Angels cruise past Orioles 9-5 for 4th straight win
BALTIMORE (AP) The Los Angeles Angels had just matched their longest winning streak of the season, yet the mood in the clubhouse was somber.
Their 9-5 victory over the Baltimore Orioles on Friday night came at a cost: First baseman C.J. Cron fractured his left hand when struck by a pitch from Mike Wright in the sixth inning.
He was placed on the 15-day disabled list after the game and will see a specialist on Monday.
Cron had 17 RBIs over his last eight games, including two in this one. Since May 30, he hit six home runs and raised his batting average from .237 to .278.
''It's a blow to us and to C.J., who really picked it up,'' manager Mike Scioscia said. ''But we're going to have to keep going. Get some other bats in the lineup and hopefully they'll be productive.''
Standing in front of his locker and wearing a soft cast, Cron said softly, ''You never want to get hurt, especially under these circumstances. We're finally starting to get some wins. It's bad timing for sure.''
Daniel Nava had two RBIs and Mike Trout scored three runs for the Angels, who have won four straight. Los Angeles built an 8-1 lead in the fourth inning and coasted to the finish.
Matt Shoemaker (4-9) allowed three runs and five hits in five-plus innings to earn his first win since May 27. The right-hander was 0-4 in his previous eight starts despite owning a respectable 3.08 ERA over that span.
''The bottom line is we're pitching better,'' Scioscia said. ''Shoe went through a tough lineup and gave us a chance. That's where it has to start.'
Los Angeles did most of its damage against Ubaldo Jimenez (5-9), who gave up five runs, five hits and two walks in 1 1/3 innings. Many in the crowd of 44,317 began booing the right-hander in the first inning, and they cheered when manager Buck Showalter finally walked to the mound to summon help from the bullpen.
''There's no doubt about it, this is the toughest thing that I have had to face,'' said Jimenez, whose ERA rose to 7.38. ''I have to keep going, keep working hard and hopefully find something that's going to get me out of this thing.''
Adam Jones homered on Shoemaker's first pitch, and the Orioles also got long balls from Jonathan Schoop and Mark Trumbo.
Jones' shot got Baltimore to 2-1, and two batters later Manny Machado sent a drive toward the seats in left. Nava gauged the flight of the ball while backing up, shifted to his right at the last second and reached into the front row to rob Machado of his 20th home run.
Baltimore's rocky night was personified by consecutive errors committed by three-time Gold Glove shortstop J.J. Hardy in the fourth inning. The miscues doubled his error total for the season.
After Jimenez departed, Wright hit three batters over the course of his 4 2/3-inning stint.
Schoop was plunked in the helmet by Cam Bedrosian in the sixth, prompting home plate umpire Mike Everitt to issue a warning to both clubs.
The Angels put Cron on the DL, optioned C Carlos Perez to Triple-A Salt Lake, activated C Geovany Soto from the DL and recalled 1B Ji-Man Choi.
50 YEARS LATER
The Orioles paid tribute to the 1966 World Series champions with a pregame ceremony and by wearing replica uniforms of that team. Informed that the '66 Orioles used only four pitchers in a sweep of the Los Angeles Dodgers, Showalter exclaimed, ''C'mon man, we use four (by) the third inning!''
Angels: LHP Tyler Skaggs (shoulder) threw 75 pitches in a rehab assignment on Thursday night. ''We definitely are hoping he's going to be with us and maybe part of our rotation at some point,'' Scioscia said.
Orioles: LHP T.J. McFarland (left knee inflammation) will see Dr. James Andrews on Monday for a second opinion.
Angels: RHP Nick Tropeano (3-2, 3.28 ERA) makes his 12th start of the season and first of his career against the Orioles on Saturday.
Orioles: RHP Yovani Gallardo (3-1, 6.10) has been in the league since 2007, yet he has only faced the Angels once. He allowed five runs in four innings last year.