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Williams allows five runs as Angels drop finale

Trout connects for fifth homer of season and steals fifth base

ANAHEIM -- The Angels answered the Orioles early on Sunday, but for the second day in a row, they were unable to come from behind late, falling 8-4 at Angel Stadium.

"We have to pitch better," Angels' manager Mike Scioscia said. "If we're not going to get it done on the mound, it's going to be uphill all season. You can't come back every night against good pitching."

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The Angels did manage to come back from Baltimore's runs in the first and fourth innings, but were shut down after Manny Machado's two-run home run in the fifth. Machado's second home run in as many days gave the Orioles a 5-4 lead and ultimately a 3-1 series win.

The loss concludes a four-game homestand in which the Angels' bullpen game up eight runs in the three games in which it appeared. The Angels fell to nine games under .500 for the first time since June 30, 2006. Through 31 games, the Angels are 11-20, the same record as in their inaugural 1961 season.

Although he was making his first start of the season, Williams agreed with Scioscia's assessment and feels the pitching staff -- which has 4.78 team ERA, the second worst in all of baseball -- needs to improve.

"We, as a staff, we have to go out there and be better," Williams said. "That's the key right now. We have to be better. The guys that are swinging the bats are coming around, we just have to throw up zeros."

After Williams surrendered a run -- his first in 13 innings pitched -- on a pair of first-inning doubles, the Angels scored three of their own in the bottom half.

The Angels, who entered Sunday's contest hitting .265 with two outs and runners in scoring position, were 3-for-4 in that situation in the first inning on Sunday.

Mike Trout jump-started the offense when he collected a infield single and stole second base. Alberto Callaspo, Howie Kendrick and Hank Conger then gave the Angels a 3-1 lead with consecutive two-out RBI singles.

But aside from Trout's solo home run in the fourth, the Angels remained scoreless for the rest of the game.

"On the offensive side, I thought we pressured those guys a lot," Scioscia said. "Early on, we got some hits with runners in scoring position. Later, they made pitches and got out of it."

Orioles starter Jason Hammel scattered six runners over the next five innings and kept his offense in the game long enough for them to pull it out.

"One thing I've learned over the years is that if you grind it out with a good-hitting ball club, you're going to have the chance to come out with a 'W'," Hammel said. "That's what these guys do for me."

Williams pitched 4 1/3 innings and only gave up four hits, but they all went for extra bases as he gave up two doubles and two home runs, raising his ERA from 1.69 to 3.16 in the process.

"At times this afternoon he was terrific, but the walks and the home runs hurt him," Scioscia said. "He's a guy that usually is in the zone, making guys hit the ball, keeping the ball in the park and down. Some things got away from him and it cost him."

Pitching with a 3-1 lead in the fourth, Williams gave up a two-run home run to J.J. Hardy. Leading 4-3 in the fifth, he surrendered the two-run shot to Machado.

The Angels maintain their upcoming six-game road trip is not of any extra importance -- maintaining a one-game-at-a-time approach -- but the team has lost eight of its last 10 road games.

"We just need to win games," Kendrick said. "Nobody here wants to lose. I think every guy is out there competing, giving their best, so eventually, at some point, it's got to turn around."

William Boor is an associate reporter for

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Alberto Callaspo, Hank Conger, Howie Kendrick, Mike Trout, Jerome Williams