ANAHEIM -- Baltimore catcher Matt Wieters' three-run homer in the ninth off Angels closer Joe Smith powered the first-place Orioles to their league-leading 14th comeback win of the season Saturday night, a 3-1 victory, at Angel Stadium.Wieters took a 1-0 Smith sinker away and belted it over the left field
ANAHEIM -- Baltimore catcher Matt Wieters' three-run homer in the ninth off Angels closer Joe Smith powered the first-place Orioles to their league-leading 14th comeback win of the season Saturday night, a 3-1 victory, at Angel Stadium.
Wieters took a 1-0 Smith sinker away and belted it over the left field fence, giving the Orioles a series-clinching victory.
"It wasn't supposed to be away," Smith said. "I missed. He didn't." More >
Angels right-hander Matt Shoemaker tossed a gem, throwing 7 1/3 scoreless innings and striking out a career-high 12 batters as the Angels took a 1-0 lead into the ninth.
After recording two outs, Smith gave up a hit and issued a walk before surrendering Wieters' three-run blast. Shoemaker battled Orioles right-hander Kevin Gausman, who matched him frame for frame until Angels third baseman Yunel Escobar laced a RBI single in the seventh to open up the scoring.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
If the Shoe fits: Shoemaker retired the first 14 batters of the ball game before Wieters' double fell in front of a diving Rafael Ortega in left. He was dominant, giving up no runs on three hits. He lowered his ERA from a team-high 8.49 to 6.81.
"That's the best game I feel Matt's pitched [in the Majors]," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "He had purpose, he had a great gameplan" More >
Gausman solid: The Orioles got a quality start from Gausman, who struck out six against one walk, scattered eight hits and allowed just one run in 6 2/3 innings. He settled for a no-decision, and is one of four American League pitchers without a win in at least six starts this year. "That's fine with me, obviously I'll get at least one win this season, I'll guarantee you that," Gausman said.
Not a Petit impact: Angels shortstop Gregorio Petit has turned heads with glove since being called up, but made his presence felt at the plate Saturday against the Orioles. He went 3-for-3 with a walk and a double, scoring the game's first run in the seventh inning on Escobar's RBI single.
The Great Escape: Orioles manager Buck Showalter went to right-hander Brad Brach with the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the seventh, and Brach promptly induced a groundout from Albert Pujols to keep the O's within one run, 1-0.
"That's what's so good about this team. We can go out there and we can get on a roll. Hopefully we can get on a roll for the rest of the year. That'd be fun." -- Shoemaker, on the starting pitching starting to turn around.
"These guys come up big when they need to. They like to make it dramatic." -- Gausman on the Orioles' lineup.
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Shoemaker's career-high 12 strikeouts are the most by an Angels pitcher since right-hander Jered Weaver on Sept. 13, 2014 against Houston. He's also just the third Angels pitcher all-time to record 12 strikeouts and no walks, joining Frank Tanana (twice) and Dan Haren.
The Angels recorded their last out in the top of the third as easily as 1-2-3, literally, as Orioles third baseman Ryan Flaherty's chopper hit off Shoemaker and bounced to catcher Jett Bandy, who threw to first baseman C.J. Cron in time for the out.
Escobar was ejected with one out in the ninth inning by home plate umpire and crew chief Dale Scott for arguing balls and strikes. He was called out on strikes after looking at strike three, which Escobar promptly argued before being tossed for the 10th time in his career.
"Dale Scott's a good umpire, but he obviously had a rough inning," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said of the calls. "It's pretty safe to say that those pitches weren't close, but you can't hang your head on that."
Orioles:Ubaldo Jimenez (2-4, 5.60 ERA) gets the ball for the Orioles on Sunday in the series-finale against the Angels. Jimenez has three quality starts in eight outings this season. First pitch is set for 3:35 p.m. ET.
Angels: Jered Weaver (3-3, 5.76 ERA) looks to rebound after a tough stretch in Sunday's series finale against the Orioles. He gave up four runs over seven innings against the Dodgers Tuesday, and has lost his last three decisions. First pitch is set for 12:35 p.m. PT.
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*Austin Laymance * is a reporter for MLB.com .
Fabian Ardaya is a reporter for MLB.com.