25-year-old right-hander in a trade with the Rangers on July 30. He was moved up in the rotation to fill in for Jeremy Guthrie, who is missing at least one turn because of shoulder stiffness.
The Angels turned a 3-1 deficit into a 5-3 lead in the third. Abreu’s opposite-field double over the head of left fielder Nolan Reimold scored two. Trumbo blooped in a hit to drive in the go-ahead run and Howie Kendrick smacked the next pitch into the left-field corner, driving in Trumbo.
Jones cut the Angels’ lead to 5-4 in the fifth with a two-out homer, his 22nd this season and fourth on the road. Bourjos chased right-hander Tommy Hunter in the seventh with his seventh home run, but the Orioles tied it in the eighth with an RBI groundout by Vladimir Guerrero and Wieters’ RBI single off closer Jordan Walden.
Angels right-hander Joel Pineiro allowed four runs and nine hits over six innings, struck out two and did not walk a batter in his return to the rotation after a 21/2 week stint in the bullpen. In his previous four starts, he was 0-3 with a discouraging 14.85 ERA that sent his season figure soaring to 5.31.
Pineiro, getting a reprieve because of an injury to the guy who replaced him in the rotation — rookie Garrett Richards — gave up hits to seven of his first 10 batters and fell behind 3-0 in the second inning.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)