Bedard outduels Colon as O's squeak past Angels

BALTIMORE (AP) -- Working with pitching coach Leo Mazzone is paying hefty dividends for Erik Bedard, who used pinpoint control and an overpowering fastball to beat Bartolo Colon and the Los Angeles Angels.

Bedard pitched eight strong innings to earn his third win and the Baltimore Orioles turned a three-run fifth into a 3-2 victory Saturday.

Bedard (3-0) allowed eight hits and two runs, striking out four. The left-hander has a 2.25 ERA in three starts and is tied with Boston's Curt Schilling for the AL lead in wins.

"He was outstanding, start to finish," Baltimore manager Sam Perlozzo said. "He owned the outer half of the plate and was throwing probably as hard as I've ever seen him. I think he's taken into Leo's philosophy of throwing on the outside part of the plate."

Mazzone joined the Orioles during the offseason after a 15½-year run with the Atlanta Braves. Bedard went 6-8 last season and walked 57 in 24 games, but he didn't issue a single base on balls

"I threw a lot of strikes on the outside corner. Usually I'm OK with it, but today I was 80 percent all outside," Bedard said. "I was just hitting the spot and hitting the glove."

Bedard's command and pitch selection kept the Angels off-balance and proved instrumental in the Orioles' third straight one-run victory.

"He mixed his pitches really well and used his fastball tremendously well," Perlozzo said. "He's smart, he knows what to do and doesn't give in. I think that's going to be a big help to
him all year long."

Bedard came in 0-2 with a 6.19 ERA in three career starts against the Angels, but on this day he outpitched the reigning AL Cy Young Award winner.

"I didn't really think about it," Bedard said. "I just [bore] down, made my pitches and changed speeds. Fortunately I came out with a win."

Bedard left after 102 pitches, and Chris Ray worked the ninth for his fourth save in four tries.

Colon (0-2) gave up only one earned run in seven innings, but he has now gone three starts without a victory. Colon did, however, lower his ERA from 12.86 to 7.07.

"The one thing I had in mind today was to throw a lot of fastballs, mix my four- and my two-seam fastball," he said through a translator. "In order for me to really feel comfortable and let it go, I have to throw a lot of fastballs. I'm a fastball pitcher."

Held to one hit through the first four innings, the Orioles took a 3-2 lead with a three-run fifth fueled by an error by Angels catcher Jose Molina.

Ramon Hernandez singled and scored on a double by Jeff Conine, who was batting .050 and in an 0-for-16 slump since Opening Day. Brian Roberts then singled off the glove of second baseman Chone Figgins, and Conine scored when Molina dropped Figgins' throw to the plate. David Newhan followed with an infield hit before Melvin Mora singled in a run.

"I elevated the ball when they got the three runs," Colon said. "But overall, I must say, it was a nice feel out on the mound today."

Angels manager Mike Scioscia liked what he was from Colon but was peeved at the way his team performed in the field.

"We played a poor ballgame, that's the bottom line. Our guys didn't play consistent baseball," he said. "It was a poor day defensively and at the plate."

Given a lead to work with, Bedard allowed only one hit and faced the minimum nine batters in his final three innings.

Colon yielded eight hits. He struck out four and walked one.

"He pitched his heart out. We didn't support him," Scioscia said. "But we saw some good signs. Definitely better stuff from Bart."

Los Angeles went up 1-0 in the first inning when Figgins hit a leadoff double and scored on a double by Garret Anderson. Tim Salmon tripled to open the second but was stranded.

"Give him credit," Scioscia said of Bedard. "We had some opportunities, but he made some pitches and shut the door."

The Angels made it 2-0 in the fifth. Molina led off with a single, advanced on a single by Robb Quinlan and scored on a two-out double by Orlando Cabrera.

Game notes
Angels outfield Darin Erstad
returned to the team Saturday, one day after his wife gave birth to the couple's first child. He arrived early in the morning and did not play. ... Hernandez went 3-for-4 to raise his batting average to .526. ... Salmon's triple was his first since 2003. ... The Angels, who came in with an AL-high 10 errors, upped the total to 12.