Play it again -- Angels 9, Orioles 7

June 30, 2007|By ALEXANDER PYLES

Late-inning relief falters

Rob Bell entered in the second inning for Steve Trachsel and pitched 4 1/3 innings of one-hit baseball, but his bullpen mates failed to follow his lead. Scott Williamson entered in the seventh inning and allowed a bases-empty home run to Orlando Cabrera, and Chad Bradford gave up a two-out RBI single to Chone Figgins in the top of the eighth to tie the game at 7. With Chris Ray on in the ninth, Howie Kendrick hit a 420-foot, two-run shot into the Orioles bullpen, giving the Angels a 9-7 lead.

Offensive turnaround

Figgins was batting under .200 when the Orioles saw him last, but he was a thorn in the pitching staff's side all night. With the Orioles holding a 7-6 lead in the eighth inning, Figgins stepped to the plate with two runners on and two outs and delivered an RBI single to tie the game. Figgins' second hit of the game, in the second inning, set an Angels record of 49 hits in a month. Coming into the game, Figgins had raised his average from below the Mendoza line in May to .310.

Huff hits for the cycle

Overshadowed by the Orioles' bullpen collapse was Aubrey Huff's spectacular night at the plate. Huff's second-inning triple was the 1,000th hit of his career, and his single in the seventh made him the third Oriole to hit for the cycle, and the first to do so in Baltimore. Huff went 4-for-4 but was removed after his single for pinch runner Brandon Fahey, who flied out to left field to end the game.

On deck

Brian Burres (3-2, 3.36) takes the mound for the Orioles tonight trying to record his second win against the Angels this season. Burres pitched five innings and gave up one run to beat Los Angeles on May 31. For the Angels, Bartolo Colon (6-3, 5.90) has struggled since returning from the disabled list April 21, but he holds an 8-5 record and 3.20 ERA in 16 career starts against the Orioles.

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