Final Score in Baltimore: Los Angeles Angels 7, Baltimore Orioles 5
The Angels began an eight game road trip with timely hitting and serviceable pitching to hold off the Orioles at Camden Yards in Baltimore. The Orioles led 4-2 at one point, shaking up Angel starter Joe Saunders, an alum of nearby Virginia Tech and a native of Falls Church, Virginia. Well it wasn't the civil war, as confederate Maryland fell to Virginia's latest major son.
The turning point came with another pitcher, though, Scot Shields (whose leadoff walk in the bottom of the 8th seemed to be the beginning of a recent Angel trend of blowing games wide open with bullpen implosions) got a visit on the mound from manager Mike Scioscia. Catcher Mike Napoli was privy to an animated lecture by the dean of the American League's managers. The lecture held and Shields' ERA is back to single digits (9.39) after his scoreless inning. Brian Fuentes gave up a solo homer to Adam Jones in an otherwise uneventful 9th inning for his 4th save as an Angel.
The Angels offense scored 7 runs for the 5th time in 6 games, a feat unlike any recent Angel offense. With bullpen implosions in so many of those games though, they are 3-3 in that past half-dozen. Howie Kendrick had a two-run homer to tie the game in the 4th inning and Kendry Morales had a ringing double down the line to add some insurance in the 7th.
That 7th inning saw Angels baserunners TWICE break a cardinal baseball rule as the first AND last outs were made at third base, with Morales attempting to stretcha double into a trinple as well as draw the throw away from the plate to ensure the 7th run scoring. The inning had led off with Chone Figgins attemoting to stretch a leadoff double into a triple as well. But the baseball gods seemed in a forgiving mood and allowed the bullpen to help the Halos open the roadtrip with a victory, which coupled with Sunday's homestand finale over Seattle added up to the first two-game winning streak of 2009.