It was an eventful day for the Orioles in Anaheim. Their starting pitcher took a no-hitter into the seventh. They took a 4-0 lead. They lost that 4-0 lead. They almost lost their win streak when leading after seven innings. But when it was over, they extended it by beating the Angels 5-4 in 10 innings.
With Nolan Reimold on second base and two outs in the 10th, Steve Pearce singled to right and his third hit of the day broke a 4-4 tie. The Orioles were 0-for-10 on the game with runners in scoring position until that hit. After gaining the lead, Jim Johnson pitched a 1-2-3 bottom of the inning to end the game and pick up his 11th save.
Leading 4-2 after seven, even though the game became tied an inning later, the Orioles extended their winning streak to 106 games in the regular season when up after seven frames.
The drama earlier was centered around Freddy Garcia, who took a no-hitter into the seventh. It was a nice statement by him as he looks to earn the Orioles’ fifth-starter job.
Garcia lost his no-hit bid when Erick Aybar blooped a single to center to lead off the seventh and then Mark Trumbo homered off him with two outs. A single by Alberto Callaspo followed and Darren O’Day came on to pitch.
Down 4-2, the Angels parlayed a bunt and walk off O’Day into two runs in the eighth to tie the game and make sure Garcia could not be the winning pitcher.
But the right-hander still had a strong day. Throwing first-pitch strikes to 10 of 12 batters in the first four innings and 15 of 23 on the day, the 36-year-old Garcia went 6 2/3 frames, allowing three hits and two runs with one walk and two strikeouts. He threw 78 pitches, 51 for strikes.
Garcia pitched to an ERA of 8.71 during spring training with San Diego and was released by the Padres on March 24. Signed by the Orioles four days later, he went to Triple-A Norfolk and went 4-0 with a 2.67 ERA in five starts before joining the club officially today to make his first O’s start.
Bet he gets a second one now.
Orioles fifth starters - counting Jake Arrieta, Josh Stinson and Zach Britton - went a combined 1-2 with a 7.34 ERA in six starts this season.
The O’s moved out to a 4-0 lead on the strength of solo homers by Manny Machado, J.J. Hardy and Reimold. Reimold added a sac fly for a two-RBI day after he had driven in just one run over his previous 12 games.
Machado had two more hits today and has 10 extra-base hits over last 13 games with seven doubles, a triple and two homers in that stretch.
The Orioles guaranteed themselves a winning West Coast trip with this victory, which makes them 6-4 on the trip with one game left.
They had lost four of six coming into this game, but improved to 11-8 in road games and 18-13 overall with the trip finale set for 3:35 p.m. Sunday afternoon when Jason Hammel (4-1, 3.79 ERA) takes the mound.