The Angels weren't up to their old tricks Thursday.

Under normal circumstances, that's a good thing.

Thursday night's 5-1 loss to the Baltimore Orioles was anything but normal save for the loss column, where the Angels have resided in five of their last six games.

Shaky starting pitching and a prosciutto-thin bullpen? Not a problem. Joe Blanton, who entered the game with the fourth-highest earned run average in the American League, pitched eight solid innings and allowed just two earned runs.

"He pushes the action. His pace is awesome," Angels designated hitter Mark Trumbo said of Blanton. "It's just a shame we couldn't give him any help."

Orioles starter, Anaheim native Chris Tillman, allowed just three hits, all singles, in eight innings. Only Albert Pujols' 480 th career home run, a solo shot to left field off reliever Jim Johnson in the ninth, allowed the Angels to avoid getting shut out for the third time this season.

Combined with some untimely errors, the Angels merely found a new way to lose.

"Early on if we got that run in the first inning, a couple other situations, we could have tilted it," manager Mike Scioscia said.

For a team that averaged 4.3 runs per game in the season's first 27 games, one run might not be a problem. Against Tillman, one shot at home plate was all the Angels got.