Orioles beat LA to end run of 15 Sunday losses

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BALTIMORE (AP)—Dave Trembley walked into the interview room puffing a cigar and wearing a mischievous smile.

The Baltimore Orioles had just ended a run of 15 straight losses in Sunday games, defeating Ervin Santana and the Los Angeles Angels 5-2, and Trembley made it clear he was tired of talking about the quirky streak.

“No questions about Sunday. It’s done, it’s dead, put it to rest,” the manager said.

Baltimore won its first Sunday game of the season, April 6 against Seattle, before being outscored by a combined 83-43 in compiling the longest skid on one day of the week since Arizona dropped 15 successive Saturday games in 2004.

“We were all kind of fed up. It was definitely a goal of mine, and I think everybody here just wanted to end it finally,” starter Garrett Olson said. “Fortunately for us, we did. Now we can move on.”

Olson (7-5) allowed two runs and seven hits in six-plus innings, breaking a run of eight games in which an Orioles starter failed to get through the sixth.

“It makes a difference when you get a quality start,” Trembley said.

Olson gave up 23 runs and 31 hits in his previous four starts, a stretch that raised his ERA from 4.76 to 6.11.

“I guess you could say I had a pretty bad streak there,” the rookie said. “The biggest thing for me is to make my pitches. You can’t afford to miss your spots that often or you’ll get in trouble.”

Olson’s first win since June 28 came against a Los Angeles team that had scored 31 runs in its previous three games, and it helped the Orioles end a five-game losing streak.

Backup catcher Guillermo Quiroz went 3-for-4 with a career-high three RBIs for the Orioles, who avoided their first home sweep of the season.

George Sherrill worked the ninth for his 30th save, matching the total of the entire Baltimore staff in 2007.

Santana (11-5) gave up five runs and seven hits in five-plus innings, his shortest outing of the season. The All-Star’s five strikeouts were his fewest in nine starts since June 2.

“To me, I say it’s not a bad start. Every time when you give up five or less, everything is good,” Santana insisted.

Los Angeles, which came in with nine wins in 10 games, got RBIs from Vladimir Guerrero and Garret Anderson. But the Angels hit into three double plays and went 2-for-10 with runners in scoring position.

“The way we played today is not easier to take because we won some games coming in here,” manager Mike Scioscia said. “The challenge is the game at hand and what you have to play moving forward. We just didn’t play well.”

Not only did the Orioles end their losing-on-Sunday trend, but they also reversed their annoying habit of falling behind early. Coming in, Baltimore had been outscored 77-54 in the first inning.

This time, however, the Orioles took a 2-0 lead after Olson began the game by retiring the Angels in order. Nick Markakis hit an RBI double and Santana hit Luke Scott with a bases-loaded pitch to force in a run.

“I just try to go inside and I just push the ball too much,” Santana said.

Jay Payton followed with a popup and Quiroz struck out.

Baltimore used a single and two walks to load the bases again in the third. After Payton struck out, Quiroz singled in two runs with soft, broken-bat liner to left.

Los Angeles closed to 4-1 in the fourth when Guerrero got an RBI on a slow roller to third with runners on the corners. But Olson avoided further damage by retiring Robb Quinlan with two outs and the bases loaded.

A triple by Payton and single by Quiroz made it 5-1 in the sixth and chased Santana.

“A couple of pitches here or there could have made a difference,” Scioscia said. “But (Santana) walked three and hit a guy. He created some situations early that he had to work harder to get through. Still, he had some opportunities to get out of a couple of jams but couldn’t make a pitch.”

Anderson singled in a run as a pinch hitter in the seventh.

Notes

The Orioles activated LHP Jamie Walker (elbow) from the DL and optioned RHP Radhames Liz to Triple-A Norfolk. … Mired in a 7-for-40 skid, Orioles 2B Brian Roberts did not play. 3B Melvin Mora was also rested after being hit in the back of the knee by a pitch Saturday night. … After falling to 33-19 on the road, the Angels begin a three-game series against Boston at Fenway Park on Monday. … Before stranding six runners in the first three innings, Payton was 6-for-7 with 13 RBIs with the bases loaded this season.

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