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Angels edge Orioles in extras, avoid sweep

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[August 01, 2014]  BALTIMORE -- Los Angeles Angels manager Mike Scioscia said his starting rotation and bullpen have been stellar while the offense has struggled to score runs.

The pitching staff was the difference again in a much-needed victory over Baltimore.

Albert Pujols hit a go-ahead single in the 13th inning, and the Angels avoided a three-game sweep by beating the Orioles 1-0 Thursday night. All three games were decided by a total of three runs.

Baltimore right-hander Ryan Webb (3-2) walked right fielder Kole Calhoun, who then took third on a single by center fielder Mike Trout. Pujols, the Angels' first baseman, followed with a liner to center that scored the only run of the game.

"We matched them pitch for pitch tonight and we finally broke through late," Scioscia said. "I think everybody who went on the mound for either team really pitched well. It was a well-pitched game y both teams. Right now, we're not going to look back and think there is any more pressure on the game because you might get swept."

The Orioles lost for just the fourth time in 16 extra-inning games this season.

Angels left hander Tyler Skaggs had a no-hitter through 4 2/3 innings before he was forced to leave due to left forearm tightness. Skaggs struck out seven and walked two on 73 pitches. He will have an MRI on Friday.

Third baseman David Freese tied a career high with four hits, while Pujols, Trout and shortstop Erick Aybar also had two hits for Los Angeles (64-43).

Left-hander Hector Santiago (3-7) threw two scoreless innings for the win. Right-hander Huston Street pitched a perfect 13th to pick up his fourth save since coming to the Angels on July 18.

Relievers Michael Moran, Kevin Jespen, Joe Smith, Cory Rasmus, Santiago and Street combined for 8 1/3 scoreless innings for Los Angeles.

"Everybody knows when you have really good pitching, it's tough to put runs on the board," Angels second baseman Howie Kendrick said. "Any time you score one or two runs, with a good pen and good pitching staff, that might hold up. You're not going to win every game and you're not going to go out and outslug everyone every game. Every team we face has good pitching."

Orioles right-hander Bud Norris put together another effective outing against Los Angeles. He threw seven scoreless innings, allowing eight hits with four strikeouts and one walk and a hit batter. Norris has yet to lose to the Angels in six career starts, posting a 0.43 ERA against them.

Right-handers Brad Bach and Tommy Hunter each threw two scoreless inning for Baltimore (60-47). Catcher Caleb Joseph had two of the Orioles' five hits, raising his average from .192 to .203.

"All our pitchers I thought pitched pretty well," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "Unfortunately, they did, too. We knew coming in. We've seen them, what, six games? They've got an outstanding bullpen and our guys matched them for the most part. Bud was good. We were kind of going hitter to hitter there in the last inning, but he finished up strong. Sure would have liked to get him a W. He deserved it."

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The Orioles were shut out for the eighth time this season.

Entering the game, the Angels were batting just .202 (20-for-99) with runners in scoring position since the All-Star break. After Freese and catcher Chris Iannetta opened the third inning with consecutive singles, those woes continued. Norris hit Trout to load the bases with one out, but Pujols grounded into a 5-4-3 double play to end the threat.

Skaggs, meanwhile, retired 14 consecutive batters after allowing a game-opening walk to center fielder Nick Markakis. In the fifth, however, he exited after walking to first baseman Steve Pearce.

"It's always a concern whenever your arms sore and can't feel your fingers," Skaggs said. "The funny thing is, I felt great today. I felt it was one of the better games I felt all year. It's frustrating."

Moran entered and allowed the Orioles' first hit on a bloop single by Joseph. Second baseman Jonathan Schoop flied out to end the inning.

"You'd always like to take advantage of a game pitched that well but they pitched that well, too," Showalter said. "They are so deep, you got a guy that's pitching as well as Scaggs is tonight out of there. I hope he's OK because he's pretty impressive."

NOTES: The Orioles dealt Double-A LHP Eduardo Rodriguez to the Boston Red Sox for LHP Andrew Miller before the non-waiver trade deadline. Baltimore now has four left-handed options out of the bullpen. ... LHP T.J. McFarland was reinstated by the Orioles from the bereavement list. To make room, RHP Preston Guilmet was optioned to Triple-A Norfolk. ... Angels LHP C.J. Wilson (sprained right ankle) likely will start Saturday against Tampa Bay, manager Mike Scioscia said. Wilson went on the disabled list July 10. ... Asked whether the Angels were close to making a trade before Thursday's deadline, general manager Jerry Dipoto said, "Not at all."

[ 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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