Sidney Ponson hopes to build on his best start of the season and continue re-establishing himself as the ace of Baltimore’s staff when the Orioles continue a three-game series with the Anaheim Angels.
Ponson, who was dealt to San Francisco last summer, was re-signed this past offseason in the hope that he would lead the Orioles’ inexperienced staff. But the hard-throwing right-hander has been mediocre at best this season, and dropped three straight starts before shutting down the Angels 4-0 in Baltimore on Sunday.
Ponson scattered five hits, struck out four and walked one en route to his third career shutout. More importantly, he displayed the dominant form he showed last year in going 14-6 with a 3.77 ERA for the Orioles before the trade.
Prior to Sunday, he had yielded 18 runs over 15 2-3 innings in his previous three starts.
“He needed that,” Baltimore manager Lee Mazzilli said. “I needed that.”
“Everybody needed this,” he said, “but I needed it more than everyone. Get the burden off my shoulders. Now I can just relax, and it will be smooth sailing from here on.”
Ponson has dominated the Angels throughout his career, going 7-0 with a 3.90 ERA in 10 career appearances, including nine starts.
The Angels ended a two-game losing streak with Friday’s 5-3 victory over the Orioles. Jose Guillen drove in the tying and go-ahead runs with a single during a four-run eighth inning as Anaheim improved the majors’ best record.
Jay Gibbons homered for the Orioles, who have lost three of four to the Angels this season.
Baltimore is 2-2 on its six-game road trip.