Despite a two hour and 14 minute rain delay, the Baltimore Orioles used a pair of two run innings to secure a series opening 4-3 victory over the Los Angeles Angels.
Trailing 1-0, Adam Jones crushed a hanger from Angels starting pitcher Jered Weaver (1-2) in the fourth inning for a two run shot and a 2-1 lead. After a Josh Hamilton solo homer tied the game in the top of the sixth, the Orioles were able to scratch across two runs in the home half of the inning for a 4-2 advantage right before the rain delay. Nate McLouth singled to leadoff the inning and proceeded to steal second. He then scored courtesy of a Manny Machado single and a fielding error by Hamilton to give the Birds a 3-2 lead. Baltimore was not finished however, as Nick Markakis followed Machado with a single of his own and Jones delivered a sac fly to score Machado and give the O's their 4-2 lead.
After a Chris Davis fielder's choice, that saw Markakis slide to and then past the bag due to the wet conditions, the game was put in a rain delay that lasted two hours and 14 minutes.
Freddy Garcia (3-3) pitched very well last night for the Orioles and was cruising along at 83 pitches through six innings, but obviously did not come back out to the mound for the seventh after the rain had subsided. Garcia was mixing his pitches well and his only two mistakes were hit out of the ball park via solo homers. Garcia, who picked up his third win of the season, tossed six innings, while allowing two runs on six hits, one walk and three strikeouts. Of the 83 pitches Garcia threw, 55 were for strikes.
Tommy Hunter came in relief of Garcia after the rain delay and had a shaky inning as he allowed one run on one hit and two walks. He needed a one out bases loaded strikeout of Albert Pujols and a two out groundout by Mark Trumbo to keep the lead intact. Darren O'Day and Jim Johnson pitched a scoreless eighth and ninth innings respectively. Johnson has now converted his seventh consecutive save opportunity and picked up his 22nd of the season.
Jones led the way offensively for the Birds going 1-3 with a home run and three RBI, while Matt Wieters had the lone multi-hit game for Baltimroe going 2-3.
Baltimore will look to secure the series victory tonight as they send Miguel Gonzalez (3-2) to the mound for the start against Angels starting pitcher Jason Vargas (5-3). The Orioles are currently just 3 1/2 games behind the Boston Red Sox in the AL East and a game and a half back of the New York Yankees for second place in the division.
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