Guthrie wins for first time in 16 starts as O's top Angels

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) -- Jeremy Guthrie finally got what he spent more than nine months searching for -- a victory.

Guthrie won for the first time in 16 starts, Nick Markakis and Melvin Mora each drove in two runs, and the Baltimore Orioles beat the Los Angeles Angels 4-3 Friday night to kick off a 10-game road trip.

Guthrie (1-3) got his first win since beating the Yankees 4-2 at Baltimore on July 27. He allowed two runs and three hits over seven innings.

"He got his off-speed stuff over," manager Dave Trembley said. "When they start swinging at fastballs and fouling them off, it seems like they're right on them. So he's got to go to something else. He kept the ball down and kept it in the ballpark. That's what you've got to do against this kind of club."

The right-hander, who had surrendered 26 home runs in 139 innings over his previous 23 games, allowed only one hit after the first inning.

"I focused on keeping the ball down," Guthrie said. "I still made some mistakes, up, but fortunately they didn't leave the yard. I attack the zone -- and as a byproduct, there are going to be some hard-hit balls. I try to not let that affect me, because the moment I let the home runs affect me is when I change the way I pitch. Then you get big rallies."

Guthrie's only other start at Angel Stadium was June 3, 2007, when he gave up one hit over the first seven innings, left with a 3-2 lead after eight, and had to settle for a no-decision after Vladimir Guerrero hit a game-winning two-run homer in the ninth against Chris Ray.

"He's a tough pitcher," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "He's always been tough. He's got great stuff. We didn't get too many good looks at him early."

George Sherrill pitched a shaky ninth for his 11th save, tying the Angels' Francisco Rodriguez for the major league lead.

Singles by Torii Hunter and Garret Anderson put runners at the corners with none out. Mora fielded Erick Aybar's grounder behind third and tried for the out at home, but Hunter stepped on the plate a split-second before Hernandez's tag, making it a one-run game.

"I had no chance at first base," Mora said. "I know [Aybar] can fly, so I didn't want to put myself in a situation where I could throw the ball away, the guy scores and the other guy is at third base. So I wanted to throw home to try and get the out and keep it first and second."

Brandon Wood advanced the runners with a sacrifice bunt, but Sherrill retired pinch-hitter Juan Rivera on a popup and got Reggie Willits to pop out to second after an intentional walk to Chone Figgins.

"You've got your closer on the mound, so you've got to show some confidence in him," Trembley said. "The way Figgins and Willits take pitches, you don't want to walk the run in. I felt if someone was going to beat us, it was going to be Figgins. Rivera's been sitting over there all night, so you've got to go right at him and see if you can get the out."

Jered Weaver (2-4) gave up four runs and six hits over seven innings for the Angels. He struck out six and walked two.

The Orioles took a 3-1 lead with a pair of runs in the third on a groundout by Markakis and Mora's two-out bunt single. Mora made it 4-1 in the fifth with an RBI single after Markakis doubled with two out.

This was the second time that Markakis batted in the No. 2 spot, after hitting third for most of April. Trembley wanted to shuffle his lineup -- not only to jump-start a sagging offense, but also to get Guthrie some much-needed run support. The Orioles are 13-3 when scoring four runs, and 3-10 when getting three or fewer.

"We haven't been swinging the bats great as a team, so he mixed it up and we were able to push enough runs across," left fielder Jay Payton said.

Guthrie could have gotten out of the sixth inning unscathed. But he misplayed Casey Kotchman's comebacker with one out and a man on, and had to settle for the out at first instead of an inning-ending double play. Hunter, who was 3-for-3, followed with an RBI single through the box that made it 4-2.

Hunter then stole second with Anderson at the plate and the Orioles right-hander peering in for a sign. But Guthrie came back to retire Anderson on a groundout.

Game notes
Markakis reached base with a hit or walk in 23 straight games before going 0-for-4 Thursday night. ... Orioles 2B Brian Roberts was 0-for-5 with two strikeouts, ending his 11-game hitting streak. ... The Orioles are 8-2 in one-run decisions, after going 13-31 in those situations last season.