O’s bid to sweep Angels comes up short in series finale

The Orioles were six outs from an impressive sweep of the Los Angeles Angels, but they could not get them tonight.

The Angels scored twice in the last of the eighth to come from behind 2-1 and beat the Orioles 3-2 tonight at Angel Stadium.

Josh Hamilton led off the eighth and singled off Tommy Hunter. Erick Aybar’s double tied it, 2-2. Hunter picked up a couple of strikeouts, but an intentional walk and an unintentional walk followed and Hunter turned over a bases loaded, two-out jam to Brian Matusz.

But Kole Calhoun walked on a 3-1 pitch for his 27th RBI and that put Los Angeles ahead 3-2. O’s pitchers walked three straight hitters. New Angels closer Huston Street closed it out in the ninth.

The comeback denied Chris Tillman a win. He went six innings allowed five hits, and one run, with two walks and three strikeouts. He threw 103 pitches and lowered his ERA to 3.92.

Tillman pitched out of big jams in the fifth and sixth innings and the Angels went 0-for-9 against him with runners in scoring position. Tillman now has eight quality starts over his last nine outings, pitching to an ERA of 2.40 in that stretch.

Tillman’s outing capped a series of strong starting pitching. Tillman, Bud Norris and Miguel Gonzalez combined to give up just four earned runs in 20 1/3 innings for an ERA of 1.77 in the three games against the highest scoring team in the majors.

For the first time in the series, the Orioles trailed tonight. The Angels took a 1-0 lead when Mike Trout singled and scored on an Albert Pujols double in the first. That duo went 1-for-15 in the first two games of this series.

Ryan Flaherty doubled in the third and scored on a Nick Markakis two-out single for a 1-1 tie. The Orioles took a 2-1 lead in the sixth. David Lough singled with two outs and stole second. He scored the go-ahead on Adam Jones’ bloop single to right.

For Jones, it was yet another clutch hit and his 10th RBI over his last five games.

With the loss, the Orioles fall to 55-45 as their American League East lead is trimmed to three games over Toronto and New York, which both won tonight.

Now the O’s road trip moves on to Seattle for a four-game series beginning Thursday night.

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