ANAHEIM, Calif. — Right-hander Freddy Garcia did more than enough to earn the win in his first start in a Baltimore Orioles uniform on Saturday afternoon, holding the Los Angeles Angels hitless for six innings.
The Orioles, on the other hand, took a while to do their part, needing a 10th-inning two-out single by Steve Pearce after blowing a four-run, seventh-inning lead for a 5-4 extra-inning win over the Angels in front of an announced 32,136 at Angel Stadium.
“It seems like we do this every night,” Pearce said “There’s no easy wins for us. We find ways to win when it’s close in those one- or two-run games. It’s the Oriole way, that’s what we always say.”
Given the way Garcia – a 36-year-old veteran of 14 major league seasons who was signed to a minor league deal before the regular season began — made easy work of the Angels lineup, a game that appeared to be in control quickly became chaotic.
But the Orioles’ resilience came through yet again. Pearce’s RBI single to right center field, which scored Nolan Reimold from second just ahead of a throw home that went up the third base line, was the team’s first hit with runners in scoring position after starting 0 for 10.
Garcia dominated the Angels in his first six innings, allowing just one base runner – a second-inning walk to Mark Trumbo – and went into the seventh inning having thrown 13 of 18 first-pitch strikes and just 65 pitches overall.
“He just got us off the field,” Orioles Manager Buck Showalter said. “It was a day game after a night game. With the number of games we’ve played in a row on the road, there are some less than crisp legs and I think getting us on and off the field. This is Freddy. This is what he’s been doing for a long, long time.”
But the Angels’ late-inning rally made the Orioles – who left 10 men on base — pay for several missed scoring opportunities in the early innings.
The Orioles (18-13) battered Angels starter Tommy Hanson, placing 10 runners on base against the right-hander over five innings, but they couldn’t deliver the knockout blow to chase Hanson from the game earlier.
They did their damage with the long ball. Two hitters into the game, Machado took a 2-0 slider from Hanson into the left field stands for his fourth homer of the season to give the Orioles a quick 1-0 lead. Machado has hit safely in 12 of his last 13 games.
Hardy took Hanson deep in the second inning, crushing a first-pitch, 87-mph fastball to left field for his fourth homer of the season.
Reimold, hitting fifth in the order with first baseman Chris Davis sidelined with a right knee sprain, also hit a solo homer in the seventh inning off Angels reliever Dane De La Rosa to give the Orioles a 4-0 lead. Reimold’s fifth-inning sacrifice fly plated the Orioles’ third run of the afternoon.
With the Orioles leading 4-0, Angels shortstop Erick Aybar broke up Garcia’s no-hit bid with a looping single to center field to open the seventh. Three batters later, Trumbo suddenly made it a game with a mammoth two-out, two-run homer off Garcia.
In the eighth, Aybar’s slow groundout to second with runners on second and third made it a one-run game.
Mike Trout then slapped a single just over Pearce’s head into shallow right field to plate the game-tying run.
The Angels had the winning run on base twice in the bottom of the ninth against Tommy Hunter, but couldn’t score.
— Baltimore Sun