|L.A. Angels (34-22) «||0||3||2||1||1||0||0||0||x||7||7||0|
Saunders pitched well again in an emergency start for the ailing Bartolo Colon, Mike Napoli hit a two-run homer after watching one get taken away from teammate Erick Aybar, and the Angels beat the Baltimore Orioles 7-4 on Saturday night.
After the game the AL West leaders announced that Saunders (3-0) would be optioned back to Triple-A Salt Lake to make room for left fielder Garret Anderson, who was to be activated from the disabled list Sunday. Anderson worked out Saturday at Angel Stadium after a three-game minor league rehab stint with Class-A Rancho Cucamonga.
Saunders allowed two runs and four hits in six innings, striking out none and walking three. It was the left-hander's first start in the majors since April 20 in Anaheim, when he pitched six scoreless innings in an 8-4 victory against Seattle.
Saunders was optioned to Salt Lake the following day when Colon came off the disabled list.
"It's a little easier this time," Saunders said. "It caught me by surprise last time, but it's just one of those business decisions. It's disappointing every time when they send you right back down. So when you get the chance to pitch up here, you try to make the most of it. I know it's a business and I know my place, so I'll be ready at any point in the season. And whenever they want me, they can come get me."
Steve Trachsel (4-4) threw 67 pitches over three innings, allowing five runs, five hits and four walks in his shortest outing with the Orioles. Last Monday, the right-hander needed just 104 pitches in a complete-game victory at Kansas City. This was only the second time in 12 starts this season that Trachsel allowed more than three earned runs -- and just the sixth time in his last 32 outings.
"My location wasn't real good and I was pitching behind in the count from the start of the game," Trachsel said. "You have four or five of these a year where you don't feel good and you try to battle through it. But I wasn't able to do it. It wasn't mechanics at all. I just wasn't sharp."
Orioles right fielder Nick Markakis made the defensive play of the game in the third inning, leaping over the short fence in the right field corner and into the first row of seats to rob Aybar of what would have been his first major league home run.
"He put a good swing on it, and it surprised me because I had him played the other way," Markakis said. "I was just trying to get back to the spot and get under it. It felt great."
But two pitches later, all Markakis could do was watch as Napoli drove Trachsel's fastball over the wall in right-center with a man on to give the Angels a 5-2 lead.
Scott Williamson relieved Trachsel, giving up a sacrifice fly in the fourth to Orlando Cabrera and an RBI single in the fifth to Chone Figgins -- who is 8-for-11 in three games after sitting out the previous two because of a prolonged slump.
Baltimore opened the scoring with Hernandez's double. But the Angels responded with three in the bottom half against Trachsel, who needed 37 pitches to get out of the inning after retiring the side in order in the first. He minimized the damage by getting Vladimir Guerrero to fly out with the bases loaded.
|Mike Napoli swats a two-run blast in the third to help the Angels take two in a row from the O's. (AP)|
|Players of the Game|
|Brian Roberts, 2B||4||0||0||0||0||0||2||.312|
|Jay Payton, CF||4||0||1||0||0||0||0||.295|
|Nick Markakis, RF||4||0||0||0||0||1||1||.261|
|Miguel Tejada, SS||4||0||1||0||0||0||1||.308|
|Kevin Millar, DH||2||1||0||0||2||0||0||.257|
|Melvin Mora, 3B||2||2||1||0||1||0||2||.240|
|Ramon Hernandez, C||4||1||2||4||0||0||1||.262|
|Jay Gibbons, LF||4||0||0||0||0||0||1||.210|
|Chris Gomez, 1B||3||0||1||0||0||0||1||.300|
|a- Aubrey Huff, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.249|
|a-flied out for Gomez in the 9th|
|2B - Jay Payton (6, Saunders), Ramon Hernandez (7, Saunders)|
|HR - Ramon Hernandez (3, Carrasco)|
|RBI - Ramon Hernandez 4 (26)|
|PB - Ramon Hernandez (3)|
|E - Ramon Hernandez (3, Throwing)|
|Steve Trachsel (L,4-4)||3||5||5||5||4||0||1||3.89|
|WP - Scott Williamson (1)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Steve Trachsel 67-35, Scott Williamson 49-27, Todd Williams 30-21, Danys Baez 16-7|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Steve Trachsel 5-3, Scott Williamson 1-3, Todd Williams 4-0, Danys Baez 1-2|
|Batters Faced - Steve Trachsel 17, Scott Williamson 11, Todd Williams 6, Danys Baez 4|
|Los Angeles Angels|
|Reggie Willits, LF||4||0||0||0||1||1||2||.326|
|Orlando Cabrera, SS||3||0||0||1||1||0||1||.318|
|Vladimir Guerrero, RF||4||0||0||0||0||0||4||.349|
|Gary Matthews Jr., CF||2||1||1||0||2||1||0||.288|
|Casey Kotchman, 1B||3||1||0||0||1||1||2||.300|
|Erick Aybar, 2B||4||1||1||1||0||0||1||.252|
|Mike Napoli, C||3||3||2||2||1||1||0||.242|
|Shea Hillenbrand, DH||3||0||1||1||1||1||1||.240|
|Nathan Haynes, PR-DH||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.500|
|Chone Figgins, 3B||4||1||2||2||0||0||1||.198|
|HR - Mike Napoli (6, Trachsel)|
|SF - Orlando Cabrera (3)|
|RBI - Orlando Cabrera (27), Erick Aybar (12), Mike Napoli 2 (17), Shea Hillenbrand (18), Chone Figgins 2 (8)|
|2-OUT RBI - Mike Napoli 2 (5), Chone Figgins (1)|
|SB - Reggie Willits 2 (13, 2nd base off Trachsel/Hernandez, 2nd base off Williamson/Hernandez), Gary Matthews Jr. (9, 2nd base off Williamson/Hernandez), Mike Napoli (4, 3rd base off Williamson/Hernandez), Chone Figgins (6, 2nd base off Williamson/Hernandez)|
|CS - Gary Matthews Jr. (3, 2nd base by Trachsel/Hernandez)|
|Team LOB - 7|
|DP - Cabrera-Aybar-Kotchman|
|Los Angeles Angels|
|Joe Saunders (W,3-0)||6||4||2||2||3||0||0||2.22|
|HBP - Mora (by Joe Saunders)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Joe Saunders 99-56, Dustin Moseley 27-15, Hector Carrasco 12-8|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Joe Saunders 10-7, Dustin Moseley 3-2|
|Batters Faced - Joe Saunders 25, Dustin Moseley 6, Hector Carrasco 5|
|Attendance - 42190|
|Game Time - 2:52|
|Temperature - 69|
|Umpires - Home - Kerwin Danley, First Base - Brian Knight, Second Base - Dana DeMuth, Third Base - Derryl Cousins|