Eight's enough as Orioles fall to Angels, 4-2

Anderson's 2-run single off Ryan breaks tie in 7th, helps end O's win streak

Grimsley's error proves key

Offense cools one night after 20-hit, 11-run game

Orioles stay in 3rd place

August 12, 2004|By Roch Kubatko | Roch Kubatko,SUN STAFF

ANAHEIM, Calif. - After swinging to exhaustion during an 11-run, 20-hit barrage the previous game, the Orioles had little to offer last night besides a gritty effort from their starting pitcher and physical breakdowns at the worst time.

The Anaheim Angels took advantage of a throwing error and premature exit by Jason Grimsley to score three runs in the seventh inning, each coming with two outs to break a tie, and the Orioles' winning streak ended at eight with a 4-2 loss before 41,446 at Angel Stadium.

With Tampa Bay losing again, the Orioles (54-58) stayed in third place in the American League East but fell eight back in the wild-card race.

Rookie Erik Bedard took a one-hit shutout into the sixth before Vladimir Guerrero crushed a slider for his 25th homer, tying the game 1-1. Grimsley (4-6) replaced him with two outs but didn't stay around as long as intended.

Grimsley limped off the mound in the seventh, leaving two runners in scoring position with two outs, after aggravating a hip injury. B.J. Ryan walked Guerrero intentionally to load the bases before Garret Anderson lined a 2-1 pitch into left field to give the Angels a 3-1 lead. Jose Guillen followed with a run-scoring single.

"I made a good pitch [to Anderson]," Ryan said, "but to a guy like that, a good pitch just won't cut it."

B.J. Surhoff led off the ninth by homering off Angels closer Troy Percival, who eventually gained his 305th career save.

Left-handed batters were 5-for-73 against Ryan before Anderson turned hero.

"It just shows you he's human," Orioles manager Lee Mazzilli said of Ryan, who has a 1.75 ERA. "You go with your best and sometimes you're going to die with your best."

Ryan inherited a jam that Grimsley created by allowing a one-out double to Jose Molina and throwing high to first base on a tapper by David Eckstein.

Grimsley felt some cramping in the hip, the same sensation he felt during Monday's game at Camden Yards after stepping in a hole. He told Mazzilli last night that he could pitch.

"I have to throw the ball to first base. That's Baseball 101," he said. "It doesn't matter what hurts. You've got to do it. I checked the runner and went to throw, and for a second something didn't feel right. But that's no excuse."

The Orioles had a familiar look last night, going with the same starting nine that did most of the hammering while building their streak.

Figuring there's no sense shaking up a lineup that's producing a steady number of wins, Mazzilli kept Jay Gibbons and Karim Garcia on the bench. Larry Bigbie stayed in left field, Jerry Hairston in center and Surhoff in right. David Newhan remained the designated hitter.

"You play the hot hand," Mazzilli said. "What else are you going to do?"

Today's afternoon game could provide the answer.

Mazzilli indicated that catcher Javy Lopez might get the day off, rather than receive partial rest by serving as designated hitter. It's also possible Gibbons will start for the first time since ending his injury rehab assignment.

"Most likely he's going to play [today]," Mazzilli said.

Bedard was finished after 5 2/3 innings, allowing three hits and striking out six.

He continues to alternate impressive months, going 1-2 with a 4.18 ERA in May, 2-0 with a 2.22 ERA in June and 1-4 with a 6.43 ERA in July. In two starts this month, he has allowed two earned runs in 12 innings.

In his previous outing, Bedard threw a season-high 125 pitches in 6 1/3 innings in a 9-1 win over the Texas Rangers.

The Orioles need him to become more proficient, and he gave that appearance last night with an 11-pitch first inning. But he needed 28 to escape a jam in the second after allowing a leadoff double to Anderson and walking Darin Erstad with one out, and finished with his count at 98.

After stranding 16 runners Tuesday night, the Orioles wasted a one-out double by Rafael Palmeiro in the second inning. It was the 560th of Palmeiro's career, tying him with Eddie Murray for 16th place on the all-time list.

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