Game 1 (3-2 LAA): The Orioles started their west coast trip by getting a long-awaited quality start out of Alex Cobb. Through the first month of the season Cobb had been lackluster to say the least but on Tuesday he gave up just four hits through the first five innings.
Cobb quickly retired the first two batters in the sixth before giving up what should have been a double to Andrelton Simmons but a throwing error by Manny Machado allowed the Angels short stop to score the first run of the game.
Luis Valbuena followed that up with a solo homer to make it a 2-0 game. Cobb got out of the inning and ended his night with two runs given up through six innings of work.
The rare quality start was almost completely wasted as the Orioles offense was nowhere to be found for most of the game. Machado picked up a double in the first but that would be the only Orioles hit through eight innings. Trey Mancini broke that streak with a leadoff single in the ninth and Machado hit another double to bring him home. Adam Jones followed with an RBI single of his own to tie the game 2-2.
In the bottom of the ninth Buck Showalter opted to replace Richard Bleier with Brad Brach. Bleier had already thrown a little over an inning but did so on just 15 pitches. As the Orioles best reliever he has been getting a lot of work lately, but Brach isn’t exactly a guy you can be confident about, especially in a tie game. This decision would end up being costly as the Angels quickly loaded the bases for Justin Upton who picked up a walk off single to give the Angels a win in game one.
Chance Sisco had to leave the game early in the seventh inning after colliding with Pedro Alvarez while chasing a pop up in foul territory. Sisco had his eyes on the ball and ran face first into Alvarez’s raised elbow. The hit knocked the O’s catcher down where he remained for a few minutes before sitting up and then walking off the field with trainers. Sisco missed Wednesday’s game but returned to the starting lineup on Thursday.
Game 2 (10-7 LAA): It’s amazing that this game ended up being as close as it was. Manny Machado put the O’s up 1-0 in the first with a solo homer but the Angels went on to score nine unanswered runs between the first and the sixth. Justin Upton continued to cause problems for the Orioles pitching staff by driving in four of the nine runs himself. He would end up finishing the series 5/13 and six RBI’s.
Albert Pujols picked up a pair of hits in the game, including a solo home run, to inch himself closer to the 3,000 hit milestone.
Down 9-1 after seven innings the game appeared to be over but the Orioles mounted a little bit of a comeback in the final two innings to make it a surprisingly close game. Machado pushed another run across in the eighth but most of the work would be done in the ninth. Eduardo Paredes came in to finish for the Angels but ended up surrendering five runs by the time he could get one out. Chris Davis and Trey Mancini both picked up an RBI on a single and sacrifice fly respectively while Jace Peterson continued to make the most of his time with the Orioles by hitting a base clearing triple.
With the best Orioles hitters still due up, a comeback actually looked like a possibility but the scoring once the Angels replaced Paredes with Jim Johnson. The former Orioles closer gave up a hit to Pedro Alvarez but retired Manny Machado and Adam Jones to end the game.
Game 3 (12-3 LAA): Looking to salvage a win the Orioles sent Chris Tillman to the mound on Thursday. That’s not the easiest sentence to type without laughing but in all fairness Tillman was coming off of his best start of the year and has pitched well in two previous starts at Angel Stadium.
Unfortunately none of that carried over to Thursday night’s series finale. Tillman gave up five runs in the first inning and two more in the second without recording an out. Miguel Castro came in to finish the second and pitched into the fourth where he loaded the bases with one out. Mychal Givens relieved him and quickly allowed four more runs on back-to-back hits by Simmons and Valbuena.
To make things even worse, it took the O’s offense five innings to get a hit. Trey Mancini broke up the no hitter in the sixth with a double and Manny Machado followed with an RBI single to bring him home and finally remove the goose egg from the run column.
James Barria was still excellent in his start. After cruising through the first five innings he encountered some trouble in the sixth that ended his night a little shorter than he may have liked. However, Barria gave up just two runs through six innings of work and was very much in line for his second win of the year when he left the game.
Hardly lost in all of this was the man of the night, Albert Pujols. The 38-year-old veteran picked up hit number 2,999 in the second inning with a two RBI double but had trouble getting the elusive 3,000th hit in his next three at bats. Pujols battled Miguel Castro in the fourth but ended up taking first base after getting hit by a pitch. He returned to the plate in the sixth but didn’t find success there either after hitting a pop fly into foul territory.
Pujols got one more chance at reaching the special milestone in the eighth inning but quickly fell behind Darren O’Day with two foul balls and then popped out to right field on the third pitch. The Angels will start a five game road trip this weekend which likely means Pujols will not reach the 3,000th hit mark in front of the home crowd.
Up next: The Orioles will continue their west coast road trip this weekend with a three game set against the Oakland Athletics.
Image credit: Mark J. Terrill / AP