BALTIMORE (AP) - Given the results of his previous outing, Joel Pineiro showed vast improvement on the mound for the Los Angeles Angels.
Well, at least the numbers were better.
Pineiro yielded 11 hits in 5 1-3 innings, and the Angels stumbled offensively for the most part in a 3-2 loss to the Baltimore Orioles on Saturday night.
Six days earlier, Pineiro gave up eight runs and got only one out in a loss to Oakland. Against Baltimore, he kept the damage to three runs, but every inning was a battle.
``J.P. really struggled to be honest with you,' manager Mike Scioscia said. ``The ball was up, he was behind a lot of counts, he really had trouble repeating pitches to put hitters away. It just didn't seem like he was able to take control of the game.'
Pineiro (5-5) concurred.
``I've got to get back to getting the ball down,' he said. ``I feel good. It was up, everything. Slider, curveball, everything was up. It's just a matter of getting back out there and working down in the zone.'
At least Pineiro got into the sixth inning. Against Oakland, the right-hander didn't make it out of the first.
``I think tonight he kept us in the game even though he struggled with some things,' Scioscia said. ``Hopefully when he gets refined, he gets location he gets a little crispness back on his stuff, the results will be more like what we're used to.'
Adam Jones homered and had two RBIs, and J.J. Hardy had three singles as part of Baltimore's 13-hit attack. The Orioles got at least one hit in every inning except the eighth but were victimized by four double plays.
Brad Bergesen (2-6) allowed two runs, six hits and two walks in six innings to earn his first win since May 14. He's 2-0 lifetime against the Angels and 15-23 against everyone else.
Jim Johnson and Koji Uehara each pitched a scoreless inning before Kevin Gregg got three outs for his 16th save, striking out Howie Kendrick to end the game with the potential tying run at second base.
Vernon Wells hit his second homer in two games, a two-run drive in the first inning, but Los Angeles didn't score again. Erick Aybar had three hits for the Angels, whose three-game winning streak ended.
The Angels broke on top in the first inning when Bobby Abreu drew a two-out walk and Wells slammed an 0-2 pitch into the left-field seats. It was his 34th career homer against the Orioles, including 32 when he played with Toronto.
``The plan was to score early,' Wells said. ``You've got to add on and we didn't after that.'
Following his horrid performance against Oakland, Pineiro was hopeful of getting off to a good start. He promptly gave up a leadoff single to Hardy, who was thrown out attempting to stretch it into a double.
That began a series of missed opportunities by the Orioles, who had seven hits over the first four innings but only one run - on Jones' 17th homer. It was only the second run allowed by Los Angeles pitchers over a span of 26 innings.
Baltimore finally brought home a couple of runners in the fifth. Robert Andino and Craig Tatum singled, Nick Markakis hit an RBI single and Jones followed with a run-scoring fly to left for a 3-2 lead.
NOTES: Temperature at game time was announced at 102 degrees, a drop from 104 degrees on Friday night. ... The Angels were 0 for 2 trying to steal against Tatum. One of the victims was Aybar, who is now 20 for 23. ... LA fell to 19-19 in one-run games. Baltimore is 14-9.
The Associated Press News Service
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