Jul 5, 2012; Anaheim, CA, USA; Los Angeles Angels pitcher Ernesto Frieri (49) pitches against the Baltimore Orioles during the ninth inning at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. The Los Angeles Angels defeated the Baltimore Orioles 9-7. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-US PRESSWIRE
Minor League Prospect Garrett Richards gave up ten hits and seven runs in the first four innings and yet was still in line to be the pitcher of record with a chance for a W when he let two baserunners get on in the top of the fifth inning. Mike Scioscia brought in LaTroy Hawkins to get the final two outs of the inning. That turned into four and two-thirds innings of scoreless bullpen relief, including a clutch 1-2-3 inning featuring Kevin Jepsen protecting a one-run lead with a swinging strikeout of Matt Wieters to announce his return from minor league exile. Jason Isringhausen, Scott Downs and Mister Freeze himself, Ernesto Frieri combined to remind baseball they are obviously five relievers who do their job.
The offense reminded Baltimore pitching not to order Trout or order Cuban take-out while visiting Southern California. Mike Trout was 2 for 2 with 2 walks, 2 runs scored and 2 RBI on 2 sacrifice flies. He stole second base twice and finished with 3 SB on the night including one of 3B that scored a run when an errant throw from the catcher ended up down the left field line.
On the glove side of things, Mark Trumbo didn't let a bad night at the plate affect his fielding. He made a leaping catch and also had an outfield assist, throwing a runner out at 3B on a single hit to left. Erick Aybar had an early run scoring base hit and finished a 2 for 4 game with a dazzling defensive gem up the middle, spinning 360 degrees to fire a bullet to 1B for an out to give Jepsen a boost in his comeback relief attempt. Even Howie Kendrick had a run scoring single up the middle, how epic is that?
The Angels came into the game having lost a series in Cleveland and splitting a series in Toronto, yet despite going 3-4 in the week leading up to this game, losing Dan Haren to the DL and watching Ervin Santana's worst 58-pitch performance of his career, they gain two games on the Rangers since the week began and are now just four games out of first place in the American League West.
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