ANAHEIM, Calif. - It came without much warning. Orioles right-hander Jeremy Hellickson, in his second start for the club, seemed to be rolling. He struck out six of the last seven batters to face him as he took the mound for the last of the seventh tonight. The game was tied 1-1.
But Hellickson’s effectiveness ended there. The Angels started the inning with four straight hits and went on to score twice to break the tie and post a 3-2 win over the Orioles tonight.
The Orioles’ three-game win streak ends and they fall back under the .500 mark at 56-57 with their third loss in the last 11 games. A win tonight would have moved the Orioles a game above .500 for the first time since June 11.
Kole Calhoun and Andrelton Simmons singled to start the Angels’ seventh. An RBI double to left by Luis Valbuena made it 2-1 and an RBI single by C.J. Cron made it a 3-1 lead. Four batters, two big runs. Darren O’Day stopped the rally there with the help of a popped up bunt by Cliff Pennington, but the Angels had the lead.
Meanwhile, former O’s farmhand, right-hander Parker Bridwell, pitched a great game against his former club.
Over seven innings, Bridwell allowed six hits and one run with no walks and four strikeouts on 85 pitches. His big season for the Angels continued tonight at the Orioles’ expense. He improved to 6-1 with an ERA of 3.00. He delivered his seventh quality start in 10 outings and Los Angeles is 9-1 in those games.
Hellickson took the loss and is 1-1 with an ERA of 2.08 in two starts for Baltimore. He gave up six hits and three runs over six-plus innings, with one walk and nine strikeouts on 95 pitches. The strikeouts total was a season high and one off Hellickson’s career best.
Earlier, after eight scoreless innings for the Orioles over two starts, Hellickson allowed a run in the second inning as the Angels took a 1-0 lead.
Simmons, batting .400 his last 16 games, singled with one out and later stole second base. With two outs, Cron singled to left for his 26th RBI and the 1-0 lead on Hellickson and the Orioles.
The Orioles finally got to Bridwell in the fifth, hitting four baseballs over 100 mph - but they had just one run to show for it. Tim Beckham singled at 106 mph and went to third on Seth Smith’s 108 mph double off the glove of first baseman Cron. Catcher Caleb Joseph’s single tied it 1-1, but a run was cut down at the plate on Joey Rickard’s grounder to third. After Adam Jones struck out, Manny Machado lined a ball to left with runners on first and second. But left fielder Cameron Maybin made a diving catch that saved at least one run, maybe two. The top of the fifth ended in a 1-1 tie and that was perhaps the play of the game.
Down 3-1 and down to their last out in the top of the ninth, Joseph homered to make it a 3-2 game and a two-RBI game for himself. But Rickard popped out to end the game.
After scoring 18 runs the past two games, the Orioles get just two tonight as they fall to 1-1 on this trip and to 21-34 in road games for the year.
In the series finale on Wednesday afternoon at 3:37 p.m., right-hander Kevin Gausman (8-7, 5.15 ERA) faces right-hander Troy Scribner (1-0, 4.50 ERA).
O’s manager Buck Showalter on Hellickson: “Good. He was outstanding. Pitching on the road, tough lineup, team that’s playing real well. I can’t find anything to fault him with. Even that last inning, some well-placed balls that are usually outs. Simmons hit a ball hard, that’s about it. Darren did a great job to get out of that inning.”
Showalter on Bridwell: “He was solid. We had the right people up a couple times, we just couldn’t get it done. (Cam) Bedrosian pitched a big inning after getting in a little trouble. Just couldn’t get it done in the situation we normally do. They did, too. They left a guy on third nobody out and so did we.”
Hellickson on his outing and the seventh inning: “Felt good. I’d feel better about it if I made some pitches there in the seventh, but I felt good. Like I said, I got to keep it tied right there in the seventh. Just left a couple pitches up, couple off-speed pitches up in the zone. They didn’t miss them.”
Hellickson said he could see it would be a pitcher’s duel: “Yeah, the way he was throwing I’ve got to keep it a 1-1 ballgame in the seventh. Just got to make better pitches.”
Joseph on Hellickson in the seventh: “Just kind of lost the bite on his pitches. Couple curveballs, backup cutter, changeup that didn’t really fade. Just all happened at once. Too bad he couldn’t space it out because he was cruising there for a while.”
Bridwell on beating his former team: “At the end of the day, obviously it’s a little bit sweeter, but I just had to execute my pitches like a normal start. Luckily I came out and I did that.”
Bridwell on any moment during game thinking about facing his former team: “No, I took care of that yesterday. I go about my business quietly. I don’t like to interact with the other team on the day I’m pitching against them. There are some good friends on that team and it was fun to compete against them.”