- Associated Press - Sunday, August 9, 2015

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) - Although the Los Angeles Angels have struggled at the plate for most of the season, their stellar starting pitching has kept them in the playoff race.

When Garrett Richards’ mediocre start Saturday night was accented by defensive blunders and baserunning mistakes, the Angels didn’t stand a chance.

Ubaldo Jimenez yielded two hits over eight dominant innings, and Manny Machado had four hits and scored two runs in the Baltimore Orioles’ 5-0 victory.

Kole Calhoun broke up Jimenez’s no-hit bid with a two-out double to center in the sixth, but the veteran right-hander had little trouble against Mike Trout, Albert Pujols and the struggling Angels, who have lost 11 of 15 after winning 17 of 20. Los Angeles still is just 1 1-2 games behind Houston in the AL West race, but didn’t feel good after a dire game.

“I think our offense is capable of more,” said David Murphy, who went 0 for 4. “All the same, when a guy goes out and performs like that, I don’t want to take anything away from him. It was probably just the way he got ahead and the way he pitched in.”

Richards (11-9) gave up seven hits and three runs over six innings. He has taken three losses in four starts for the first time in his major league career.

Richards struck out seven, but repeatedly found trouble while giving up at least three runs for the fifth time in six starts. He gave up three earned runs in five of his previous 19 starts dating to last season, which ended early with a knee injury.

“It was a battle night,” Richards said. “We just didn’t get it done as a team. That’s it. On to the next one. We’ve got 60 games to play, so nobody is scoreboard-watching.”

Los Angeles couldn’t get a runner to third base against Jimenez while getting shut out for the fourth time in 15 games and the ninth time this season.

Jimenez (9-7) had four losses in his past six starts, failing to make the fifth inning in three of the last four. Yet he overwhelmed the Angels, striking out six and walking one.

“I really needed it,” said Jimenez, who beat the Angels for the first time in his career. “It’s not easy coming to the stadium every night knowing you’re not doing what you’re supposed to, especially where we are fighting for a wild card. It feels really good to get back on track.”

Machado and Caleb Joseph homered, and Jonathan Schoop drove in two runs in the Orioles’ third win in five games. Baltimore scored in five different innings in an 11-hit effort led by Machado, the All-Star with 10 hits in his last five games.

Machado scored on Adam Jones’ grounder in the third in a rally that began with the Angels dropping a catchable pop fly to right. Joseph was tagged out in a rundown at the plate moments earlier.

Machado then connected on a full-count pitch in the fifth, driving his 24th homer into the bullpen beyond left field. The homer was the fifth in four starts allowed by Richards, who only gave up five homers all last season.


Trout singled and appeared to score on Murphy’s fly ball in the ninth, but after video review, the umpires ruled the AL MVP slid over the plate and didn’t touch it before the tag.

“Mike still had the play beat, but his foot must have just popped up or something,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “You’ve got to get that foot down.”

The Orioles also lost a run at the plate on video appeal in the second inning when umpires saw that Schoop failed to touch home plate while sliding in well ahead of the Angels’ throw.


Orioles: Jason Garcia returned from the 60-day DL on Friday, pitching in the eighth inning of Baltimore’s loss.

Angels: Jered Weaver will return to the rotation Sunday, making his first start in seven weeks due to left hip inflammation.


Orioles: Miguel Gonzalez (9-8, 4.32 ERA), who grew up in the San Fernando Valley, has lost his last two starts.

Angels: Weaver (4-8, 4.75 ERA) makes his 16th start of the season. He won in Baltimore on May 15.

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