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Angels fall short in 4-2 loss to Orioles

Los Angeles AngelsSportsBaseballMajor League BaseballIan StewartJonathan SchoopJ.J. Hardy
Angels reliever Mike Morin struggles in 4-2 loss to Baltimore Orioles

KEY MOMENT: The game was scoreless with two out in the sixth inning, and the Angels shifted the infield toward first base against the left-handed Chris Davis. That meant that his softly hit, check-swing ground ball toward third base would be an infield hit, not the third out. J.J. Hardy doubled Davis home, Jonathan Schoop followed with a two-run homer, and the Orioles had a 3-0 lead, and all the runs they would need.

AT THE PLATE: Mike Trout hit a two-run homer to account for all the Angels' scoring. Trout has 24 home runs in 369 at-bats; he finished last season with 27 homers in 589 at-bats. The only AL players with more home runs: Jose Abreu (29) of the Chicago White Sox; Nelson Cruz (28) of the Orioles; and Edwin Encarnacion (26) of the Toronto Blue Jays.

ON THE MOUND: Hector Santiago pulled off a difficult feat. He pitched five innings without giving up a run, but he needed 99 pitches to do it. Rookie reliever Mike Morin took the loss, giving up three runs and three hits in one inning. Morin's earned-run average jumped from 1.98 to 2.63.

TROUT RUNNING: Trout has not stolen a base since June 24, a span of 24 games. This is not by design, Manager Mike Scioscia said, but because opposing pitchers are keeping Trout from running. “Teams are going to extraordinary looks to try and control our running game,” Scioscia said. “We are certainly not trying to stifle anything.” Trout, who stole 49 bases in 2012 and 33 last year, is on pace to steal 17 this year.

TROUT TALKING: To the Angels, the sight of Trout challenging an umpire on called strikes — as he did twice Monday — was something new. “Mike never says anything,” Scioscia said. “For Mike to have voiced displeasure with some calls, you know the plate might have been a little wide.” Scioscia said both the Angels and Orioles had the same issue but disputed that Trout's extraordinary talent should get him the benefit of the doubt on a close call. “I don't think anybody is owed the outside corner,” Scioscia said. “If it's over the plate, it's a strike.”

AND THIS: The Angels assigned infielder Ian Stewart outright to triple-A Salt Lake. Stewart batted .176 in 24 games for the Angels.

UP NEXT: The Angels' Jered Weaver (10-6, 3.43 ERA) faces the Orioles' Chris Tillman (7-5, 4.03) on Wednesday at 7 p.m. at Angel Stadium. TV: FS West. Radio: 830, 1330.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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Los Angeles AngelsSportsBaseballMajor League BaseballIan StewartJonathan SchoopJ.J. Hardy
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