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Facing O's again, Bridwell keeps Angels in game

Rookie making an impact on club's playoff drive
MLB.com

BALTIMORE -- Long after Parker Bridwell exited against the team that traded him away in April, the Angels took the lead on pinch-hitter Cameron Maybin's RBI single in the eighth, extinguished a rally on another Andrelton Simmons defensive gem and held on despite Baltimore putting the go-ahead run on base in the ninth. In terms of game headlines, the starting pitcher's doesn't make the cut in Sunday's 5-4 win.

There's no forgetting Bridwell's impact on Los Angeles' pennant race surge since being elevated to the Major League level even if his name and game meant "nothing" to Angels manager Mike Scioscia when Los Angeles acquired the 26-year-old Minor Leaguer.

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BALTIMORE -- Long after Parker Bridwell exited against the team that traded him away in April, the Angels took the lead on pinch-hitter Cameron Maybin's RBI single in the eighth, extinguished a rally on another Andrelton Simmons defensive gem and held on despite Baltimore putting the go-ahead run on base in the ninth. In terms of game headlines, the starting pitcher's doesn't make the cut in Sunday's 5-4 win.

There's no forgetting Bridwell's impact on Los Angeles' pennant race surge since being elevated to the Major League level even if his name and game meant "nothing" to Angels manager Mike Scioscia when Los Angeles acquired the 26-year-old Minor Leaguer.

View Full Game Coverage

Bridwell (7-1, 2.92 ERA) didn't earn the win, but the right-hander held his own despite facing Baltimore's potent lineup for the second time in two weeks. He allowed four runs -- two earned -- on six hits including one homer with one walk over five-plus innings. Bridwell stymied the Orioles at home on Aug. 8, allowing one run and six hits with zero walks for the win.

Video: LAA@BAL: Bridwell induces inning-ending double play

"It's tough facing a lineup for a second time. He really pitched well," Scioscia said. "As the game went on he started to lose some of the feel for his changeup. Parker did a good job, got us to a certain point in the game."

That point was the sixth inning. With Los Angeles leading 4-1, Bridwell faced four batters in the sixth inning and didn't record an out. Chalk up a portion of that dynamic to a throwing error by second baseman Cliff Pennington, who went for the lead runner instead of the safe out at first.

Manny Machado's single loaded the bases. Jonathan Schoop's two-run single followed as did Bridwell's exit. Mark Trumbo's ground-rule double off Keynan Middleton tied the score 4-4.

"It's one of those ones where you have to look back and just say you kept the team in the game," Bridwell said. "Had a rough inning, and it kind of got away from me with the bases-loaded and no outs. Made some pitches and had some bad luck, but that's baseball. That's the way it is. Just have to get past it and try to minimize the damage."

Bridwell's presence has helped minimize the loss of several pitchers this season. Few would have assumed that when Los Angeles acquired him from Baltimore on April 17. Scioscia admitted pre-game he knew "nothing" about Bridwell before the trade, but that some in the organization were "very excited" to land him.

Bridwell has allowed two runs or fewer in 10 of 12 starts with Los Angeles this season.

Video: LAA@BAL: Bridwell reacts quickly to snag a liner

"Maybe he's the one guy that's come up and lived up to the performance. It's been huge for our rotation," Scioscia said. "We're excited to have him, and he's been a big part of our resurgence back into the race."

Over eight Minor League seasons, Bridwell's record is 14 games under .500 (33-47) with a 4.74 ERA. Some might think he's getting by on unfamiliarity. The Orioles saw him recently and had no answer through five innings other than a Chris Davis solo home run.

"You've got to locate your fastball in different counts. You can't pitch them the same way you pitched them the first game," Bridwell said. "I've got to execute my pitches. In certain counts, I was able to do that and keep my team in it. Huge win for us."

As for facing the team that traded him, Bridwell said there was a "little adrenaline going" in the previous meeting, "but it's part of the game. It's business."

He's been all business for the most part with the Angels, and boy are they excited he's on their side. 

Ben Standig is a contributor to MLB.com and covered the Angels on Sunday.

Los Angeles Angels, Parker Bridwell