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Jerome Williams pitches Angels past Orioles

By Associated Press


ANAHEIM, Calif. » It'd been a long time since former Waipahu High star Jerome Williams started a game in the major leagues, even longer since he'd won one.

Williams pitched seven stellar innings to get his first big league victory in almost six years, Peter Bourjos homered for the third straight game and Howie Kendrick also connected, leading the Los Angeles Angels over the Baltimore Orioles 7-1 on Sunday for a three-game sweep.

"I feel like crying," Williams said while his 2-year-old son, Ty, sat perched in a folding chair next to him with the game ball in his hands. "It's been a long road. I'm just speechless. There was so much emotion out there. Being away from the game for a long time, I dedicated this to my mother and my family."

Williams, a first-round draft pick by San Francisco in 1999, hadn't started a game in the majors since May 15, 2007, with Washington. He began this season with the Lancaster Barnstormers of the independent Atlantic League before signing a free-agent contract with the Angels on June 16. He spent last season playing in Taiwan after leaving the Oakland Athletics.

"When I was in Taiwan last year, I never thought I would be here right now playing here," said Williams, who uses a pink glove to honor his late mother, who died of breast cancer. "I was thinking about quitting, but I forced myself not to. My family helped me out and told me to just keep on going and never give up. And it paid off.

"The difference was trusting myself and learning everything that I was supposed to learn back in the day," he added. "I was the type of guy that would nitpick everywhere, but now I'm just going after hitters."

Williams (1-0) posted his first victory in the majors since Sept. 25, 2005, with the Chicago Cubs, after losing his previous eight decisions. The 29-year-old righty allowed a run and six hits over seven innings, struck out six and walked none. He also escaped a bases-loaded, none-out jam in the fourth, and was staked to a 7-0 lead before giving up a leadoff homer by Matt Wieters in the seventh.

"Everything was working," Williams said. "I was pounding the strike zone, and that's what I do. I got some ground balls and some strikeouts and let my defense play. I'm just trying to do everything I can to help this team win and get to the playoffs."

The Angels' fourth straight victory, coupled with Texas' 10-0 loss at Chicago, put them within four games of the Rangers in the AL West race.

Torii Hunter's hitting streak ended at 18 games

(0-for-5) after Baltimore center fielder Adam Jones robbed him of a home run in the fourth -- two batters after Bourjos extended the Angels' lead to 6-0 lead with a two-run shot. Bourjos became the second Angels player to homer in three straight games, along with Mark Trumbo, who did it in the final three before the All-Star break.

Brian Matusz (1-6) threw 84 pitches over four innings, giving up six runs -- five earned -- and eight hits against an all right-handed lineup that included switch-hitters Maicer Izturis and Erick Aybar.

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BigOpu wrote:
I was wondering what happened to him. Good to hear he's back in the bigs...with a win.
on August 22,2011 | 08:38AM
wayam wrote:
Jerome's father, Willie, is still active in Waipahu Little League. Willie gave Jerome the opportunities and early training that gave him the foundation for his ascent to the major leagues. Willie is very proud of him, but very quietly and modestly goes about helping the young kids today in the hope that others may have the same opportunities as his son. Congratulations, Willie!
on August 22,2011 | 10:07AM
Publicbraddah wrote:
You don't appreciate what you have until you lose it. That's part of the growing up process. Glad to see Jerome back in the majors and appreciating his moment in the sun.
on August 22,2011 | 10:51AM
Isaac wrote:
Good to see my former h.s. classmate still pitchin' in the pro's!
on August 22,2011 | 02:54PM
Isaac wrote:
Good to see my former h.s. classmate still pitchin' in the pro's!
on August 22,2011 | 02:54PM
aarondad wrote:
Good to see Jerome back, he was very good in high school, got to see him in the first Sugar Mill Classic at Hans L'Orange Field and he did a job against, I would say the most talented senior class to come out of Hawaii high school, that included Shane Victorino of St. Anthony now with the Phillies.
on August 22,2011 | 05:30PM
Wazdat wrote:
Good to hear he is back and doing well....
on August 23,2011 | 04:07PM
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