In the first game of their 10-game road trip, the Angels got a brilliant pitching performance by Ervin Santana and some timely, bases loaded hitting from Vernon Wells as the Angels beat the Orioles 6-1.
Santana (5-8) took a no-hitter into the sixth inning before giving up a one-out double to #9 hitter Blake Davis. Santana then retired the next 6 batters before giving up a walk, an infield single and a run-scoring base hit to JJ Hardy that cut the Angels lead to 2-1.
Hisanori Takahashi relieved Santana and induce Nick Markakis into an inning ending groundout. Takahashi pitched a perfect ninth with two strikeouts to earn his first American League save.
The Angels’ 6-1 win is the first against Baltimore since August 17, 2009 and the third straight since losing three-in-a-row earlier in the week.
The Angels broke the 0-0 tie in the 7th with doubles by Mike Trout, Maicer Izturis and Torii Hunter to take a 2-0 lead. However, the big blow of the night came off of the bat of Vernon Wells in the ninth. After two walks and an error loaded the bases, Wells blasted a Kevin Gregg pitch to straight-away center field for the first Angel grand slam of the season.
Santana allowed 3 hits and one run over 7.1 innings, while striking out one and walking one. It was Santana’s 7th consecutive start in which he has allowed 3 runs or less, yet he only has two wins to show for it.
Wells ended the night with three hits and 4 RBI in five at-bats. Rookie center fielder Mike Trout had his first multi-hit game of his short career with a single and double in four at-bats.
Meeting for the first time in 2011, the Angels travel to Baltimore to face the Orioles - a team they did not play well against last season. The Angels were swept in the six meetings last season, having been out-scored almost 2-to-1. Angels' pitching allowed 29 runs while the offense managed to score just 15 runs. Heading into tonight's game, the Orioles have held the Halo club scoreless over the previous 26 innings.
Ervin Santana (4-8, 3.84 ERA) hopes to have a different outcome from the last time he faced the Orioles. Back on August 4th of last season Santana allowed a career high-tying nine runs while giving up a season-high 12 hits in 3.2 innings. Overall, he is 3-4 with a 5.84 ERA in ten starts against Baltimore.
The Orioles will send Alfredo Simon (2-2, 4.36 ERA) to the hill. Tonight's start will be the right-handers first start against Los Angeles, and just his third start of the season. The troubled starter was recently reinstated from the restricted list after attending a hearing in the Dominican Republic where he is a suspect in his cousin's shooting death.