BALTIMORE (AP) — Mike Trout celebrated his return to center field with a solo home run and an impressive catch, and the Los Angeles Angels snapped a six-game skid by beating the floundering Baltimore Orioles 7-1 on Friday night.
Martin Maldonado also homered for Los Angeles, Andrelton Simmons had four hits and Felix Pena (1-0) allowed five hits over 5 1/3 shutout innings.
Back in the outfield after an ineffective nine-day stretch as a designated hitter, Trout hit his 24th home run in the first inning off David Hess (2-5) to spark the Angels to their first win in a week. The two-time AL MVP reached base three times and ran down a liner in the gap to rob Danny Valencia of a potential fourth-inning double.
Forced to play DH because of a sprained right index finger, Trout went 6 for 28 (.214) with 11 strikeouts and no homers. Before Friday’s game, he said, “It was tough. I’m just happy to get back on the field.”
Like the Mariners before them, Los Angeles found facing the Orioles to be the cure for an extended slump. Earlier this week, Seattle notched a four-game sweep at Camden Yards after coming to town with six losses in seven games.
The Angels were reeling from a three-game sweep in Boston, where they were outscored 22-9, before breezing past the awful Orioles in the opener of a three-game series.
Baltimore owns the worst record in the majors (23-58), and is playing at a pace to lose 116 games. The Orioles have dropped 16 of 17 at home and are 0-14 against the AL West.
Los Angeles led 3-0 before pulling away with a three-run sixth. Simmons started the uprising with a double and Kole Calhoun contributed a sacrifice fly.
TRIBUTE TO VICTIMS
The Orioles placed five lilies at the press box seat reserved for The Capital Gazette. Five employees of the newspaper were shot and killed Thursday, including long-time sports writer John McNamara, who was shifted to the news side a few years ago but was still an occasional visitor to the press box. The team also held a moment of silence before the game in honor of all five victims.
Angels: SS Zack Cozart underwent surgery on Friday in Los Angeles to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder. Cozart decided on surgery after experiencing continued discomfort and following a second opinion. … Reliever Jake Jewell will have surgery Saturday to repair a fractured right leg, an injury he sustained covering home plate Wednesday against the Red Sox.
Orioles: Reliever Darren O’Day (left hamstring strain) was moved from the 10-day disabled list to the 60-day DL. He is considering surgery, which would probably end his season.
The Orioles selected the contracts of relievers Paul Fry and Paul Meisinger from Triple-A Norfolk and optioned pitchers Jimmy Yacabonis and Yefry Ramirez to the same club. In addition, INF Corban Joseph was designated for assignment. Fry and Meisinger both made their major league debuts in this game.
Angels: Tyler Skaggs (6-5, 2.69 ERA), the starter Saturday, has gone seven innings and notched eight strikeouts in each of his last three outings.
Orioles: Andrew Cashner (2-8, 4.70) makes his sixth attempt at recording his third win. He has one victory since April 5.
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