Angels 6, Orioles 1: Three Up, Three Down

July, 22, 2011
7/22/11
7:58
PM PT
Ervin SantanaEvan Habeeb/US PresswireErvin Santana took a one-hitter into the eighth inning Friday against the Orioles.
Vernon Wells broke up yet another pitchers' duel with a ninth-inning grand slam and the Angels won their third straight game after a slow start coming out of the All-Star break.

The Good:

Trout sticks. A lot of people presumed Mike Trout would be sent back to the minor leagues when Peter Bourjos returned from the disabled list. A lot of people were wrong. The Angels instead optioned infielder Alexi Amarista. So, what gives? Manager Mike Scioscia has said the center-field job is Bourjos' and that Trout needs to play on an everyday basis to continue to improve. Maybe Trout's skill set so tantalized the Angels that they're going to try to create a role. He had his first multi-hit game Friday, scoring twice.

Ervin's magic. Ervin Santana has pitched "much better" than his numbers indicate lately, according to Scioscia. Friday, he probably pitched worse than his numbers indicated. He did almost get through eight innings and allowed one run, but Baltimore has been ice cold offensively and Santana only struck out one batter.

Vernon earnin'. Wells had started slowly out of the break -- join the club -- but his bat matched the simmering weather in Baltimore. Wells' numbers (.223, 15 home runs, 39 RBIs) aren't great, but they're moving in the right direction.

The Bad:

The batter's box. The Angels couldn't score through six innings against a pitcher named Alfredo Simon. That might solve the mystery of whether it has been good pitching or bad hitting that has slowed down this team's scoring lately. Simon now has a 4.08 ERA.

Bobby chills. Nobody has been colder than No. 3 hitter Bobby Abreu, who has one hit in his last 16 at-bats and has driven in a grand total of one run in the past week. Even the walks haven't been coming -- just two since July 10.

Rough return. Ex-Angel Kevin Gregg had just returned from serving a three-game suspension for throwing at David Ortiz and nearly exchanging punches with the Boston slugger. Friday, he got beat up in a traditional way, by serving up Wells' slam.

Mark Saxon

ESPNLosAngeles.com
Mark Saxon is a staff writer for ESPNLosAngeles.com. He spent six years at the Orange County Register, and began his career at the Oakland Tribune, where he started an 11-year journey covering Major League Baseball. He has also covered colleges, including USC football and UCLA basketball.

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TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Mike Trout
BA HR RBI R
.303 20 64 60
OTHER LEADERS
HRM. Trout 20
RBIM. Trout 64
RM. Trout 60
OPSM. Trout .986
WG. Richards 10
ERAG. Richards 2.71
SOG. Richards 119