Guillen keyed the comeback with a single that drove in the tying and go-ahead runs, helping the injury-depleted Angels beat the Orioles 5-3 on Friday night and improve the majors’ best record to 27-15.
“I have no idea why he didn’t get a chance to play every day before this. The guy’s a special talent,” said Angels pitcher Jarrod Washburn, who settled for a no-decision after six straight victories.
“He’s got a great arm in the outfield, which he showed tonight, and he’s a clutch hitter,” he said. “He’s come up at some crucial times and gotten some big hits for us.”
Mike DeJean (0-4) relieved Eric DuBose after seven innings and gave up three straight hits on five pitches. Adam Kennedy hit a pinch single, Chone Figgins bunted past the mound for a hit and Vladimir Guerrero singled home Kennedy as Anaheim closed to 3-2.
“It was a great at-bat by A.K,” Figgins said. “He got a 2-2 pitch and went the other way with it, and he got the rally started right there.”
“No outs and three runs in a loss is a little tough to swallow right now,” DeJean said. “DuBose pitched unbelievable, and he deserved better than that.”
DeJean, who had a career-high 27 saves two seasons ago with Milwaukee, has allowed 12 earned runs, 25 hits and 17 walks over 13 2-3 innings. His ERA in 17 appearances is 7.90.
“In eight seasons, I haven’t been through anything like this,” DeJean said. “You just have to erase it, but I don’t know how you can. I don’t even know what to learn from it. I made the pitches I felt like I needed to make, but it just didn’t work out. Maybe next time, I’ll throw everything right down the middle and they’ll pop it up or swing and miss it.”
Jay Gibbons led off the fourth with a homer that made it 3-0. But Guillen kept the Orioles from scoring another run with a perfect one-hop throw to the plate when Melvin Mora tried to score on a two-out single by Tejada.
Washburn allowed three runs and nine hits in 6 2-3 innings. He was trying to become the first Angels pitcher to start a season 8-1 since 1995, when Mark Langston won 11 of his first 12 decisions.
The Angels averaged nine runs in Washburn’s other eight starts this season— and had scored no fewer than six in any of them. But at least this time, they got enough to get him off the hook after he left with a 3-1 deficit.
The Angels started a lineup that included only three regulars—Guerrero, Guillen and David Eckstein—along with three players who were in the minors when the season began. Molina started behind the plate for brother Bengie, who took a foul tip off his right knee in Thursday’s loss to the Yankees.
“I don’t think anyone could expect that kind of run support to continue, and we as a staff all realize that and know that we have to start pitching better and take some of the pressure off these guys,” Washburn said.
DuBose allowed one run and six hits against the AL West leaders, just six days after surrendering seven runs and 10 hits over 3 2-3 innings in a 7-4 loss to Washburn. DuBose retired 14 of his first 16 batters before giving up four consecutive hits with two outs in the fifth, including an RBI single by Robb Quinlan.
Mora, who was 2-for-5 and leads the majors with a .387 batting average, hita game-ending popout.
Anaheim 3B Troy Glaus had arthroscopic surgery on his right shoulder Friday. He’ll wear a sling for a couple of weeks before starting therapy to restore his range of motion. … Baltimore 1B Rafael Palmeiro, fighting a 1-for-16 rut and a stiff neck, pinch hit in the ninth and flied out. He had started in the Orioles’ first 37 games. … B.J. Surhoff also pinch hit in the ninth and struck out. Baltimore’s pinch-hitters are 1-for-15 this season withno RBIs.