Orioles Swept Away by Angels
Wednesday, September 6, 2006; 6:26 PM
ANAHEIM, Calif. -- A lot of offense helped Ervin Santana go a long way on a hot day.
Chone Figgins drove in the go-ahead run with a double in the sixth inning and Howie Kendrick homered as the Los Angeles Angels beat the Baltimore Orioles 8-4 Wednesday for their fifth consecutive victory.
Vladimir Guerrero drove in two runs, and the Angels remained 561/27 games behind AL West-leading Oakland, which rallied to beat Texas 9-6.
"They're hot," Baltimore manager Sam Perlozzo said about the Angels. "They seem to find every hole and every part of the field you could find, whether they hit it hard or hit it soft. Our guys really battled. We just couldn't hold them down."
Santana (14-7) allowed four runs and seven hits in seven innings, struck out four and walked one, helping complete a three-game sweep. He rebounded after losing 9-0 at Detroit in his previous start.
"His stuff looked good," Los Angeles manager Mike Scioscia said. "We were very pleased that he got stronger as the game went on and finished seven innings, because in the beginning it looked like it might be a little pitch count issue or he was going to have trouble getting past the middle innings because it was very hot out there."
Santana's teammates rapped out 15 hits after managing six runs and 18 hits in the series' first two games.
"That was very good because sometimes when we got men on base, we got the job done and sometimes not," he said. "But I have to keep pitching and put a zero on the board."
Santana's first pitch in 91-degree heat was a home run by Brian Roberts, who homered again in the third. Kevin Millar homered in the fourth.
"I didn't think he would swing at the first pitch. I throw it right there in the middle and he got it good," Santana said. "To me, that's OK. With nobody on base, that's good because it's only one run."
Roberts had four hits in Tuesday's 5-2, 10-inning loss, and finished 6-for-14 in the series.
"Personal achievements don't mean nearly as much when you don't win," he said. "It's frustrating, and it takes away from what you're doing personally, too."
In between Roberts' homers, Kendrick tied the game at 1 in the second with his third homer of the season, a drive off starter Daniel Cabrera.
The Angels took a 3-2 lead in the third on Guerrero's RBI groundout and Kendrick's run-scoring single.
Millar's two-out homer tied it at 3 in the fourth, then Melvin Mora's RBI single put the Orioles back in front 4-3. Baltimore has lost four in a row and finished 2-7 on its road trip.
The Angels are surging with 22 games remaining, including seven of their final 10 against Oakland.
"If they're going to stay in the race, that's what they have to do," Roberts said. "They have good pitching, and that showed in this series. When you have good pitching, you have a chance to win every day."
The Angels tied it up in the fifth on a bloop single by Guerrero. They took the lead for good in the sixth on an RBI double down the right-field line by Figgins off reliever Chris Britton (0-2).
Adam Kennedy, whose three-run homer in the 10th inning gave Los Angeles a 5-2 victory Tuesday night, doubled in the seventh and scored on Reggie Willits' RBI double to give the Angels a 6-4 lead.
They added two runs in the eighth against Jim Hoey on an RBI triple by Maicer Izturis and Orlando Cabrera's sacrifice fly.
Notes: Los Angeles is off Thursday before opening a three-game series Friday against Toronto. ... The Angels are 12-3 in their last 15 home games. ... It was Roberts' first multihomer game of his career. ... Los Angeles took the season series 6-4, winning five of six games at home.