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Angels' Jerome Williams triumphs in his major league return

The recently acquired starter impresses in his first start since 2007 as Angels defeat Orioles, 7-1, to complete three-game sweep.

August 21, 2011|By Ben Bolch
  • Starter Jerome Williams delivers a pitch during the second inning of the Angels' 7-1 victory over the Baltimore Orioles on Sunday.
Starter Jerome Williams delivers a pitch during the second inning of the… (Gary Friedman / Los Angeles…)

It was a victory nearly six years in the making.

Jerome Williams made his return as a major league starter a triumphant one Sunday at Angel Stadium, pitching seven strong innings to lead the Angels to a 7-1 victory over Baltimore that completed a three-game sweep.

Williams allowed six hits and one run -- on Matt Wieters' seventh-inning homer -- to record his first victory since beating Houston as a member of the Chicago Cubs on Sept. 25, 2005. The Angels pulled to within four games of Texas in the American League West after the Rangers lost to the Chicago White Sox.

Fans stood and cheered Williams as he walked off the field for the last time in the middle of the seventh inning. Williams, making his first start since early in the 2007 season, pointed skyward to commemorate the moment.

The former first-round draft pick of the San Francisco Giants had endured stints overseas, in the minor leagues and in two independent leagues since his last start, his career beset by injuries and weight problems.

He was perfect through the first three innings before quickly getting into trouble in the fourth. Singles by J.J. Hardy, Nick Markakis and Adam Jones loaded the bases with nobody out.

But Williams (1-0) struck out former Angel Vladimir Guerrero on a 91-mph fastball and got Wieters to hit into a 3-6-1 double play to end the inning. Williams struck out six and walked only one.

Peter Bourjos hit a two-run homer -- his third consecutive game with a homer -- and Howie Kendrick also homered for the Angels. But Torii Hunter went 0 for 5 to end his 18-game hitting streak.

Baltimore's Blake Davis, making his first major league start at third base one day after Josh Bell made a key 12th inning error, committed two errors--in the first two innings. He added a wild throw past first baseman Wieters in the eighth to finish with three errors.

ben.bolch@latimes.com

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