The Baltimore Orioles look to earn their first four-game sweep of the Anaheim Angels in 38 years, and continue their recent domination of the defending World Series champions as the teams conclude their weekend series at Camden Yards.
The Orioles beat the Angels 8-4 on Saturday—their third straight win since a three-game losing streak. The win also gave the Orioles a 7-1 record— including 5-0 at home—against Anaheim this season.
“They’ve been playing great against us all year,” Anaheim’s Tim Salmon said. “They get great pitching.”
On Saturday, however, it was the offense that led the way. Baltimore scored seven runs in the first two innings to give starter Sidney Ponson—who gave up four runs, three earned, in 6 1-3 innings—an early cushion.
The Orioles have outscored opponents 107-82 in the first two innings this season, the fifth-largest run differential in the majors.
“It’s one of those weird things,” Salmon said when asked about his team’s struggles against the Orioles. “Well, weird isn’t the right word. But I don’t know what is.
“Any team you play has the potential to beat you. As soon as you start thinking that you’re going to sweep this team or take two out of three, you’re only setting yourself up for some guy you’ve never heard of to go out and pitch a gem against you.”
Baltimore has historically done well against Anaheim. This season is the 21st in the last 24 years that they have won their season series against the Angels.
“They’ve outplayed us in every ballgame, pretty much in every aspect,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “They play terrific baseball against us. They’re flat-out beating us.”
Troy Glaus homered, and Tim Salmon went 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI for the Angels, who have lost three straight after winnning five in a row.
STANDINGS: Angels - 3rd place, 9 1/2 GB, AL West. Orioles - 4th place, 15 GB, AL East.
ANGELS PROBABLE STARTER: John Lackey (7-8, 4.99 ERA). Lackey gave up three earned runs and seven hits in six innings of last Sunday’s 8-3 win over the Minnesota Twins—his third victory in four decisions. In two career starts against the Orioles, he is 2-0 with a 3.97 ERA.
ORIOLES PROBABLE STARTER: Jason Johnson (7-4, 3.82 ERA). Last Sunday, Johnson gave up five hits in 7 2-3 scoreless innings, but he did not receive a decision In Baltimore’s 1-0 loss to the Oakland Athletics. He is 4-4 with a 4.92 ERA in 10 career starts against the Angels.
OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Angels - Garret Anderson, .318 avg., 23 HRs and 83 RBIs; Tim Salmon and Troy Glaus, 54 runs; Adam Kennedy, 11 SBs. Orioles - Melvin Mora, .344 avg. and 59 runs; Tony Batista, 18 HRs; Jeff Conine, 68 RBIs; Mora, 57 runs; Jerry Hairston Jr. and Brian Roberts, 14 SBs.
SEASON SERIES: Orioles, 7-1.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Angels - LF Anderson increased his season-high hitting streak to 11 games on Saturday. … 3B Glaus’ homer snapped a 16-for-96 (.167) skid. … C Bengie Molina, who has caught the first three games of the series, will likely get Sunday off. C Jose Molina, Bengie’s brother, will take his place. Orioles - DH-OF B.J. Surhoff returned to the starting lineup Saturday after missing six games with a strained left quadriceps muscle. He hit a two-run double off RHP Kevin Appier in his first at-bat. … The Orioles have outscored opponents by three runs this season despite their sub-.500 record. … Coming into Saturday’s game, Orioles pitchers owned a 2.96 ERA in their Baltimore’s 43 wins this season, and a 6.44 ERA in its 50 losses.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Angels - 20-26 on the road; Orioles - 24-24 at home.
INJURIES: Angels - 1B-DH Brad Fullmer (knee), 15-day DL; RHP Mickey Callaway (shoulder), 15-day DL; RHP Matt Wise (elbow), 60-day DL. Orioles - OF Larry Bigbie (shoulder), 15-day DL; LHP Omar Daal (shoulder), 15-day DL; RHP Willis Roberts (elbow), 15-day DL; LHP Erik Bedard (elbow), 60-day DL; RHP Scott Erickson (shoulder), 60-day DL; 2B Jerry Hairston Jr. (foot), 60-day DL; OF Albert Belle (hip), 60-day DL; OF Marty Cordova (elbow), 60-day DL.