Sunday, July 5, 2009

Angels 11, Orioles 4

Maicer Izturis of the Los Angeles Angels of An...

Vladimir Guerrero hasn't had too many curtain calls this season. So when he hit a three-run shot in the eighth to put a stamp on the Los Angeles Angels' comeback win, fans were cheering for him to step out.

So was teammate Torii Hunter.

"When he hit it, everybody in the dugout felt so good for him. That's Vladi and that's what he does. Hopefully he continues that," Hunter said.

Guerrero hit his third home run of the season and had four RBIs, and the Angels scored 11 unanswered runs - six in the eighth - to beat the Baltimore Orioles 11-4 on Saturday night.

Guerrero's home run brought the Fourth of July fireworks out early. He hit a 1-0 pitch off reliever Brian Bass to left field, setting off celebratory fireworks after the homer.

Behind Guerrero, who has been hitting out of the DH role nearly all season as he comes back from a pectoral muscle injury, the Angels scored six runs in that eighth.

They batted around and also had RBIs from Hunter and Chone Figgins.

"It took us a while to get going, but at the end of the night with Vlad going deep, that was definitely nice," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said.

A rally in the seventh, with Juan Rivera driving in the go-ahead run off Baltimore pitcher Danys Baez, put Los Angeles up for good, 5-4.

Baez (4-3) replaced Matt Albers to start the inning, and the Angels didn't waste any time getting to work.

Figgins and Bobby Abreu led off with singles, and Hunter was walked to load the bases. Figgins scored on Guerrero's double-play grounder to tie it at 4, and Rivera drove in Abreu when Baltimore's Nick Markakis and Brian Roberts misplayed his popup.

"You can't afford to do that when you're playing a good team and you're playing on the road," Baltimore Orioles manager Dave Trembley said. "You've got to stay away from the big inning and make the most of the opportunities that you have. There were breakdowns in a lot of different areas and we paid the price for that."

Jason Bulger (3-1) worked 1 1-3 innings for the win.

Jason Berken pitched four innings for Baltimore, giving up three runs - two earned - while striking out three in one of his shortest outings this season.

"My goal is obviously to try to pitch deep into the game and give us a chance to win. Tonight it just didn't happen," Berken said.

Angels starter Sean O'Sullivan gave up four runs in 5 2-3 innings. Baltimore took a 3-0 lead in the third off the rookie in an inning where Los Angeles came up short on defense.

His work wasn't enough, though. After the game, the Angels optioned him to Triple-A Salt Lake for outfielder Reggie Willits.

"I was just trying to keep us in the game as long as I could and let the offense take over," O'Sullivan said. "They put some good swings on some pitches and I wasn't able to get the groundball where I needed to."

Brian Roberts, Jones and Markakis drove in runs for the Orioles, with Roberts' RBI double to right field coming off a hit that landed just inches from Abreu's glove. That close play was the second that landed Baltimore's players on the bases - Robert Andino squeezed in a single to put runners on the corners after shortstop Maicer Izturis couldn't make the throw to first in time.

Jones' RBI single in the fifth made it 4-0.

Then the Angels started putting things together offensively.

Abreu, Hunter and Guerrero drove in runs off Berken in the fifth to cut the lead to 4-3. But Rivera hit into a double play to end it.

"We gave them far too many opportunities. We were ahead 4-0, and when you get outscored 11-0 after that, obviously there are a lot of breakdowns in a lot of different areas that have to occur for that to happen," Trembley said.

NOTES: Orioles' SS Cesar Izturis could be activated Friday to play against Toronto, Trembley said before the game. Izturis, who had an emergency appendectomy and has not played since June 3, will get through batting practice and a few games with Double-A Bowie before being activated. "If he passes all that he'll be ready to be activated," Trembley said. ... Angels 2B Howie Kendrick got to the stadium just in time to stay in the lineup. After getting called up from the minors, Kendrick's flight was delayed from Colorado Springs.

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