Orioles 7, Angels 6

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BALTIMORE (AP)—In the eighth inning of a 7-0 game, Baltimore Orioles manager Mike Hargrove figured the only remaining suspense was whether Jason Johnson would get his first career shutout.

One inning later, Hargrove was sitting on the edge of his seat, hoping that his ineffective bullpen could protect a one-run lead.

David Segui’s seventh career grand slam backed a fine pitching performance by Johnson, and the Orioles held on to beat Anaheim 7-6 Sunday for their first four-game sweep of the Angels since 1965.

Luis Matos had a career-high four hits and Brook Fordyce went 3-for-4 for the Orioles, who finished 8-1 this season against the defending World Series champions.

“We seem to play real good baseball against them for some reason,” said Segui, who entered as a pinch runner for injured Melvin Mora but later made an impact with his bat.

Johnson (8-4) allowed one run and six hits in 7 1-3 innings, striking out five and walking two.

The right-hander was bidding for his first career shutout in 120 starts before tiring in the eighth, when David Eckstein scored on a single by Scott Spiezio to make it 7-1.

“Jason went as far as he could,” Hargrove said. “We tried to get him the shutout, but he just ran out of gas.”

The Angels then scored five runs off the Baltimore bullpen in the ninth. After Eric Owens hit an RBI double off Travis Driskill, Spiezio followed with a three-run homer.

Jorge Julio then gave up two hits, including an RBI single to Garret Anderson, before getting the final two outs with runners on first and second. It was his 21st save—the third in the series.

“Our bullpen was in and out this series,” Hargrove said. “Today it was shaky.”

Anaheim entered the All-Star break with a five-game winning streak, but now is mired in its third four-game skid of the season after being outscored 23-16 by the Orioles.

“We came in here and got our butts kicked,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “We’re going to fight back. It’s part of the makeup of this club.”

Mora, the second-leading hitter in the AL, left in the third inning after being struck on the left cheek by a pitch from John Lackey.

He was taken to a hospital for precautionary X-rays, which were negative.

“It’s a contusion to the cheek and a small laceration on the inside of his mouth, but he’s fine,” Hargrove said.

Baltimore went up 7-0 with a five-run sixth. Lackey (7-9) was lifted after yielding four straight singles, the last one by Matos that drove in a run for a 3-0 lead. Francisco Rodriguez entered with the bases loaded to face Segui, who drove the right-hander’s first pitch deep into the right-field seats.

“He’s got a great slider, so you want to try to get a fastball early in the count,” Segui said. “He left it a little too much over the plate.”

It was the Orioles’ fifth grand slam of the season—the fourth against the Angels.

The drive all but assured Baltimore its first four-game sweep of the Angels since September 1965, although the bullpen certainly made it interesting.

“They played better ball than we did,” Rodriguez said. “Now we have to try and take care of business.”

The Orioles got a run in the first inning when Brian Roberts walked and scored when Anaheim left fielder Jeff DaVanon bobbled Matos’ single.

Baltimore loaded the bases with two outs in the third before Lackey struck out Tony Batista, but Batista made amends in the fifth when he singled in a run with the bases loaded.

Despite the four-game run, the Orioles are still five games under .500.

“They’ve got a good team over there. I don’t care what their record is,” Angels reliever Troy Percival said. “They’re hitting their stride. I see abright future for them.”

Notes

The Orioles optioned C Geronimo Gil to Triple-A Ottawa. He had taken a back seat to Fordyce, who made a sixth straight start for the first time this season. … Eckstein got two hits after going 1-for-11 in the first three games of the series. … Anderson extended his season-high hitting streak to 12 games. … Baltimore is tied with the Yankees for the AL lead with five grandslams.

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