A recap of the Orioles' 5-2 win over the Angels yesterday:
Jay Payton was having a bad day. He came to the plate in the first inning with the bases loaded and one out, swung at the first pitch and popped up - after Angels starter Ervin Santana had walked a batter and hit another. The bases also were loaded with one out in the third after a single and two walks. Payton struck out on three pitches. But in the sixth, Payton led off with a triple and scored on Guillermo Quiroz's single to increase the Orioles' lead to 5-1.
Since the All-Star break, Orioles starters had gone six innings only twice in 10 games. Garrett Olson made it that far yesterday, holding the Angels to one run before leaving the game after giving up consecutive singles to Juan Rivera and Gary Matthews Jr. to begin the seventh. Chad Bradford let an inherited runner score. It was a quality effort by Olson for a team that badly needed it. Orioles starters had posted a 10.32 ERA during the club's five-game losing streak. Olson brought a little calm to the storm. He limited the damage in the fourth, permitting the one run despite the Angels collecting three singles and a walk. Olson had completed six innings only once in his previous eight starts.
Quiroz wasn't signed in the offseason for his offense, and he was batting .200 with eight RBIs heading into yesterday. He struck out to end the first inning and leave the bases loaded, but he was Mr. Clutch the rest of the day. Quiroz delivered a two-out, bases-loaded single in the third that scored two runs and increased the Orioles' lead to 4-0. And his single in the sixth that scored Payton gave him three RBIs, almost half his total coming into the game. Quiroz added another single in the eighth.
The red-hot New York Yankees are the next challenge for the Orioles, who begin a three-game series tonight (7:05) in the Bronx. This is part of a nine-game, 11-day road trip. Former Oriole Mike Mussina has been on a roll. He has won his past three decisions and 12 of 15. Mussina has a score to settle with the Orioles. They battered him for seven runs in two-thirds of an inning May 20 at Yankee Stadium. Guthrie lost to the Yankees on May 28, though he allowed three runs over seven innings for a quality start.