By Kevin Baxter
8:00 PM EDT, May 5, 2013
The losses continue coming with historic frequency for the Angels, who equaled a franchise record for futility Sunday when they fell to the Baltimore Orioles, 8-4.
The loss, the ninth in 12 games, leaves the Angels with only 11 victories after 31 games, matching the worst start in franchise history. And only five weeks into the season it leaves them facing what would appear to be a crucial six-game trip to Houston and Chicago beginning Tuesday.
If the Angels can't stop their slide against the Astros and White Sox, who are a combined 21 games below .500, what has already been a bleak season figures to get quite a bit bleaker.
The Orioles put Sunday's win away in the eighth inning when they turned a one-run game into a rout. The rally started when reliever Dane De La Rosa walked the first batter he faced on four pitches, and things went downhill from there, with an error and four consecutive singles producing three runs.
That spoiled a good start by the Angels, who actually led for much of the game. They pounded starter Jason Hammel for three runs and four hits in a 38-pitch first inning that featured consecutive run-scoring singles by Alberto Callaspo, Howie Kendrick and Hank Conger.
For Callaspo the run batted in was his first since April 9 and it helped erase a shaky first inning by pitcher Jerome Williams, who was making his first start of the season for the Angels. Williams gave up doubles to two of the first four batters he faced and Baltimore led, 1-0.
After that the two teams played a brief game of Home Run Derby in which the lead went back and forth.
Williams didn't give up another hit until the fourth inning when J.J. Hardy lined a two-out, two-run home run to left-center field to tie the score one batter after Adam Jones had walked. That tie lasted less than half an inning, though, when Mike Trout put the Angels back on top by hammering a Hammel changeup deep into the rock pile in center field in the bottom of the inning.
Manny Machado answered that in the fifth inning, driving his second home run in as many days into the Orioles bullpen in left field after a one-out walk to Nate McLouth. And when Williams walked the next batter, Nick Markakis, he was gone.
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