Late HRs power Angels over O's

BY foxsports • April 30, 2009

Shane Loux stood in front of his locker with a satisfied look on his face as he prepared to talk about his second major league victory - the first since 2003.

"I don't want to wait six years for the next one, I'll tell you that," the right-hander said. "It's been a long time."

Loux allowed one run in six-plus innings, Torii Hunter and Kendry Morales hit consecutive homers off Koji Uehara in the seventh inning, and the Los Angeles Angels beat the Baltimore Orioles 3-2 Wednesday for a two-game sweep.

Uehara left in the seventh after being struck in the chest by a line drive off the bat of Gary Matthews Jr. After falling to his knees in obvious pain, Baltimore's first Japanese-born player slowly rose to his feet and walked off the field.

The injury was determined to be a bruised sternum. X-rays were negative.

"No pain," Uehara said through an interpreter. "I'm more upset about giving up that home run."

Uehara (2-2) allowed one run and four hits before Hunter led off the seventh with his eighth home run. Morales followed by driving an 0-2 pitch over the center-field wall.

Uehara then retired Howie Kendrick on a fly ball before Matthews hit his line drive.

"I couldn't breathe for a moment, but after that I was fine," Uehara said.

Loux (1-2) gave up five hits in his first victory since Sept. 24, 2003, with Detroit. It was the fourth start of the season for the 29-year-old, who entered with a 6.61 ERA.

Since winning that game with Detroit, Loux spent the 2004 season in the minor leagues and did not play in 2005 after undergoing elbow ligament replacement surgery. He played for Kansas City's minor league system in 2006, pitched briefly for one of Seattle's minor league teams in 2007 and last year pitched in the minors for the Angels before appearing in seven games with the big league club.

"It definitely means a lot to get a win under your belt," manager Mike Scioscia said. "Shane's put in a lot of hard work the last couple years to get to this level and even have an opportunity to pitch in the major leagues. I think he has confidence that his stuff plays in the big leagues. He pitched well, and it's good to see him rewarded."

Jose Arredondo yielded an RBI single to Nick Markakis in the eighth, and Brian Fuentes got three outs for his fifth save - the second in the series.

Los Angeles, which came to town without having won consecutive games, now is on a three-game run.

"It feels good to put a streak together," Hunter said.

Baltimore went 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position. The Orioles have lost 11 of 14 following a 6-2 start. and

The Orioles went up 1-0 in the first inning run but were left wanting more after loading the bases with no outs. Aubrey Huff delivered a sacrifice fly before Luke Scott hit a fly ball and Ty Wigginton popped out.

In the second, Chad Moeller led off with a triple, his first since September 2005. After Felix Pie grounded out to the drawn-up infield, Pie got tagged out in a rundown after Cesar Izturis hit a comebacker to Loux.

Two innings, two wasted opportunities.

"That makes it tough to win," Moeller said. "As players, we know we need to execute in those situations, and we didn't."

After that, Loux changed his approach at the request of Scioscia and pitching coach Mike Butcher.

"I re-evaluated and went out with a different game plan. I wasn't getting my sinker across for strikes and when I was, they were hitting it," he said. "We decided to go more with the cut fastball and slider to set up the sinker."

Los Angeles tied it in the fourth when Maicer Izturis hit a leadoff single and scored on a two-out triple by Morales.


Markakis went 1-for-3 with a walk, extending his hitting streak to 16 games, one short of his career high. He has reached base in 31 straight games, the longest current run in the majors. ... Hunter has eight of LA's 19 home runs. He didn't hit his eighth homer last year until June 9.

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