So how about a scoreless tie that stretched into the 13th inning before the Angels finally cracked the Orioles’ stubborn bullpen and avoided a sweep?
Throw in a potential no-hitter that was thwarted by injury and you had just another ho-hum affair between two evenly matched clubs that could end up clashing again in the postseason.
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“We’ve been playing good baseball, and we’ve been playing good ball against them, especially, and they’re a really good team, so that’s a positive to build off,” Webb said. “It’s a frustrating loss, but we’ve been playing really good ball, and we played good ball today.”
In his second inning to start the 13th, Webb allowed a leadoff walk, a single and then the eventual game-winner. Left-hander Brian Matusz relieved Webb and recorded three straight outs, including two strikeouts, to keep things close.
But the Angels' new closer, Huston Street, pitched a perfect bottom of the 13th for his 28th save of the season and fourth for Los Angeles, putting an end to the four-hour, 33-minute marathon.
“You never want to be the one to give it up in a game like that,” Webb said. “It [stinks], but you can’t walk the leadoff guy in an inning like that.”
The Orioles (60-47) dropped to 12-4 in extra innings, while the Angels (64-43) improved to 7-6 in those games. The Orioles still won the season series, 4-2 -- with all six games decided by two runs or fewer; the last four by one run.
“These are two, probably playoff-contending teams, and I think that says volumes about where we are in this part of the season," Orioles starter Bud Norris said. "And if we match up in the postseason, we feel pretty comfortable about the way we played them there and the way we played them here.
"You never know how that’s going to shape up. You’ve got to take care of business, which is obviously the next [eight] weeks.”
The Orioles hadn’t taken a scoreless tie into extra innings since Aug. 5, 2012 at Tampa Bay, when Taylor Teagarden hit an RBI double to ultimately give the Orioles a 1-0 win. It didn’t work out as well this time for the Orioles at home in front of an announced 24,974.
The Orioles were going for their first sweep at home since winning four straight against the Texas Rangers from June 30 to July 3. Early on Thursday, earning the sweep wasn’t a priority; getting a hit was.
Tyler Skaggs, a 23-year-old left-hander with a wicked curveball, mystified the Orioles for 4 2/3 innings in his first appearance at Camden Yards. After walking Nick Markakis to begin his outing, Skaggs retired 14 straight hitters, including seven on strikeouts.
With two outs in the fifth, he walked Steve Pearce and then missed on a first-pitch breaking ball to Caleb Joseph. That’s when Skaggs motioned for the Angels’ athletic trainer and, shortly thereafter, exited the mound.
Skaggs was diagnosed with forearm tightness in his left elbow. He said doctors believe his elbow ligaments are fine, but he’ll have an MRI on Friday.
“I hope he’s OK because he’s pretty impressive,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. “You know they’ve got so many bullets down there. They just keep running them out there, good arm after good arm.”
After a brief delay, Mike Morin entered and continued the at-bat against Joseph, giving up a single to center field to break up the no-hitter. Morin got Schoop to fly out to end the inning, kickstarting a run of 8 1/3 scoreless innings by the Angels’ bullpen.
It was a long day for several reasons.