Steve Pearce’s RBI single with two outs in the 10th inning lifted the Orioles to a 5-4 victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Saturday. Baltimore also got homers from Manny Machado, J.J. Hardy and Nolan Reimold.
”That was a good debut for us. I’m real proud of Freddy,” manager Buck Showalter said. ”He was a difference-maker today. But that’s Freddy. That’s what he’s been doing for a long, long time. He just kept getting us off the field. I mean, day game after a night game and the number of games we’re played on the road, there’s less than crisp legs.
”I heard everybody in Norfolk raving about what a good teammate he was down there and how impressed they were by the way he carried himself. So you can see why people want him around.”
Garcia allowed two runs and three hits over 6 2/3 innings in his Orioles debut after getting staked to a 4-0 lead. The 36-year-old right-hander took a no-hitter into the seventh before Erick Aybar led off with a looping single to center. Mark Trumbo then drove a 2-1 delivery into the left field bullpen for his eighth homer and fifth in six games.
”I’ve been waiting for this start and this opportunity and I had to make it happen,” Garcia said. ”I had to throw strikes against this team because they’re pretty good. I was throwing my sinker early and working fast. That was the key. Then I was throwing my other stuff and changing speeds like I always do. I tried to make a good pitch (On Aybar) and he hit a good pitch.”
Former Angels right-hander Darren O’Day relieved Garcia after a single by Alberto Callaspo and struck out Howie Kendrick to end the seventh. But in the eighth, the right-hander gave up a bunt single by Hank Conger and a walk to pinch-hitter Scott Cousins, and both advanced on a sacrifice bunt by J.B. Shuck. Conger scored on Aybar’s groundout and Mike Trout delivered the tying run, fighting off a 2-2 pitch and fisting it over the head of first baseman Pearce for an RBI single.
”I thought Darren had a lot of borderline pitches work against him,” Showalter said. ”He made a great pitch to Trout, and he just fisted it over the infield. So it’s hard to fault him.”
Garcia began spring training with San Diego after signing a minor league contract in January, and was 1-4 with an 8.71 ERA in six Cactus League starts before the Padres released him on March 24. The Orioles signed him three days later and assigned him to Triple-A Norfolk, where he went 4-0 with a 2.67 ERA in five starts.
”With San Diego I was terrible in spring training, but that’s part of the game,” Garcia said. ”I went down to Triple-A and figures things out. I worked on my sinker and my other pitches. The most important thing is to throw first-pitch strikes – because when you get behind, that’s when you get hurt.”
Garrett Richards (1-3) making his first relief appearance after five starts in place of the injured Jered Weaver, gave up a leadoff single through the box by Adam Jones. Jones was forced on a grounder by Reimold who advanced to second on Hardy’s grounder before Pearce lined an 0-1 pitch to right field for the deciding run.
”It’s about guys stepping up. That’s what this team’s about – guys getting an opportunity and seizing it,” winning pitcher Tommy Hunter said. ”It’s going to be a different guy every day.”
Hunter (1-1) pitched one inning to get the win.
Angels righty Tommy Hanson gave up three runs, seven hits and two homers over five innings and worked with runners on base in each one. It was his first start since last Monday night at Oakland, when he left after six innings with a 7-2 lead and the Angels lost 10-8 in 19.
”I was just battling,” Hanson said. ”Early on I got hit with two homers and I had to battle throughout those five innings. I know I didn’t have my best stuff. I located some pitches at times, and then other times I didn’t. After the second, I really tried to put it in gear and find that second gear. I thought I made some good pitches in certain situations, and then other situations I didn’t.”
Halos right fielder and cleanup hitter Josh Hamilton, whose batting average slipped to .208 after he went 0 for 4 with three strikeouts on Friday night as the designated hitter, was not in the starting lineup. He pinch hit for Brendan Harris in the 10th and flied out to left field.
Machado, whose 11-game hitting streak ended Friday night, lined Hanson’s 2-0 delivery into the bullpen. Hardy homered into the same location on the first pitch he saw from the right-hander, who gave up a career-worst 27 last season with Atlanta and has surrendered six homers in his first five starts with the Angels — all solo shots.
Baltimore got its third run on a sacrifice fly in the fifth by Reimold, who made it 4-0 in the seventh with a solo homer against rookie Dane De La Rosa.
RHP Zach Clark, who made his major league debut on Wednesday at Seattle, was designated for assignment by the Orioles to clear a roster spot for Garcia. … Baltimore 1B Chris Davis, who leads the team in average, homers and RBI, had an MRI exam Saturday morning after injuring his right knee running out a groundball in the fifth inning Friday night. … Flaherty, starting at 2B, was shaken up in a collision near the foul line with right fielder Nick Markakis, who caught Aybar’s flyball for the first out of the fourth inning. But Flaherty stayed in the game after getting checked over by a trainer. … Jones had two stolen bases against Hanson, who has yielded 101 steals since 2010.