Angels 9, Orioles 7
Huff tripled in the second inning, doubled in the fourth, hit a three-run homer in the fifth and blooped a single to center in the seventh. He left for a pinch-runner after going 4-for-4 with three RBIs and three runs scored.
“Obviously for me, that’s probably one of the most special days of my baseball career,” Huff said. “The triple was my 1,000th hit, the double was my 200th double. The homer, we were lucky enough to get that back from a fan. And the single, I got it back. So I got all four balls. That’s going to be a pretty good memento.”
The last Oriole to accomplish the feat was Cal Ripken in 1984. The only other Oriole to do it was Brooks Robinson in 1960; Huff is the first Baltimore player to hit for the cycle at home.
Signed as a free agent during the offseason, Huff tied a career high with four hits. He is the third major leaguer to hit for the cycle this season, joining Fred Lewis of San Francisco and Mark Ellis of Oakland.
The triple—the 12th of his seven-year career—set him up for a special night.
“As a 235-pound fat guy, you get a triple out of the way, that’s something. After I got the double, it kind of snuck in my mind. But I haven’t been hitting homers lately, so I’m thinking that’s going to be a long shot, and I hit that,” Huff said.
Before coming to the plate in the seventh, Huff said teammate Kevin Millar told him, “You’ve got to get that single for all the fat guys out there.”
Huff went up against right-hander Chris Bootcheck.
“It was pretty stressful at-bat. It was really a sigh of relief to see it drop,” Huff said. “I was lucky enough to get jammed just enough to let it fall.”
Huff marked the occasion with a curtain call after exiting the game. It was a perfect night—except for one thing.
“Obviously it would have been better if we won, but we didn’t get it done,” he said.
Kendrick connected off Chris Ray (4-6) with two outs. The Angels blew a five-run lead and trailed 7-5 in the seventh before rallying to end a three-game losing streak.
“We were fortunate tonight. Those guys outplayed us a lot of ways,” Los Angeles manager Mike Scioscia said. “With the night Huff had, we were lucky to have recovered a win.”
Chone Figgins went 4-for-5 for the Angels and Orlando Cabrera had three hits, including a homer, and three RBIs. Figgins has a team-record 51 hits this month, breaking the mark of 48 set by Darin Erstad in April 2000.
Baltimore’s Melvin Mora went 3-for-4 with a homer and three RBIs. Needing a triple to complete the cycle, he hit a liner to short in the seventh.
Huff and Mora, batting fifth and sixth in the order, teamed to bring Baltimore back from a 5-0 deficit.
In the second inning, Huff tripled and scored on an infield hit by Mora. In the fourth, Huff doubled and Mora hit his 11th home run to get the Orioles to 5-3.
Baltimore used a four-run fifth to go up 7-5. After Nick Markakis hit a run-scoring grounder, Huff drove a 1-2 pitch into the right-field seats.
The barrage came against Kelvim Escobar, who gave up seven runs and 10 hits in 4 1-3 innings. He came in ranked fourth in the AL with a 2.81 ERA; he left with an ERA of 3.32.
“When you get a 5-0 lead, Kelvim usually knows what to do with it,” Scioscia said. “He cracked the door open.”
Early on, the Angels dominated.
Los Angeles needed only two at-bats to take a 1-0 lead: Figgins doubled on Steve Trachsel’s second pitch and scored on a single by Cabrera.
The Angels added four runs in the second. Kendrick scored on a wild pitch and Cabrera hit an RBI single before Vladimir Guerrero chased Trachsel with a two-run double.
Trachsel allowed five runs and nine hits in 1 2-3 innings, his shortest outing as a starter since July 10, 2003, when he got only five outs against Philadelphia for the New York Mets.
Mora has six of Baltimore’s last 13 home runs. … Escobar allowed only four homers in 14 starts before surrendering two in this one. … Ray is 1-3 with a 9.31 ERA in nine appearances in June.