BALTIMORE — Based on the way the first five battles between the Baltimore Orioles and Los Angeles Angels had played out, there was little question the season-series finale was going to possess its share of drama.
So how about a scoreless tie that stretches into the 13th before the Angels finally crack the Orioles’ stubborn bullpen and avoid a sweep?
The Angels won Thursday’s heart-pounder 1-0 in 13 innings thanks to an Albert Pujols RBI single against Ryan Webb (3-2).
In his second inning of relief, Webb allowed a leadoff walk, a single and then the eventual game-winner. Lefty Brian Matusz struck out all three batters he faced to keep things close. But new Angels closer Huston Street pitched a perfect 13th for his 28th save of the season and fourth for the Angels, putting an end to the four-hour 33-minute marathon.
The Orioles (60-47) dropped to 12-4 in extra innings while the Angels (64-43) improved to 7-6 in those games. The Orioles still won the season series, 4-2 – with all six games decided by two runs or fewer; the last four by one run.
The Orioles hadn’t taken a scoreless tie into extras since Aug. 5, 2012 at Tampa Bay, when Taylor Teagarden hit a RBI double to ultimately give the Orioles a 1-0 win.
They had their chances, none better than in the 12th when Angels lefty Hector Santiago (3-7) struck out Jonathan Schoop with the bases loaded and two outs.
The Orioles were going for their first sweep at home since winning four straight against the Texas Rangers from June 30 to July 3.
Early on Thursday, earning the sweep wasn’t a priority; getting a hit was.
Tyler Skaggs, a 23-year-old lefty, mystified the Orioles for 42 / 3 innings in his first appearance in Baltimore. After walking Nick Markakis to begin his outing, he retired 14 straight, including seven by strikeout. With two out in the fifth, he walked Steve Pearce and then missed on a first-pitch breaking ball to Caleb Joseph. That’s when Skaggs motioned for the Angels’ athletic trainer and, shortly thereafter, exited the mound.
After a brief delay, Mike Morin entered and continued the at-bat against Joseph, giving up a single to center to break up the no-hitter. Morin got Schoop to fly out to end the inning, kick-starting a run of 81 / 3 scoreless innings by the Angels’ bullpen.
— Baltimore Sun