Maybin’s pinch single lifts Angels over Orioles
BALTIMORE -- The Los Angeles Angels are peaking at the right time.
Manager Mike Scioscia is hoping his team can ride that momentum straight into the postseason.
Cameron Maybin delivered a tiebreaking, pinch-hit RBI single in the eighth inning and the Angels beat the Baltimore Orioles 5-4 on Sunday to take two of three games in the series.
Los Angeles has won nine of its past 11 games and maintains the second wild-card spot.
“We’ve been playing better baseball for the past couple of weeks,” Scioscia said. “We need to keep going. With that in mind, I think the reality of it is that every game is going to be a tough game. We just need to turn the page win or lose and build momentum into the next game. These guys are playing well. A lot of them are playing a lot, but their energy is still there and we just need to keep that focus.”
Trailing 4-1 in the sixth, the Orioles closed to within a run on a two-RBI single by Jonathan Schoop that chased Angels starter Parker Bridwell. Keynan Middleton entered and got two outs before allowing a double to Mark Trumbo that tied the game.
Baltimore reliever Brad Brach (3-4) walked two batters in the eighth before Mychal Givens allowed a two-out single to Maybin, who missed the previous two games with a sore knee.
Cam Bedrosian (3-2) picked up the win with a scoreless seventh. Former Oriole Bud Norris allowed runners to reach first and second before earning his 19th save with a strikeout and grounder.
Kole Calhoun and Andrelton Simmons homered for the Angels, who went deep 11 times in the series.
“Once you are playing that good and you are seeing the light you want to keep going,” Simmons said. “You want to keep winning all the games. You want to close them out.”
Bridwell, who was drafted by Baltimore in 2010 and traded to the Angels in April, made his first appearance at Camden Yards. He allowed four runs (two earned) and six hits with three strikeouts and one walk over five-plus innings.
Chris Davis, who was back in the lineup after being sidelined the previous two nights because of a virus, hit his 19th home run for Baltimore, which has dropped five of its past seven games.
Baltimore walked eight batters in the game, the fifth time this season the Orioles allowed eight or more free passes.
“You’d have liked to win the series,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. “We’d have liked to win all three. We had a good opportunity today but they pitched a little bit better than we did. The competition is us. It’s us playing better regardless of who you’re playing. Our competition is Oakland now and it’s us. There’s opportunity there for us. We’d like to win. If they had a different shortstop there we would have.”
Orioles right-hander Chris Tillman made his first start since being demoted to the bullpen more than two weeks ago. The right-hander allowed four runs and four hits and tied a career-high with six walks over 5 1/3 innings. Tillman, who opened the year on the disabled list, is 1-7 and managed his only win on May 7.
“You cut the walks in half that’s a different ball game,” Tillman said. “That’s just too many. Too many to try to pitch out of. You can’t expect to win a game walking that many. Other than that, I thought it was OK. Made some good off-speed pitches, fastball was a little better. I still think it was a step in the right direction minus the walks. I got to limit those.”
Calhoun provided Los Angeles with the lead when he led off the second with a towering shot over the right field wall. The Angels took a 2-0 lead in the third on a single by Albert Pujols that scored Ben Revere, who walked and stole second.
Davis pulled the Orioles to within a run when he led off the bottom half of the third with a shot that was just beyond the reach of the left fielder Revere.
Simmons hit a two-run homer off Tillman in the sixth that boosted Los Angeles’ lead to 4-1.
“I think there’s just been games that we’ve let slip away, some games we really haven’t been able to close out whether it’s scoring a run, whether it’s tacking on a few runs to give us some breathing room,” Davis said.
NOTES: Orioles RHP Miguel Castro was placed on the bereavement list for up to three days. In a corresponding move, RHP Alec Asher was recalled from Triple-A Norfolk. ... Angels RHP Jesse Chavez could get the start Thursday against Texas with JC Ramirez potentially out with right forearm irritation. ... Baltimore SS J.J. Hardy (fractured wrist) will begin a rehab assignment Monday at Triple-A Norfolk.