BALTIMORE – Luke Scott homered for the third straight game, and the Baltimore Orioles beat Ervin Santana and the Los Angeles Angels 9-7 on Wednesday night to improve to 2-0 under new manager Buck Showalter.
Felix Pie had three hits and three RBIs for the Orioles, who will seek to complete a three-game sweep on Thursday night. Baltimore is already assured its fifth series win of the season — in 35 tries.
The Orioles still own the worst record in the majors (34-73). But they've looked sharp under Showalter, who has been asked to revive a franchise headed toward a 13th consecutive losing season.
The Angels made the key mistake in this game. Torii Hunter hit an RBI double in the ninth, but then was caught stealing for the first out of the inning.
Rookie Brian Matusz (4-11) allowed one run and seven hits in six innings to earn his first home win in 11 starts. He was 0-7 with a 5.55 ERA at Camden Yards.
Scott's 20th homer of the season highlighted a five-run fourth inning that put Baltimore ahead 9-1. The two-run drive was the third of five successive two-out hits against Santana, including a two-run single by Ty Wigginton.
Santana (10-8) allowed nine runs and 12 hits in 3 2-3 innings, his shortest outing of the season. The only other time the right-hander yielded as many as nine runs was against the New York Yankees on July 8, 2007.
The Angels made a game of it by getting seven hits — including two by Mike Napoli — in a five-run seventh. It was their most productive inning since a five-run eighth against Colorado on June 27.
After Koji Uehara struck out the side in the eighth, Alfredo Simon gave up Hunter's double in the ninth en route to recording his 16th save.
Hunter had two of the Angels' season-high seven doubles.
The loss dropped Los Angeles under .500 (54-55) after 109 games for the first time since 2003 (53-56). The Angels have dropped 10 of their last 13 overall and six of seven on the road.
Baltimore, meanwhile, is riding its first winning streak since the All-Star break.
After his Orioles debut, a 6-3 victory on Tuesday night, Showalter received the kind of response he rarely received during his previous job as a baseball analyst for ESPN.
"I got a lot of calls and messages from friends," Showalter said before Wednesday's game. "It was neat hearing from people, some you haven't heard from in a while. Wasn't anybody complaining about something I said on ESPN."
Baltimore went up 3-0 in the second inning when Adam Jones doubled and scored on a triple by Pie, who came home on a single by Josh Bell. Brian Roberts added a run-scoring grounder.
Pie hit an RBI single in the bottom half to make it 4-0.
Los Angeles got a fourth-inning run when Howie Kendrick doubled and scored on a groundout by Napoli.
NOTES: After a 24-minute rain delay in the sixth inning, Roberts was pulled with a bruised left shin, an injury that occurred in the bottom of the first. ... Los Angeles CF Peter Bourjos got his first major league hit, an infield single in the top of the third. He also recorded his first assist. ... ... The Angels stole four bases, bringing to 26 the number of consecutive successful attempts against Baltimore since June 23. The streak ended with Hunter's try in the ninth. ... Orioles reliever David Hernandez left with a sprained left ankle.