7:05 PM ET, June 11, 2013
Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Baltimore, Maryland
BALTIMORE -- Both teams were outstanding defensively. The pitching was sharp, too.
A well-played game between the Los Angeles Angels and Baltimore Orioles was ultimately turned on one swing by Nick Markakis, who has made a habit of delivering the big hit in pressure situations this season.
Miguel Gonzalez allowed one run over eight innings and Markakis hit a tiebreaking, two-run single in the seventh inning to give Baltimore a 3-2 victory Tuesday night.
Light-hitting Ryan Flaherty contributed two well-timed hits for the Orioles, whose third straight victory put them a season-high nine games over .500 (37-28). Baltimore will seek to complete a three-game sweep on Wednesday afternoon.
With the score tied at 1, the Orioles used two-out infield hits by Danny Valencia, Steve Pearce and Flaherty to load the bases in the seventh. Left-hander Scott Downs was then brought in to face Markakis, who lined a single to center for a 3-1 lead.
"You want to be in those situations," said Markakis, who's now batting .346 with 10 RBIs when there are two outs and runners in scoring position. "I've faced Downs enough to know what he's going to do up there. He tries to sink the ball in on lefty's hands and he does a good job of it. I was just looking for a ball up in the zone.
"Anything up that I could reach, I was swinging. He left one up over the plate, I put a good swing on it and we scored two runs."
Markakis also made two fine plays in right field, third baseman Manny Machado made several fine pickups and first baseman Chris Davis snagged a smoking line drive that began an unassisted double play.
But Angels centerfielder Peter Bourjos made the defensive play of the night, robbing J.J. Hardy of a two-run homer in the first inning. After retreating toward the warning track, Bourjos pressed his body against the wall with a perfectly timed leap, stuck his glove well over the 7-foot barrier and caught the ball.
"When fans come to a game, that's what they expect -- good defense, hitting and good pitching," Markakis said. "You saw that tonight, and it was a good ballgame."
"Both guys were throwing the ball well," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "I really liked the way Jason Vargas pitched tonight. Three infield hits in the seventh inning kind of set the table for them and they got the big hit from Markakis."
Vargas (5-4) allowed three runs, seven hits and a walk in 6 2/3 sharp innings. The loss ended the left-hander's five-game winning streak -- a run that started with a shutout of Baltimore on May 3.
"That happens when you leave runners on base," Vargas said. "Granted, the balls weren't hit that well."
Howie Kendrick had two hits for Los Angeles, which has dropped nine of 11.
Gonzalez (4-2) gave up four hits, walked one and struck out five.
Poised to throw his first career complete game, Gonzalez was removed by manager Buck Showalter after throwing 96 pitches.
Asked if he wanted to go nine innings, Gonzalez said, "That would have been fun. But Buck knows what he's doing, and J.J. did a good job finishing the game."
Trout put the Angels up 1-0 in the fourth with his 12th home run, the second in two nights. It's the ninth time in his career he's homered in successive games.
In the bottom half, Hardy was thwarted in a second straight at-bat. After being victimized earlier by Bourjos, Hardy popped a foul toward the seats in left. As Trout prepared to make the catch, a fan wearing a Trout jersey stuck his glove in the way. The ball bounced off the fan's mitt and landed on the ground, but third base umpire Joe West called Hardy out because of fan interference.
Held to two hits through five innings, the Orioles pulled even in the sixth. No. 9 hitter Flaherty singled and Markakis followed with a single that momentarily handcuffed Bourjos for an error, putting runners at second and third. Machado followed with an RBI grounder, providing Baltimore with its first run against Vargas in 15 innings this season.
Machado extended his hitting streak to nine games with a first-inning single before being picked off first base by Angels C Chris Iannetta. ... Baltimore's Davis ended an 0-for-16 skid with an infield hit in the first inning, although replays showed he was out at first. ... Jason Hammel (1-3, 7.33 ERA at home) starts for the Orioles in the series finale Wednesday. Jerome Williams will be on the mound for L.A. ... Trout's eight homers against Baltimore are his most against any opponent.
BALTIMORE, MD - JUNE 11: Pitcher Jason Vargas #60 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim works the third inning...(Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Regular Season Series
|4th||M Trout homered to center (436 feet).||1||0|
|6th||M Machado grounded out to second, R Flaherty scored, N Markakis to third.||1||1|
|7th||N Markakis singled to center, D Valencia and S Pearce scored, R Flaherty to second.||1||3|
|9th||A Pujols singled to center, J Hamilton scored.||2||3|
|View complete Play-By-Play|
|Stadium||Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Baltimore, MD|
|Attendance||22,834 (49.7% full) - % is based on regular season capacity|
|Weather||81 degrees, partly cloudy|
|Umpires||Home Plate - Sam Holbrook, First Base - Andy Fletcher, Second Base - Rob Drake, Third Base - Joe West|
Peter Bourjos: 5th career HR robbery, tied for most since 2010 The 5 robberies are B.J. Upton, August 23, 2010 (6th inning) Landon Powell, September 28, 2010 (4th inning) David Murphy, April 20, 2011 (7th inning) Jim Thome, May 27, 2011 (6th inning J.J. Hardy, June 11, 2013 (1st inning) Potential flashback: J.J. Hardy was also robbed of a HR by Mike Trout on an almost-identical catch, June 27, 2012 (1st inning)[+]
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