O's streak ends at 8 in 4-2 loss to Angels

Offense finally cools off

Anderson's 2-run single off Ryan breaks tie in 7th

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, all of them coming with two outs to break a tie, and the Orioles' winning streak ended at eight games with a 4-2 loss before 41,446 at Angel Stadium.

With the Tampa Bay Devil Rays losing again, the Orioles (54-58) stayed in third place in the American League East. They 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 replaced him with two outs but didn't stay around as long as intended.

Grimsley (4-6) 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.

B.J. Surhoff hit a bases-empty homer in the ninth for the Orioles.

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

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

Figuring there's no sense shaking up a lineup that's producing a steady number of wins, manager Lee 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 early afternoon game could provide the answer.

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

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

In the meantime, Mazzilli didn't mind having Gibbons and Garcia in reserve and upgrading the bench, which no longer includes two light-hitting catchers.

The starters didn't pack much of a wallop last night against Kelvim Escobar, but the Orioles took advantage of a lazy play in left field by Guillen to break a scoreless tie in the fifth.

Brian Roberts grounded a two-out double down the line and raced to third when Guillen failed to pick up the ball cleanly with his bare hand and accidentally kicked it toward the seats. Rather than chase it, he stood still for a moment, examining his mistake, then slipped on the dirt and fell after jogging for it.

Roberts had stopped at second before taking the extra base, and he scored when Newhan singled on the next pitch. Newhan has four RBIs in the series.

The crowd booed Guillen after the error and again when he gathered Newhan's single in left-center field and lobbed a throw toward second. He returned to his position carrying his glove in the opposite hand and with his head down, perhaps hoping that when he looked back up, the inning would have just been starting.

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.

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