3 up, 3 down: Angels 9, Orioles 7
July, 5, 2012
By Blair Angulo | ESPNLosAngeles.com
ANAHEIM -- Resiliency proved to be the difference for the Angels on Thursday night.
Kendrys Morales' two-run single in the fourth was the final jolt in a wild comeback effort, and the Angels pulled out a 9-7 victory over the Baltimore Orioles. Starting pitcher Garrett Richards struggled mightily but the bullpen shut the door to give the Angels their 28th win in the last 40 games.
Counter attack. It could have been easy for the Angels to fold, call it a night and roll off the old "we'll get them tomorrow" spiel. Richards just didn't have it (he opened the game with a five-pitch walk), and the Angels faced 4-1 and 7-3 deficits early. But a five-run explosion in the fourth gave the Angels their first lead and deflated whatever momentum the Orioles had built.
The kid. You know this by now, but All-star Mike Trout is pretty good. The 20-year-old led off the sixth with a four-pitch walk, stole second, stole third and scored on Matt Wieters' wild throw into left field for a much-needed insurance run. It was his 26th stolen base before the break, tying him for an Angels rookie record.
Trumbo, left fielder. First baseman turned third baseman turned outfielder Mark Trumbo has improved tremendously with the glove, and he demonstrated it again Thursday. Trumbo made a jumping catch at the wall in the fourth inning to save a run and, about a minute later, threw out Ryan Flaherty on a laser to third base.
Roughed up. It was, without a doubt, the last thing Angels manager Mike Scioscia wanted to see. On a day when Dan Haren (back) went on the disabled list for the first time in his 10-year career, Richards did little to alleviate Scioscia's concerns about the lack of pitching depth in the organization. Richards surrendered seven runs and 10 hits, as his ERA ballooned up from 2.81 to 4.21.
Alignment. The Angels shifted their defense for notorious pull hitter Jim Thome in the first inning, sliding second baseman Howie Kendrick to short right field in anticipation of a hard hit ball to that side. Thome did exactly that, lining a one-hopper that Kendrick was unable to snag. It was a make-able play that wasn't made, allowing the Orioles to plate their first run.
Excluded. Trumbo, coming off a good road trip in which he hit .353, went hitless in four at-bats. He and catcher John Hester were the only Angels that failed to reach base.