Leicester, 3 relievers combine for Orioles’ 3-0 win over Angels

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BALTIMORE (AP)—All the Baltimore Orioles needed was some good starting pitching.

Jon Leicester and three relievers combined on a five-hitter, and Baltimore beat the Los Angeles Angels 3-0 on Thursday night.

Scott Moore had two RBIs and Luis Hernandez had three hits, as the Orioles won for just the fourth time in their last 22 games and for the second time in their last 16 home games. They salvaged the finale of the series after losing the first two games by a combined score of 28-11.

“We haven’t had a lot of ‘baseball games’ in our facility lately,” said Tom Trebelhorn, who filled in for suspended manager Dave Trembley. “This was a ‘baseball game,’ thank goodness. It was a lot of fun for everybody on our side.”

Trebelhorn was alluding to the string of ugly performances that have recently plagued the Orioles. In their previous 21 games, they were outscored by 100 runs and had a collective ERA of 8.95.

Baltimore finally found a winning formula, though, with pitching and solid defense. Los Angeles, meanwhile, had its six-game road winning streak snapped and was shut out for the seventh time this season.

Leicester (2-1) became Baltimore’s first starter to not give up a run since Erik Bedard held the New York Yankees scoreless on Aug. 15, a span of 25 games.

“You keep your defense on their toes and they make great plays, and that’s what they did for me all night,” Leicester said. “That’s the way I pitch— just trying to throw strikes and get the early outs.”

Relievers James Hoey, Chad Bradford and Jamie Walker finished the Orioles’ ninth shutout of the season. Walker pitched 1 1-3 innings for his fifth save in 10 chances.

The sequence of Leicester, Hoey, Bradford and Walker exactly followed the blueprint set by Trembley before the game. Trembley passed that on to Trebelhorn before beginning a three-game suspension that was handed down by Major League Baseball just before first pitch.

“I asked him, why haven’t you planned like this before?” Trebelhorn joked.

After surrendering consecutive one-out singles in the first, Leicester got out of the jam by getting Garret Anderson on a fly ball to left and Maicer Izturis on a grounder to short.

He gave up only two more hits before leaving with two outs in the sixth. He walked three and struck out one.

“Things like this happen to us when we see pitchers that we’ve never seen before,” Los Angeles’ Orlando Cabrera said. “His fastball is pretty sneaky. He keeps it down and he can take speed off his breaking pitch well.”

Trembley was suspended for an animated tirade following his ejection Wednesday night for arguing a call at second base. But he still made out the lineup, and rested several key players—Brian Roberts, Miguel Tejada, Melvin Mora and Ramon Hernandez. The less-experienced lineup seemed to spark the team.

Hernandez, Tejada’s replacement at shortstop, had his first career three-hit game. He also made a diving stop on Vladimir Guerrero’s sharp grounder in the hole before forcing Chone Figgins at second to end the third inning.

Brandon Fahey made a difficult play on a ground ball up the middle, and right fielder Nick Markakis, a regular, made a diving catch.

“All the backup guys out there … we all played hard and it was a blast,” said Fahey, who replaced Roberts at second base. “It was maybe the funnest game of my life.”

John Lackey (16-9) went seven innings and gave up three runs and nine hits. He struck out eight and walked one. Lackey has just one win in his last six starts.

“John pitched a good ballgame, and when we’re not scoring and not creating offense, your back gets up against the wall a bit,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said.

Jay Payton led off the second with a double to left and he scored on a double to center by Moore, another of the reserves in the lineup. Tike Redman’s two-out RBI-single to center made it 2-0.

Baltimore went up 3-0 in the sixth on Moore’s sacrifice fly that scored Aubrey Huff, who reached on a one-out single and moved to third on a single by Payton.


Leicester issued the Orioles’ only three walks one night after Baltimore pitchers walked 13 in an 18-6 loss. … Baltimore improved to 12-42 when scoring three or fewer runs. … Lackey has allowed at least nine hits in five of his eight starts since the beginning of August. … Figgins, who entered the game hitting .583 against the Orioles this season, was 0-for-3 with a walk.

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