Written by Chris Slade
Tonight's amtchup with the Angels started a three game set in Anaheim and got under way at 10:05 ET with Bud Norris and Matt Shoemaker on the mound. The Orioles jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the 1st thanks to a two-run shot off the bat of Adam Jones. The Angels picked up a run in the bottom of the 1st thanks to an RBI single from Josh Hamilton. The Angels tied it up in the 4th on an RBI single from Hank Conger. Jones came trhough again for the O's with a two-run blast in the 6th and that would prove to be all the Orioles needed to win this one. Zach Britton picked up the save in the 9th.
Bud Norris got off to a shaky start in the early innings but once he settled in, tossed a really solid game. He did a particularly good job with painting the outside corner with his fastball for called strike three's. The Angels picked up four hits, all singles, in the first two innings but Norris was able to limit the damage thanks to key strikeouts a double play. He retired the side on groundouts in the 3rd before allowing three more hits and a run to score in the 4th inning. From then on, Norris was in control and didn't relinquish the lead, once he got one in the 6th. He worked two outs into the 7th of quality baseball until he was lifted for Brian Matusz to face Hamilton. He improves to 8-6 on the year.
Final Line: 6.2 IP, 8 H, 2 R, ER, 2 BB, 8 K, Win
The relief pitching was dominant tonight as they sat down all seven batters they faced in order to preserve the Orioles 4-2 lead.
Brian Matusz struck out Josh Hamilton swinging to end the 7th inning.
Darren O'Day then followed with a 1-2-3 inning of work in the 8th.
Zach Britton looked on point tonight with his mid-90's sinker, quickly setting down the side in order to notch the save in the 9th.
Adam Jones pretty much was the offense tonight. His dual two-run blasts were likely the difference between the Orioles winning and getting shutout. I say this because Matt Shoemaker was on his game against everyone else in the lineup. If you remove Jones from the equation, Shoemaker allowed just three hits and no walks over 5.2 innings while striking out 10. He had a nasty splitter working that the Orioles hitters couldn't seem to touch. After he came out in the 6th, the Orioles collected just one hit the rest of the way.
Nick Markakis had the other two-hit game along with Jones. He also scored twice on the Jones homers.
Key Moments In The Game
The biggest swings of the game came from Adam Jones in the 1st and the 6th. As mentioned before, his dual two-run shots were the difference maker in the Orioles winning this game.
Defensive Highlights/ Lowlights
J.J. Hardy made a throwing error, his 9th of the season, in the 1st inning that allowed Mike Trout to reach. Luckily, he helped turn a double play to get out of the same inning so his error didn't hurt the O's too much.
Other Notes / Musings
Bud Norris is now 4-0 with a 0.52 ERA in 5 career starts versus the Angels.
Adam Jones's 2nd homer of the game was an absolute no doubter and went an estimated 443 feet, making it his longest home run of the season.
The Blue Jays and Yankees both lost so the Orioles now have a 4-game lead in the AL East.
Orioles and Angels play at 10:05 ET again on Tuesday with Miguel Gonzalez and Hector Santiago on the mound.
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