Angels hit break in last place after 4-2 loss to Orioles
BALTIMORE (AP) After the Los Angeles Angels tacked one more loss to their somber first half of the season, they could take consolation in getting a solid outing from right-hander Tim Lincecum.
Lincecum kept the damage to a minimum in his fifth start with the Angels, who generated very little offense themselves in a 4-2 defeat Sunday.
Mike Trout and Albert Pujols had RBIs for the Angels, who reached the All-Star break in last place for the first time since 1999.
Lincecum (1-3) gave up three runs and nine hits in 5 2/3 innings. The 32-year-old kept the Orioles in check with the exception of an opposite-field, two-run shot in the fourth inning by Chris Davis that made it 2-1.
''The best we've seen him,'' manager Mike Scioscia said of Linecum. ''He made very few mistakes.''
Lincecum was also pleased with his outing, especially after giving up five runs in 4 2/3 innings in his previous start at Tampa Bay.
''I thought I challenged guys pretty well,'' the right-hander said. ''Made some pitches when I had to and my defense played real well, too.''
Well, not exactly.
Los Angeles fell into a 3-1 hole in the sixth after a two-out popup by Pedro Alvarez dropped between shortstop Andrelton Simmons and left fielder Ji-Man Choi. Simmons exacerbated the miscue by throwing wildly to second base. J.J. Hardy followed with an RBI single.
''There was a mix up in communication,'' Scioscia said.
Pujols got Los Angeles to 3-2 with a sacrifice fly in the eighth, but Hardy countered with a solo shot off Huston Street in the bottom half. It was his first homer since April 12.
Angels third baseman Yunel Escobar was ejected in the seventh inning while in the field.
''I think there was some frustration involved,'' Scioscia said.
Chris Tillman (12-2) pitched seven innings of three-hit ball to help Baltimore capture the deciding matchup of the three-game series.
Tillman didn't have a perfect inning until the seventh. But the right-hander allowed only one runner past second base and offset his season-high five walks with five strikeouts.
''The end result was good,'' Tillman said. ''We came out on top. It was a grind. It was a grind from the get-go. I was missing with all my pitches early. Fortunately, we were able to kind of get in somewhat of a rhythm and mix some pitches and get out of innings.''
Brad Brach worked the eighth and Zach Britton got three outs for his 27th save in 27 opportunities.
Los Angeles got a first-inning run when a call at the plate was reversed after a replay review. Kole Calhoun was initially ruled out on a double by Trout before Scioscia challenged the call.
The lead stood up until Davis hit his 22nd home run after Mark Trumbo's leadoff single.
Angels: 1B C.J. Cron was in the clubhouse Sunday, his broken left hand in a soft cast. The injury occurred Friday when he was hit by a pitch. He is scheduled to see a specialist on Monday.
Orioles: LF Hyun Soo Kim strained his right hamstring running out a first-inning grounder and was removed from the game.
Angels: Los Angeles comes out of the All-Star break on Friday with a matchup against the visiting Chicago White Sox.
Orioles: Yovani Gallardo will start against Tampa Bay on Friday as Baltimore launches the second half with a seven-game road trip.