It wasn't easy, but the Angels squeezed by Baltimore yet again last night, needing to score three runs in the bottom of the 12th inning to capture the 9-8 victory. Bobby Abreu played the hero for the hosts with his sacrifice fly in the final frame to give the Angels their fourth win in five tries against the O's so far this season.
Erick Aybar singled and Mike Trout was hit by a pitch to begin the final inning for Anaheim. Hank Conger put down a bunt that third baseman Josh Bell picked up but his throw to first was off the mark, which allowed Aybar to score.
Peter Bourjos then hit a sharp grounder to Bell, who made a diving stop and threw to first. Bourjos, however, beat the throw to load the bases with no outs. Alberto Callaspo then walked to force in the tying run.
"Aybar got us going in the 12th, then the crowd fired us up," Angels first baseman Mark Trumbo said. "After that, we were able to get a number of timely hits."
Abreu finished 2-for-5 with three RBI and a run scored for the Angels, who have won three in a row since a five-game skid and are now five games behind the Texas Rangers in the American League West.
LA starter Joel Pineiro, long gone before the game was decided, gave up four runs on nine hits over six innings. Fernando Rodney recorded the final out in the 12th to pick up the win, his third in eight decisions on the season.
Kevin Gregg, the fifth of six pitchers used by Baltimore, was charged with his second loss of the season as he gave up three runs -- two earned -- on two hits and a walk as he failed to register a single out.
In an effort to keep the good times rolling today, the Angels hand the ball to Jerome Williams, a right-hander back up in the majors for the first time since 2007. Williams did get a little work out of the pen against Texas on Wednesday, allowing two hits while retiring two in an eventual 4-3 loss at home.
The Honolulu native started 10 games for Triple-A Salt Lake this year and went 7-2 with a 3.91 ERA in 11 games before getting the call back to the big club.
As for the Orioles, now an incredible 28.5 games out of contention in the AL East and a dismal 18-41 on the road in 2011, they have Brian Matusz slated as their starter for today out on the west coast.
The lefty, who is 1-1 in his career versus the Angels, had his longest outing of the season on Tuesday when he made the start against Oakland and was battered for six runs on eight hits, allowing three walks and fanning five over 6 2/3 innings. Unfortunately Matusz, who has allowed at least one home in all but one of his seven appearances thus far, lost his fifth straight decision in an 8-4 defeat.