ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP)—Another dramatic victory by the Los Angeles Angels gave them another glimmer of hope that this season can still come to a happy ending.
Bobby Abreu(notes) hit a bases-loaded sacrifice fly to cap a three-run 12th inning and drove in two other runs with a double, leading the Angels to a 9-8 victory over Baltimore on Saturday night and reducing Texas’ lead over them to five games in the AL West.
“I don’t think like we felt that we were out of it tonight,” said Mark Trumbo(notes), whose two-run homer in the ninth inning Thursday night beat the Rangers and avoided a potentially crushing four-game sweep. “We got a little momentum going in the 12th inning, and that obviously helped. Hopefully we’re just going to ride this into tomorrow and keep doing what we’re doing.”
The Orioles took an 8-6 lead in the top of the 12th before Kevin Gregg(notes) (0-2) gave up a leadoff single to Erick Aybar(notes) in the bottom half and hit rookie Mike Trout(notes). Hank Conger(notes) laid down a sacrifice bunt to third baseman Josh Bell(notes), whose wild throw allowed Aybar to score.
“I played with him coming up through the minor leagues, so I knew he was fast,” Bell said. “After I got the ball, I just wanted to make sure that the runner wasn’t going. But he’s really fast, so you’ve got to get rid of the ball.”
“Every time you come to the park, you expect the best. But things didn’t go our way at the end,” Bell said. “I don’t like the outcome. You’ve got to put them away.”
Hisanori Takahashi(notes) gave up a one-out walk to Bell and a single to J.J. Hardy(notes) in the Orioles’ 12th before retiring Nick Markakis(notes) on a popup. Manager Mike Scioscia then brought in Fernando Rodney(notes), who gave up Adam Jones’(notes) single to right field and didn’t bother to back up the plate as Hardy scored behind Bell on a throwing error by right fielder Torii Hunter(notes). But Rodney (3-5) still ended up with the win.
Takahashi gave up a leadoff single in the 11th to Baltimore’s Matt Wieters(notes) before getting the force at second on a surprise bunt toward the mound by slugger Mark Reynolds(notes)—who has only two sacrifice bunts in his five-year career and none since July 26, 2008, with the Arizona Diamondbacks. Robert Andino(notes) then grounded into a double play.
“It wasn’t my decision. He did it on his own,” manager Buck Showalter said. “I’m not going to bunt him there with where we were in the order because I know what his capabilities are. I appreciate the fact that he was thinking from a team standpoint, but it didn’t come from the dugout or the third base box. That’s not what cost us the ballgame, so it’s not something we’re going to dwell on.”
Jones cut the Angels’ lead to 5-4 in the fifth with a two-out homer, his 22nd this season and fourth on the road. Bourjos chased right-hander Tommy Hunter(notes) in the seventh with his seventh home run, but the Orioles tied it in the eighth with an RBI groundout by Vladimir Guerrero(notes) and Wieters’ RBI single off closer Jordan Walden(notes).
The Angels turned a 3-1 deficit into a 5-3 lead in the third despite a botched call by third base umpire Doug Eddings. Bourjos started the four-run rally with his 13th bunt hit of the season and the 34th by the team. He advanced to third on Callaspo’s single, and both runners scored on Abreu’s opposite-field double over the head of left fielder Nolan Reimold(notes).
Trumbo followed with a line drive over third that hit the line, but Eddings called it foul. Scioscia ran out to argue, pointing several times to the spot where Trumbo’s ball kicked up chalk, and the animated discussion carried on for a good while before play continued.
TV replays showed that Eddings got it wrong, but on the next pitch Trumbo blooped Hunter’s 2-2 delivery the other way over the head of first baseman Reynolds to drive in the go-ahead run. Howie Kendrick(notes) smacked the next pitch into the left-field corner, driving in Trumbo.
Angels right-hander Joel Pineiro(notes) allowed four runs and nine hits over six innings, struck out two and did not walk a batter in his return to the rotation after a 2 1/2 week stint in the bullpen. In his previous four starts, he was 0-3 with a 14.85 ERA that sent his season figure soaring to 5.31.
Pineiro, getting a reprieve because of an injury to the guy who replaced him in the rotation—rookie Garrett Richards(notes)—gave up hits to seven of his first 10 batters and fell behind 3-0 in the second inning.
Reimold, who didn’t have an RBI in his first 38 career at-bats against Angels pitching, ended that drought with a run-scoring single. Hardy added an RBI double and Reimold scored on a groundout by Markakis.
“I wasn’t worried at all. I felt if I kept us in the game, I knew these guys were going to put some runs up on the board,” Pineiro said. “They put up three early, so I said: `All right, let me see if I can hold them down and let the guys come back.’ And that’s what happened. I thought my sinker was really good today, so it’s something positive to build on for my next start.”
The Angels loaded the bases with none out in the bottom half, but got only one run. Torii Hunter extended his hitting streak to 18 games with a leadoff single and scored on Aybar’s double-play grounder.
Tommy Hunter gave up six runs and 10 hits over 6 1-3 innings and did not strike out a batter in his fourth start for the Orioles, who acquired the 25-year-old right-hander in a trade with the Rangers on July 30. He was moved up in the rotation to fill in for Jeremy Guthrie(notes), who is missing at least one turn because of shoulder stiffness.
Notes: Eddings will always be remembered by Angels fans because of a controversial call he made in Game 2 of the 2005 AL championship series at Chicago, involving White Sox batter A.J. Pierzynski(notes) and a third strike that wasn’t. It led to the winning run in the ninth inning, and the Angels eventually lost the series. To this day, Pierzynski gets booed every time he comes to bat at Angel Stadium. … Walden was charged with his AL-worst ninth blown save opportunity in 35 chances. … Jones is hitting an AL-best .356 with two outs in an inning. … Hunter is 0-2 with a 15.42 ERA in three career starts at Angel Stadium. … Abreu’s double was his 546th, one shy of Manny Ramirez(notes) for 25th place on the career list.