Saturday, April 21, 2012
3 up, 3 down: Angels 6, Orioles 3
By Blair Angulo
ANAHEIM -- It took 15 games but the Angels finally clinched their first series win of the season, beating the Baltimore Orioles 6-3 Saturday night at Angel Stadium behind a stellar pitching performance from Jered Weaver.
The ace right-hander tossed his ninth career complete game, striking out five to earn his third win of the season.
The Angels won consecutive games for the first time this year.
Turnaround. The Angels batted around in the fifth inning, chasing Orioles right-hander Jake Arrieta after mustering just one hit through four. Torii Hunter led off the five-run fifth with a sharp liner to center, which seemed to affect Arrieta's confidence in attacking the strike zone. Kendrys Morales capped the scoring with an RBI single to left field.
Half perfection. On a day when Chicago White Sox pitcher Philip Humber hurled the 21st perfect game in major league history, Weaver had Angel fans thinking -- or at least dreaming -- that they might see the same. Weaver was flawless through the first four innings but Adam Jones beat out a slow grounder to work-in-progress third baseman Mark Trumbo.
Patience. At the forefront of the Angels' five-run outburst in the fifth were walks by Maicer Izturis, Peter Bourjos and Albert Pujols. They recognized that Arrieta lost his groove and didn't force the issue. It was a good sign given that the Angels were the third-worst team in all of baseball at drawing walks heading into Saturday.
Lone mistake. Maybe it was a lapse in concentration after his bid for perfection was snapped on Jones' infield single, but Weaver probably wishes he could have the 3-and-0 pitch to Matt Wieters back. Wieters cranked a knee-high fastball into the right field pavilion for his fifth homer of the season, putting the O's on top 2-0.
Slow starters. After Aybar led off the first with a single, Arrieta retired the next 12 batters in a row. Not all that surprising given that Angels starters had combined to go 1-for-15 in their career against the right-hander.
Wastefulness. Once again the Angels struggled to put an opponent away. They had an opportunity in the fifth but Trumbo stranded three runners with a weak bouncer to the mound. They had another chance in the eighth after Izturis and Chris Iannetta led off with hits but three consecutive infield pop outs didn't get it done.