Series Preview: Orioles begin six-game California trip in Anaheim

ANAHEIM — After picking up just their second series win of the 2018 season over the Detroit Tigers, the Baltimore Orioles embark on a six-game road trip to California. The first three games of that stretch take place in Anaheim against the Los Angeles Angels.

The Orioles end the month of April with an 8-20 record, second-worst in the American League with the Kansas City Royals owning a 7-21 record. The Cincinnati Reds have the worst record in the majors at 7-22. While the Orioles find themselves 13 games out of first place in the AL East, the Angels sit third place in a competitive AL West at 16-12. Three teams in the western division own a record above .500, with the Houston Astros up top at 20-10, and the Seattle Mariners a half game ahead of the Angels at 16-11.

Trumbo set to return: The Orioles will activate Mark Trumbo ahead of Tuesday’s series opener. Trumbo will make his season debut after missing the first month with a quadriceps strain. Joey Rickard was optioned on Monday to make room for Trumbo.

Trumbo’s arrival will bring more pressure on manager Buck Showalter to keep Chris Davis out of the lineup. Showalter gave Davis the weekend off and had Trey Mancini fill in at first base. Trumbo has experience at first base, but has also been Baltimore’s starting right fielder in the past. However, Trumbo is not an about-average outfielder, and is better suited as a designated hitter. But, Pedro Alvarez has excelled in that role this season, and he hit four home runs over three games this past weekend against Detroit. Like Trumbo, Alvarez does not excel in the field. With Trumbo being a right-handed hitter and Alvarez being left-handed, Buck will have his hands full with his lineup full of free-swinging power bats.

In addition to the Trumbo move, infielder Luis Sardiñas will land on the 10-day disabled list with lower-back soreness, while Triple-A Norfolk’s Engelb Vielma will be recalled to add some more depth in the infield. Danny Valencia was a late scratch from Baltimore’s lineup on Sunday due to a hamstring issue. It is unknown if Valencia will join Sardiñas on the disabled list.

Game times and pitching matchups:

Game 1: Tuesday, May 1, 10:07 pm – Alex Cobb (0-3, 13.11 ERA) vs. Nick Tropeano (1-2, 4.67 ERA) – MASN 2, 105.7 The Fan

Game 2: Wednesday, May 2, 10:07 pm – Dylan Bundy (1-3, 2.97 ERA) vs. Andrew Heaney (0-1, 6.91 ERA) – MASN 2, 105.7 The Fan

Game 3: Thursday, May 3, 10:07 pm – Chris Tillman (1-4, 7.03 ERA) vs. TBD – MASN, 105.7 The Fan

Notes on the Orioles:

  • Aside from limiting the Tigers to one hit over seven scoreless innings on Friday night, Tillman has allowed at least seven hits in each of his four other starts.
  • Although the Los Angeles Dodgers are four games below .500 and eight games out of first place in the National League Western division, they just lost starting shortstop Corey Seager to Tommy John surgery. The Dodgers were reportedly included in the list of teams who were in talks with the Orioles over Manny Machado last year and over the offseason. If the Dodgers climb back to .500 in the coming weeks, look for the phones to start ringing.

Notes on the Angels:

  • Two-way phenom Shohei Ohtani will miss his scheduled Tuesday start on the mound with a sprained left ankle, sustained on Friday. Ohtani’s start has been pushed back to this weekend in Seattle. Even though Ohtani will not pitch against the O’s in this series, still expect him in the lineup as a hitter. In 44 at-bats this season, Ohtani is hitting .341 with 15 hits, four home runs, and 12 RBI.
  • Lifetime against the Orioles, superstar outfielder Mike Trout has hit 15 home runs, which is his highest mark against any opponent outside of the AL West.
  • Albert Pujols needs four hits to reach the 3,000 club. Against Baltimore in his career, Pujols is .244 with 39 hits and six home runs in 160 at-bats (41 games).

Image Credit: The Baltimore Wire

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