ANAHEIM, Calif. – Jerome Williams pitched seven stellar innings to get his first major league victory in almost six years, Peter Bourjos homered for the third straight game and Howie Kendrick also went deep, leading the Los Angeles Angels to a 7-1 victory over the bumbling Baltimore Orioles on Sunday and a sweep of the three-game series.
The Angels' fourth straight victory, coupled with Texas' 10-0 loss at Chicago, put the Halos within four games of the Rangers in the AL West race.
Williams (1-0) posted his first victory in the majors since Sept. 25, 2005 with the Chicago Cubs, after losing his previous eight decisions. The 29-year-old Hawaiian-born right-hander allowed a run and six hits over seven innings, struck out six and walked none. He also escaped a bases-loaded, none-out jam in the fourth, and was staked to a 7-0 lead before giving up a leadoff homer by Matt Wieters in the seventh.
Williams, a first-round draft pick by San Francisco in 1999, hadn't started a game in the majors since May 15, 2007 with the Washington Nationals. He began this season with the Lancaster Barnstormers of the Atlantic League before signing a free agent contract with the Angels on June 16. He spent last season playing in Taiwan after leading the Oakland Athletics as a free agent in December 2008.
Brian Matusz (1-6) threw 84 pitches over four innings, giving up six runs and eight hits.
Torii Hunter's hitting streak ended at 18 games (0 for 5) after Baltimore center fielder Adam Jones robbed him of a home run in the fourth — two batters after Bourjos extended the Angels' lead to 6-0 lead with a two-run shot. Bourjos became the second Angels player to homer in three straight games, along with Trumbo, who did it in the final three before the All-Star break.
After watching rookie third baseman Josh Bell fail to execute two critical plays during the 12th inning of Saturday night's 9-8 loss, Orioles manager Buck Showalter gave rookie second baseman Blake Davis his first start at third in the big leagues. Davis, who took some ground balls about 2 house before gametime under the supervision of bench coach Willie Randolph, committed fielding errors on the first two chances he had and had a throwing error in the eighth on an infield single by Bourjos.
Davis wasn't the only Orioles player to start at a new position for the first time in the majors. Wieters shifted from catcher to first base in place of Mark Reynolds, who was banged up in a collision with Hank Conger as the Angels' rookie ran out a bunt that Bell threw wildly to first during the fateful 12th-inning rally on Saturday.
The Orioles loaded the bases with none out in the fourth on singles by J.J. Hardy and Nick Markakis, followed by Jones' infield hit. But Vladimir Guerrero struck out, and first baseman Trumbo fielded Wieters' grounder in the hole before starting an inning-ending 3-6-1 double play with Williams taking the relay from shortstop Aybar.
Notes: Angels starting pitchers have gone 20 2-3 innings without allowing a walk. ... Williams was moved into the rotation after struggling rookie RHP Tyler Chatwood was demoted to Triple-A Salt Lake. ... Ten of the 25 players on the Orioles' active roster have spent time in the minor leagues this season — not counting LHP Zach Britton, who is expected to be activated Monday to start the opener of a three-game series at Minnesota. The Orioles will place RHP Jason Berken on the 15-day DL Monday because of a sore elbow. ... Former Angels 1B Scott Spiezio became the sixth member of the Angels' 2002 World Series championship season to throw a ceremonial first pitch this season, as the club continues its 50th anniversary celebration. Former major leaguer Ed Spiezio caught the pitch from his son, who hit a dramatic three-run homer in Game 6 of the World Series against San Francisco with the Halos facing elimination. ... Sunday was the one-year anniversary of Bell's first two major league home runs — both against Cliff Lee in consecutive at-bats at Camden Yards.