ANAHEIM -- Up until Saturday night, August had not been a friendly month for Bobby Abreu.Through 14 games this month, Abreu was in an 8-for-49 slump as his average fell to its lowest point since mid May at .252. But after Saturday's win over Baltimore, there was evidence that he might be close to turning the corner. Abreu went 2-for-5 with a double and three RBIs against the Orioles and drove in the game-winning run in the bottom of the 12th when he hit a sacrifice fly to deep center field of Baltimore reliever Troy Patton. Throughout the night, Abreu made solid contact, even on the at-bats that ended in an out. Angels manager Mike Scioscia said Abreu's performance could be attributed to a recent adjustment at the plate. "Bobby the other day found something in his swing and worked with [hitting coach Mickey Hatcher] to shorten his hands a little bit," Scioscia said. "They were getting wrapped around his body behind him. He looks like he's getting to pitches easier, and that's a great sign." Abreu's double in the third inning moved him one behind Manny Ramirez on the all-time doubles chart. Abreu's 546 career doubles rank 26th all-time.
Angels manager Mike Scioscia said left-hander Scott Downs' left hamstring was feeling better on Sunday morning, but he did not know if he'd be available to pitch in the finale with the Orioles. Downs aggravated his hamstring warming up during the eighth inning Saturday.
"He kind of was stretching he felt a little tug, and it felt OK," Scioscia said. "When he started throwing, he felt it so we stayed away from him."
Downs is 6-2 with a 1.31 ERA in 41 1/3 innings. Hank Conger was sent to Triple-A Salt Lake last month in large part because of his struggles on defense. In his first start for the Angels since his Minor League stint, Scioscia said Conger looked comfortable behind the plate.
"I think as the game went on, he and Joel [Pineiro] got much better in sync," Scioscia said. "I thought he received the ball well. The one pitchout wasn't totally his fault, the throw got away from him a little bit. He cut the distance OK."
Conger made an immediate defensive impact in the first inning when he effectively blocked the plate on center fielder Torii Hunter's throw home to get Nick Markakis. The Angels entered Sunday with two of the top six hitters in the American League this month. Hunter checked in at No. 2 with a .418 batting average (28-for-67) in August, while Peter Bourjos is sixth at .375. (24-for-64). Hunter entered Sunday riding an 18-game hitting streak.
David Ely is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.