Angels float to 4th straight win with early rallies
By Jeff Seidel and Todd Karpovich
BALTIMORE -- Daniel Nava and C.J. Cron both drove in two runs as the Angels scored eight runs in the first four innings and extended their winning streak to four games with a 9-5 victory over the Orioles Friday night.
Nava also robbed Manny Machado of a first-inning homer with a leaping catch at the left-field fence. Starter Matt Shoemaker (4-9) ended a personal four-game losing streak by allowing three runs in five-plus innings. This was his first victory since May 27, and the Angels (37-50) tied their season high with their fourth straight victory.
"I couldn't really take off my batting glove. I couldn't really do anything, so I knew something was messed up," Cron said.
Orioles starter Ubaldo Jimenez struggled again, allowing five runs on five hits in 1 1/3 innings. He fell to 5-9 on the season with a 7.38 ERA. Adam Jones, Jonathan Schoop and Mark Trumbo all homered in the losing effort as the Orioles (49-36) saw their two-game winning streak end.
"Hoping that Ubaldo could get us deeper in the game, keep us engaged a little more than that," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "We had tried to put him in the bullpen and see if we could work some things out there, but necessity put him back in there. So we'll attack it after the break."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED More Jimenez problems: Jimenez's woes continued when he lasted just 1 1/3 innings and gave up five runs on five hits. The right-hander now has allowed 11 runs on 11 hits in his last 5 2/3 innings. Jimenez's spot in the rotation could be in trouble once more as Showalter also removed him a few weeks ago.
"I have to keep going, keep working hard and hopefully find something that's going to get me out of this thing," Jimenez said. "It's part of baseball." More >
Nava's early defense sets tone: Left fielder Nava leaped above the wall and gloves of three fans' to rob Machado of a game-tying home run in the first. It was the third time in five years Los Angeles has robbed Baltimore of a first-inning homer with a grab over the outfield fence.
"Off the bat, I thought it was going to be a deeper fly ball, and it kept going and going," Nava said. "I realized where I was. I just tried to jump up and make some sort of play to keep this ball in the yard. Fortunately, I kept the ball in the yard."
From there, the Angels took control an inning later with three more runs charged to the struggling Jimenez for a 5-1 lead. On the opposite end, both Yunel Escobar and Johnny Giavotella had throwing errors in the third, but the Angels remained unscathed as Shoemaker got out of the inning. Nava also had a hit and two RBIs. More >
Shoemaker contains Orioles ... again: While he was not as dominant as his first outing against the Orioles' powerful lineup, Shoemaker did just enough to help his team earn the victory. In his first appearance against the Orioles on May 21, Shoemaker gave up just three hits and struck out a career-high 12 batters over 7 1/3 scoreless innings. This time, he allowed solo homers to Jones and Schoop, along with an RBI single to Trumbo, but not much else to pick up his first win since May 27.
"We won, and that's a good thing," Shoemaker said. "Let's get those wins and pitch great from now on. I don't [think] anything was particularly wrong. Just a little off here and there."
Make no mistake about it: The Orioles made an uncharacteristic number of mistakes in this game. Wright came on in long relief and hit three batters during his 4 2/3-inning stint. Two came in the third and led to a run, while one more came in the sixth -- and that helped set up another. Also, shortstop J.J. Hardy made back-to-back errors in the fourth, and that helped the Angels score twice more.
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Opposing outfielders have taken away seven potential home runs by the Orioles this season, the most of any team, according to ESPN Stats & Info.
Angels:Nick Tropeano (3-2, 3.28 ERA) is looking to give the Angels a spark Saturday in his first career start against the Orioles at 1:05 p.m. PT. Tropeano is making his second appearance since missing the past month with right shoulder tightness. In his last outing Monday, he was effective against the Rays, allowing two runs on four hits over five innings. Angels manager Mike Scioscia is confident the Angels can rebound with some solid starting pitching.
Orioles:Yovani Gallardo (3-1, 6.10) looks to help the Orioles when he gets the start in the middle game of this series at 4:05 p.m. ET. This will be Gallardo's fifth start since coming off the disabled list, and he lasted just four innings in his last start on July 4 versus the Dodgers. The Orioles are struggling with their starting pitching and need Gallardo to find his form.