BALTIMORE (AP) — Buck Showalter really couldn’t have asked for a better performance from his pitchers against the Los Angeles Angels. It was his lineup that really struggled, managing just five hits in 13 innings.
Albert Pujols put Los Angeles in front with an RBI single, and the Angels held on for a 1-0 victory over the Baltimore Orioles that averted a three-game sweep.
Bud Norris scattered eight hits over seven innings and the Baltimore bullpen gave up only one run in six innings. But it wasn’t good enough.
“All our pitchers I thought pitched pretty well,” Showalter said. “Unfortunately, they did, too. They’ve got an outstanding bullpen and our guys matched them for the most part.”
Tyler Skaggs and six relievers combined on a five-hitter, and David Freese tied a career high with four hits to help Los Angeles improve to 3-10 in one-run games on the road.
Skaggs had a no-hitter with two outs in the fifth inning before leaving with left forearm tightness. He was replaced by Mike Morin, who immediately gave up a bloop single to catcher Caleb Joseph.
The Orioles didn’t get another hit until Joseph singled leading off the eighth.
Each of Baltimore’s last six games has been decided by one run, four of them in extra innings. The Orioles fell to 12-4 in extra innings.
“Bud did really well,” Joseph said. “Gave us a good effort. Gave us a chance to win. It’s just their guys pitched really well, too.”
In the 13th, Kole Calhoun drew a leadoff walk from Ryan Webb (3-2) and Mike Trout singled before Pujols singled through the drawn-in infield.
“You never want to be the one to give it up in a game like that,” Webb said. “But you can’t walk the leadoff guy in an inning like that, especially with those guys coming up. I did it on four pitches and that’s what happens sometimes when you do that.”
Hector Santiago (3-7) pitched two innings for the win and Huston Street got three outs for his fourth save since joining the Angels on July 18.
Despite the loss, the AL East-leading Orioles won the season series 4-2. All six games were decided by two runs or fewer.
Skaggs walked the first batter he faced, and then retired 14 straight before walking Steve Pearce in the fifth. The lefty threw one more pitch before leaving.
“It’s always a concern whenever your arm’s sore and can’t feel your fingers,” Skaggs said. “I felt it was one of the better games I felt all year. It’s frustrating.”
Angels: Left-hander C.J. Wilson, who has been sidelined since July 10 with a sprained right ankle, is expected to return Saturday to start at Tampa Bay.
Orioles: First baseman Chris Davis (stomach virus) missed a third straight start but entered as the designated hitter in the ninth. He struck out and walked. Left-hander T.J. McFarland returned from bereavement leave and righty Preston Guilmet was optioned to Triple-A Norfolk.
Angels: Matt Shoemaker, who went 3-1 in July, seeks to extend that run into a new month Friday night in the opener of a three-game series in Tampa Bay.
Orioles: Wei-Yin Chen (11-3) faces the Mariners, who send Roenis Elias (8-8) to the mound Friday night to start a three-game series. Baltimore took three of four from Seattle last week.
After Adam Jones was picked off first base in the 11th, the Orioles called for a replay.
The call stood up.
“Safe. He never tagged him,” Showalter said. “I don’t know what they’re looking at. I think we lead the league in stands. A paranoid man would worry more about it, an alert man would wonder about it. I do.”
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