By Maria Guardado and Brittany Ghiroli
ANAHEIM -- Four months ago, the Orioles traded right-hander Parker Bridwell to the Angels in exchange for cash considerations. On Tuesday night, Bridwell helped defeat the team that cast him off by firing seven innings of one-run ball in the Angels' 3-2 victory over the Orioles at Angel Stadium.
Bridwell held the Orioles to six hits while walking none and striking out four, lowering his ERA to 3.00 over 11 appearances with the Angels this season. Though he had been relegated to the bullpen during his tenure with Baltimore, the 26-year-old rookie has flourished in a starting role for the Angels, who improved to 10-1 in games that Bridwell has pitched.
"He's always had a good arm and good stuff," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said of Bridwell. "But as guys get older they figure it out a little bit, knowing that the opportunity is there. I'm pulling for him."
After halting the Angels' three-game skid, Bridwell became the first Halos pitcher this season to win four consecutive decisions. At 56-58, the Angels are now two games out of the second American League Wild Card spot.
"At the end of the day, obviously, it's a little bit sweeter," Bridwell said of beating the Orioles. "I just had to execute my pitches, just like a normal start. Luckily, I came out and I did that. It worked in our favor. There's some good friends on that team, and it was fun to compete against them."
Caleb Joseph crushed a solo home run off rookie Keynan Middleton to bring the Orioles within one with two outs in the top of the ninth, but Middleton then coaxed a popout from Joey Rickard to end the game and secure his first career save.
Manager Mike Scioscia, who was ejected along with Albert Pujols after arguing a checked-swing call in the sixth, said the Angels decided to deploy Middleton in that situation to give unofficial closer Bud Norris and Blake Parker a night off.
"We're trying to reset some guys and get some depth," Scioscia said. "He'll certainly be a guy that will be out there holding leads, whatever inning it is."
Baltimore right-hander Jeremy Hellickson was charged with the loss after yielding three runs on six hits while walking one and striking out a season-high nine over six innings. The Orioles finished 2-for-9 with runners in scoring position and left seven men on base, with the defeat moving them to 1 1/2 games out of the second AL Wild Card spot.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Maybin's diving grab: Bridwell stymied the Orioles through the first four innings, but he fell into a jam in the fifth after Tim Beckham singled and Seth Smith hit a sharp line drive that deflected off C.J. Cron's glove and landed in right field for a double, putting runners on second and third with no outs. Joseph then delivered an RBI single to center to tie the game, 1-1. Rickard followed by hitting a chopper to Luis Valbuena, who threw home to nab Smith for the first out of the inning. After Adam Jones struck out, Manny Machado shot a sinking liner to left field, but Cameron Maybin made a diving catch to preserve the tie and end the inning.
"Cam had two RBIs tonight with that catch he made," Scioscia said.
Angels reclaim lead: The Angels broke the 1-1 tie by scoring a pair of runs in the seventh via RBI hits from Valbuena and Cron. Kole Calhoun and Andrelton Simmons set up the big inning with back-to-back singles, and Valbuena put the Angels ahead by launching a first-pitch slider from Hellickson to left field for a double. Cron followed with a single, giving the Angels a 3-1 edge and chasing Hellickson from the game in favor of Darren O'Day.
"Yeah, it happened really fast. Probably in the span of six, seven, maybe eight pitches they got four hits," Hellickson said. "So it happened really quick. I've got to make a pitch there and make an out. Darren did an unbelievable job getting out of that. I wish I didn't have to put him in that situation".
WHAT'S NEXT Orioles: The Orioles will send Kevin Gausman to the mound for Wednesday's series finale in Anaheim. Gausman has been terrific lately, turning in four consecutive quality starts for the first time all year. The righty was the Orioles' best pitcher in the final two months of 2016. He will look to keep rolling, with first pitch set for 3:37 p.m. ET.
Angels: Rookie right-hander Troy Scribner (1-0, 4.50 ERA) will make his second career Major League start on Wednesday as the Angels close out their three-game series against the Orioles at 12:37 p.m. PT at Angel Stadium. Scribner allowed five runs (two earned) over four-plus innings in his last start against the A's on Friday.