Angels stop four-game skid

The SportsXchange

BALTIMORE -- The Angels hadn't gotten timely hits in the first two games of the series, but Erick Aybar and Albert Pujols helped changed that on Wednesday.

Aybar had a three-run triple and Albert Pujols added a two-run homer as part of a six-run seventh inning that helped carry the Angels to a 9-5 victory over the Baltimore Orioles.

The victory snapped a four-game losing streak for the Angels (28-38) and prevented the Orioles (37-29) from completing a sweep of the three-game series. It also stopped Baltimore's three-game winning streak.

"You're going to have those days when you don't get the break," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "But you have to play everything at a high enough level to win the game, and today we did."

The Angels batted around in that seventh, sending 10 men to the plate and scoring six runs on five hits, getting the right hits at the right time.

Alberto Callaspo led off the seventh with a single and Orioles starter Jason Hammel then walked Brad Hawpe with a 4-2 lead.

The Angels got a break when Hank Conger greeted reliever Pedro Strop with a grounder that deflected off the right-hander. Strop couldn't get to it on time, and Conger's infield single loaded the bases -- avoiding a potential double play.

Aybar then lined his three-run triple to right-center field. He scored when second baseman Ryan Flaherty's relay throw shot past third baseman Manny Machado, giving the Angels a 6-4 lead.

"We've left a lot of guys on base, you know what I mean," Aybar said. "In that situation, you're looking for one pitch, and he threw a fastball in the middle and I (made) good contact."

Strop (0-3) struck out Josh Hamilton, but the right-hander then walked J.B. Shuck and Pujols followed with his two-run homer to left.

Pujols finished with a single, double and homer as part of a 3-for-5 afternoon.

Strop continued the struggles he has dealt with most of this season. His ERA now is up to 7.58, but Orioles manager Buck Showalter is trying to remain supportive.

"He's just not getting results. He understands it," Showalter said. "Nobody cares more about pitching well for this team than Pete. And it's frustrating for us because he's a pitch away, and little things like that seem to (happen)."

The Angels added their last run on Hamilton's sacrifice fly in the ninth.

Jerome Williams (5-2) rebounded after a slow start to pitch six innings. He gave up four runs but kept the Angels close.

Dane De La Rosa (seventh), Kevin Jepsen (eighth) and Ernesto Frieri (ninth) took care of the final three innings. Frieri picked up his 15th save.

The Angels had lost nine of their last 11 games. But they're hoping that a win like this, right before they had home to meet the New York Yankees this weekend, can give them a boost.

"Just us fighting to the very end, especially after losing the first two games of the series we really needed this win," Conger said. "It's very uplifting for us to go home with this win."

Baltimore's only run after the Angels took the lead came on a Chris Davis RBI grounder in the eighth.

The Orioles opened a 2-0 lead in the first. Nate McLouth led off with a single and went to third when Machado doubled to left.

Nick Markakis and Adam Jones each followed with RBI groundouts to bring in McLouth and then Machado to give Hammel the early two-run lead.

The Angels got on the board in the third when Conger crushed a solo homer to right. He sent a 2-0 pitch on to Eutaw Street to make it 2-1.

Los Angeles tied it with a two-out rally in the fourth. Hamilton blooped a single to center and scored from first when Kendrick doubled.

But the Orioles answered right back when Davis led off the fourth with a homer to center for a 3-2 lead. That was his first homer and RBI since June 2.

NOTES: McLouth's stolen-base streak ended in the third inning. He had been safe in 19 straight attempts, the longest ongoing streak in the majors, according to STATS. ... Machado's first-inning double extended his hitting streak to 10 games. His longest hitting streak this season was 11 games from April 22 to May 2. ... Mike Trout's homer on Tuesday was the ninth time he has hit home runs in consecutive games. He also hit a homer in Monday's loss. ... STATS said Tuesday's loss to the Orioles dropped the Angels to 10-14 in one-run games. Their 24 one-run decisions lead the majors.
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