Jered Weaver's pitch count soared. He looked fatigued. The right-hander had given up more earned runs than he had in 21 of 23 games this season and more hits than he had given up in 12 of those games.
And then the second inning started.
Outfielder Felix Pie became the fourth player in Orioles history to hit for the cycle -- and the first since Aubrey Huff did it against the Angels on June 29, 2007 -- and Baltimore tied a club record with nine doubles.
The Orioles set season highs for hits (19) and runs, pinning eight runs and nine hits on Weaver, whose 3 1/3 -inning start was his worst of the season, and seven runs and seven hits on reliever Shane Loux in the seventh.
Baltimore right-hander Chris Tillman, a Fountain Valley High graduate making his fourth big league start, gave up three earned runs and seven hits in 6 2/3 innings to gain the win.
As is the norm after such ugly losses, Manager Mike Scioscia said the Angels must "turn the page." This page, they'd prefer to turn and burn.
"Jered was obviously out of sync," Scioscia said. "I don't know if he felt real strong, but he was trying to be real fine, he got behind in counts and had trouble putting guys away. Weav has been throwing the ball well for us. This one wasn't pretty, but we'll move forward."
Unless the pitching staff continues to drag the team down. Superb starting and relief were the backbone of the Angels' playoff runs over the last five years, but their team earned-run average of 4.87 ranks 12th in the American League and 27th overall, and their starting pitching ERA of 4.85 ranks 10th in the AL and 23rd overall.
"We've been a little rough around the edges on the mound," Scioscia said, "but we all feel the ingredients are there on the pitching staff for us to reach our goals."
Weaver (12-4) had won nine of 10 decisions and was coming off wins over Minnesota and Texas in which he had a career-high 11 strikeouts. He was facing a Baltimore team that was 7-19 since the All-Star break and had scored seven runs in three games against Oakland this week.
Didn't matter. The Orioles rocked Weaver in the first, an inning in which they sent 11 to the plate and got two hits, a double and a single, from leadoff batter Brian Roberts.
After the Angels scored twice in the first, Huff tied the score with a two-run double in the bottom of the first. Melvin Mora had an RBI single, Pie had an RBI double, and Cesar Izturis' two-run single made it 6-2.
Weaver needed 38 pitches to finish the inning, and by the time he was pulled with one out in the fourth, he had thrown 87 pitches.
"It was just one of those games," Weaver said. "I didn't have command, I fell behind, I left pitches up, and they came out swinging."
Especially Pie, a .234 hitter who doubled in the first, homered in the third, and singled and tripled in the seventh, punctuating his cycle by pumping his arm several times toward the Orioles' dugout, a celebration that drew an icy glare from Scioscia as the manager came out to make a pitching change.
"I want to apologize to Mike Scioscia and the Angels," Pie said. "I showed too much emotion on the field."
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Players that have hit for the cycle this season:
*--* Aug. 14 Felix Pie, Baltimore vs. Angels Aug. 10 Troy Tulowitzki, Colorado vs. Chicago Cubs Aug. 2 Melky Cabrera, Yankees at Chicago White Sox May 22 Michael Cuddyer, Minnesota vs. Milwaukee April 17 Jason Kubel, Minnesota vs. Angels April 15 Ian Kinsler, Texas vs. Baltimore April 13 Orlando Hudson, Dodgers vs. San Francisco *--*