Hernandez connected with one out in the ninth inning, lifting
the Orioles past the Los Angeles Angels 6-5 Friday night.
Hernandez hit a solo shot on a 3-2 fastball from Scot Shields
(1-1). The drive, which landed in the left-field seats, brought an
appropriate conclusion to a game that featured four homers by each
"How the weather was today, the ball was flying," Hernandez
said. "I kind of figured it would go out. Lucky I hit it in a good
So did seven other players, including Baltimore's Jay Gibbons.
"The ball was traveling well tonight. Usually in April it
doesn't go anywhere," Gibbons said. "But 75 degrees, the ball was
David Newhan and rookie Nick Markakis also homered for the
Orioles, who trailed 4-0 before rallying for their fourth win in
Los Angeles had gone five straight games without a homer and
ranked last in the AL with seven overall before Garret Anderson,
Juan Rivera and Adam Kennedy connected in the first two innings
against Rodrigo Lopez.
The Angels' final home run came in dramatic fashion. Los Angeles
trailed 5-4 in the ninth when LaTroy Hawkins entered for Baltimore,
seeking his first save. He struck out Tim Salmon and Casey Kotchman
and went to 3-2 on Jeff Mathis before the rookie drove a fastball
into the left-field seats for his first major league homer.
It was a redemptive hit for Mathis, whose passed ball helped
Baltimore take the lead in the eighth.
Tim Byrdak (1-0) got the final out in the ninth. It was his
first major league win and came in his 93rd appearance, ending the
longest active winless streak in the big leagues.
Hernandez trumped Mathis' homer in the bottom half.
"I went to 3-2 and tried not to walk the guy and he hit it out
of the park," Shields said. "A situation like that, I've got to
give him something to hit."
It was the Orioles' second straight late-inning victory. Melvin
Mora homered with two outs in the ninth inning Thursday to power
Baltimore past Tampa Bay.
"It's exciting to win two games in a row like that, let alone
one in a month," Gibbons said. "I love this. I hope we do it
every night. It's a lot more fun than winning 10-0."
With the score 4-all in the eighth, Baltimore's Brian Roberts
hit a one-out single off J.C. Romero and advanced on Mathis' passed
ball. Shields then retired pinch-hitter Luis Matos on a fly ball
before Mora hit an opposite-field single to right, scoring Roberts
with an unearned run.
The lead wouldn't last.
Lopez allowed four runs and six hits in eight innings. He
retired his last seven batters, striking out four.
Los Angeles starter Ervin Santana, who went seven innings, also
yielded four runs, six hits and three home runs.
The Angels went up 3-0 in the first inning. Anderson homered
with a man on, and two pitches later Rivera hit a drive into the
Kennedy hit his first home run of the season in the second
inning to make it 4-0.
"We hit some home runs, obviously, but we didn't pressure them
after the first couple of innings," Los Angeles manager Mike
Scioscia said. "Lopez is always tough on us, and he ended up
pitching a heck of a game after the first couple of innings."
Gibbons connected in the bottom of the second, extending his
hitting streak to 10 games, and Newhan got Baltimore to 4-2 with a
solo shot in the fourth.
Markakis tied it in the fifth, hitting his second major league
homer with one out after Kevin Millar led off with a double.
World figure skating champion Kimmie Meissner threw out the
ceremonial first pitch. ... Kennedy was 1-for-18 lifetime against
Lopez before going 2-for-3 against the right-hander. ... LA's Darin
Erstad missed the game to be with his wife, who gave birth to the
couple's first child, Jordan Elizabeth Erstad, early Friday
morning. ... Baltimore's Jeff Conine went 0-for-3 and is 1-for-20
(.050) this season.