Brad Bergeson wins 3rd straight as O's drop Angels

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Brad Bergesen shrugged off a couple of early balks -- one of which cost him a run -- and pitched one of his best games during an up-and-down season with Baltimore.

Bergesen won his third straight decision with eight solid innings and the Orioles got RBI singles from Nick Markakis and Luke Scott in a 3-1 victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Friday night.

"Every time you get one balk called, everyone's zoning in on you. So you've got to put it behind you right away and not let it affect you the rest of the game," said Bergesen, who has committed three of the five balks called against Baltimore's staff.

The right-hander yielded a run and four hits, struck out four, walked none and allowed only two of his last 24 batters to reach base. He finished August 3-0 with a 3.49 ERA in five starts after going 0-5 with a 6.32 ERA in July.

"It's a great feeling and definitely something to build on," said Bergesen, who pitched a two-hitter Aug. 11 at Cleveland. "I've just been battling things all year long, and it's been a roller-coaster ride. There's been so much adversity this year, so I've really just tried to persevere and keep that determination and that focus."

Brian Roberts opened the game with a double and scored on a single by Markakis. Bergesen (6-9) balked home the tying run with two outs in the bottom of the first after Howie Kendrick singled and went to third on Alberto Callaspo's single.

"By the rule of the balk, it was a balk," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "But you don't want to see a game decided by a flinch. I mean, is it really trying to gain an advantage? I wish they'd make some adjustments to that rule. He should have had a shutout tonight. He was incredible. But it's good to see a young pitcher overcome the frustration of those balk calls."

Bergesen was charged with his second balk after Torii Hunter singled with one out in the fourth. Hunter tried to advance on Hideki Matsui's fly ball to left and was thrown out by Felix Pie for an inning-ending double play. It was the 27th outfield assist for the Orioles, who led the AL last season with 36.

"Torii is as competitive as anybody you are going to see on the field. But I think at times his frustration in trying to create offense is there," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "He's going to play this game aggressively to set the tone, to try and make things happen. And sometimes, there are going to be some outs. I know there's a frustration level we try to keep at a minimum out there, and sometimes guys get a little out of their games."

Hunter offered no plausible excuses.

"I didn't think they'd throw a strike to third and they did," he said. "Just a gamble, and I lost."

Koji Uehara pitched a scoreless ninth for his third save and has allowed only two earned runs in 20 1/3 innings over his last 17 appearances.

Angels rookie Trevor Bell (1-4) pitched a career-high seven innings in his ninth big league start, allowing two runs and six hits while striking out three in a game that took just 2 hours, 12 minutes. The right-hander, who began the season on the disabled list because of a left hamstring strain and made his first 15 appearances out of the bullpen, is 0-3 with a 5.33 ERA in five starts this season.

The Orioles are 14-10 since Showalter took over as manager on Aug. 3, including a three-game sweep of the Angels at Camden Yards in their first three games under him.

The Angels, who won the last three AL West titles, are 10 games out of first place for the first time since 2003, when they finished 19 games behind AL West champion Oakland. They have lost the opening game in each of their last five series and are 22-20 in that department. The Orioles are 7-1 in series openers since Showalter's arrival, after going 9-25.

Scioscia and trainer Ned Bergert made two injury-related trips to the mound to check on Bell in the sixth -- one of them after he threw out Corey Patterson on a sacrifice bunt, the other when Markakis' hard grounder struck Bell on the right foot and caromed to first baseman Juan Rivera for the out.

Scott followed with an RBI single off Rivera's glove to drive in Josh Bell and give the Orioles a 2-1 lead. Bell took over at second base in the fourth after Roberts left the game with a left hip strain.

Cesar Izturis scored Baltimore's third run in the eighth on a fielder's choice grounder by Patterson.

Game notes
Los Angeles traded closer Brian Fuentes to Minnesota for a player to be named. ... Patterson delivered the defensive gem of the game, making an outstretched grab of Mike Napoli's extra-base bid in right-center and hanging onto the ball after his momentum sent him tumbling into the wall.