Orioles hit four home runs in Sunday win but drop weekend series to Angels

BALTIMORE — The Orioles (24-59) avoided a winless home stand with an 8-2 win over the Angels (43-42) on Sunday afternoon, but dropped two of three to Los Angeles in a weekend series at Camden Yards. Los Angeles snapped a six-game losing streak on Friday night, and the O’s broke a seven-game losing skid with Sunday’s win. Los Angeles took the season series against Baltimore 5-1.

Game 1 (7-1 LAA): David Hess‘s struggles in the month of June continued in Friday’s opener. Mike Trout, batting second, got the Angels on the board right away in the first inning with his eighth career home run at Camden Yards to put Los Angeles on the board 1-0. Trout returned to center-field on Friday after playing the previous nine games as the designated hitter due to a sprained finger.

While the Orioles offense went quiet yet again, the Angels continued to find success at the expense of Hess. In the third inning, Hess began the frame by hitting Trout. Trout advanced to second on a single by Justin Upton and scored on another single by Andrelton Simmons. Upton made it to third on the play, and scored Los Angeles’s third run when Luis Valbuena grounded into a force-out to make it 3-0.

Los Angeles doubled their lead in the sixth inning. Simmons led off with a two-bagger and advanced to third on a Valbuena single. After Ian Kinsler grounded out, Simmons scored on a fielder’s choice. David Fletcher then brought Valbuena home on a double, allowing Maldonado to reach third base. Maldonado scored on a sacrifice fly by Kole Calhoun.

After Hess intentionally walked Trout, Buck Showalter made the change to new call-up Ryan Meisinger. In 5.2 innings, Hess allowed six runs on nine hits, two walks, and two strikeouts on 84 pitches, 57 strikes. Hess finishes the month of June with an 8.37 ERA in five starts, having allowed five or more runs in four of those five outings.

Meisinger, along with another call-up, Paul Fry, made their major league debuts on Friday night. Meisinger was the culprit of the Angels’ final run of the night in the eighth inning when Maldonado hit his fifth home run of the season. Over 3.1 innings, Meisinger and Fry collectively allowed one run on four hits and three strikeouts. Both arms will be needed in a depleted Orioles bullpen that will likely live on without Darren O’Day for the rest of the season (hamstring surgery).

The Orioles scored their lone run of the game in the ninth inning when Adam Jones singled to right field to plate Trey Mancini. With no outs, Eduardo Paredes retired the next three Orioles hitters on 17 pitches as Manny Machado flew out, and both Chris Davis and Mark Trumbo struck out to make it a 7-1 final. Hess took the loss and Angels starter Felix Peña earned his first win in three starts. He tossed 5.1 scoreless innings, allowing just five hits and a walk with five strikeouts.

Game 2 (6-2 LAA): Click here for Nolan McGraw‘s full recap of game 2.

Game 3 (8-2 BAL): The Orioles’ power bats came alive on a sweltering 94-degree afternoon affair, hitting four home runs over the first five innings. Machado got the Orioles on the board in the fourth inning with a two-run dinger to left-center, scoring Jones in the process. Trumbo hit two solo home runs in back-to-back innings (fourth and fifth). Following Trumbo’s second homer, Davis flew out, but Mancini added a solo shot of his own for the Orioles’ fourth and final home run of the afternoon.

Along with Machado and Trumbo’s fourth inning homers, the Orioles scored two additional runs on a Steve Wilkerson double that plated Davis, and a Tim Beckham double that brought Wilkerson home.

The O’s did not score any runs after the fifth inning, but Kevin Gausman‘s eight-inning start kept any potential Angels threat at bay. Calhoun crossed the plate twice off Gausman – hitting a leadoff double in the first inning, scoring on an Albert Pujols single, and an eighth inning solo home run.

Gausman earned his fourth win of the season (104 pitches, 73 strikes), limiting the Angels to six hits with two strikeouts. He did not allow a walk in his longest outing since Apr. 23 against Cleveland, also an eight-inning performance that actually ended with a loss. Gausman’s season record now stands at 4-6 with a 4.05 ERA. Los Angeles starter Deck McGuire took the loss, lasting just 3.1 innings after allowing five runs on five hits, two walks, and four strikeouts. McGuire is the 12th starting pitcher the Angels have used this season, which ties a league high.

Up next: The Orioles embark on their final road trip before the All-Star break, which will be a two-city, six-game trip. First up, the Orioles continue their four-game season series against the Phillies with a two-game tilt at Citizens Bank Park. Philadelphia leads the season series 1-0 with a 4-1 win over the O’s on June 16. The two teams will meet again on July 12 at Camden Yards for a makeup game stemming from a June 15 rainout. After Philly, the Birds travel to Target Field for a four-game set with the Twins. Minnesota won the Opening Weekend series over Baltimore 2-1 at OPACY.

Image Credit: Express News


Orioles finish June with 6-2 loss to Angels

BALTIMORE — On Saturday afternoon the Baltimore Orioles dropped a late afternoon game against the Los Angeles Angels 6-2 and extended their losing streak to seven straight.

After almost getting shutout in Friday’s series opener, the Orioles offense struck early on Saturday with two runs in the first inning. Tim Beckham got it started in the leadoff spot with a single to set the table. Adam Jones immediately followed him with a single of his own, allowing Beckham to round second and safely head to third. Manny Machado came up to bat next and battled Tyler Skaggs in a lengthy plate appearance before bringing Beckham in with an RBI single to left field.

The offense slowed down from here but the O’s still managed to push another run across with a sacrifice fly by Danny Valencia. That would end the offensive output for the O’s on Saturday evening. The lineup went ice cold, just like the night before, and only mustered three more hits through the next eight innings.

Andrew Cashner got the start for Baltimore and did his best to make those two runs count. Cashner surrendered just one run in the fourth and finished his night after six innings. This quality start rounds out Cashner’s best month of the season so far. The veteran starter will finish June with a 3.21 ERA in five starts.

Brad Brach picked up where Cashner left off by completing a clean 1-2-3 inning on 17 pitches. Going into the eighth the Orioles maintained their slim 2-1 lead but it was only a matter of time before the inconsistent bullpen broke down.

Mychal Givens got the first out of the eighth but then unraveled by giving up a pair of walks and an RBI double to Albert Pujols. Buck Showalter quickly replaced Givens with Tanner Scott but the rookie pitcher could not stop the bleeding. Scott issued a walk to Andrelton Simmons before Chris Young brought home the go-ahead run with a fielder’s choice. Two more runs were scored in the inning after Scott hit Martin Maldonado with the bases loaded and then gave up a two-RBI single to David Fletcher.

When it was all said and done the Angels had not only come back, but also picked up a comfortable 6-2 lead. As you might have guessed, this lead was very safe through the final two innings and Los Angeles picked up their fifth win against the O’s this season.

The Orioles will finish June with a 6-20 record, meaning their latest incredibly miserable feat is not winning a single game against an American league team all month. The Orioles have also dropped 17 of their last 18 home games as they limped through the half way point of the season with the worst record in the league, 23-59.

Image credit: Gail Burton / Associated Press 

Orioles look to end five-game losing streak against slumping Angels

BALTIMORE — After several seasons of performing much better at home than on the road, the Orioles (23-57) enter their final series of June with more road wins (12) than home wins (11). For the Orioles, wins have been hard to come by both at home and on the road this season, but the struggles at home have been particularly bad.

Look no further than the Orioles’ latest series against the Seattle Mariners, a series in which Seattle swept Baltimore over four games. Both Buck Showalter and Darren O’Day got ejected on Monday, and then O’Day re-injured his hamstring on Tuesday.

That’s a rough two days.

Trailing 5-4 in the eighth inning of Wednesday’s affair, Chris Davis hit a monster three-run home run to give the Orioles a 7-5 lead, only for Zach Britton to blow the save in the ninth when Denard Span hit a game-tying two-run home run. The Orioles went on to lose 8-7 in the 11th inning.

Thursday’s series finale also went into extras tied at 2, and Seattle’s go-ahead run only scored because of a fielding error by Colby Rasmus that delayed Jonathan Schoop‘s throw to the plate.

No matter how hard they try, the Orioles simply cannot get out of their own way. They can’t hold a lead, several pitchers continue to go down with injuries, and through it all the front office continues to hold off on firings and trades that need to start happening fast. Having a general manager with an expiring contract in charge of a rebuild only makes Orioles fans more nervous, but then again Dan Duquette might not even be making the decisions anymore anyway. You wouldn’t know, because we haven’t heard a peep from Orioles ownership all season regarding these issues.

With all of this on the minds of Orioles players, coaches, employees, and fans, the season goes on as the Los Angeles Angels (41-41) come to town for a three-game weekend series at Camden Yards. The Orioles are losers of five straight and own the worst record in the majors, but the Angels have lost six in a row and seven of their last 10.

Following a 2-1 win over the Twins on Jun. 10, the Angels were 37-28 overall. Since then, they have played 4-12 baseball. The Angels come to Baltimore after losing a makeup game 2-0 in Kansas City on Monday, and then losing three straight to Boston at Fenway Park.

A look at the standings: The Orioles now sit 31 games behind the two best teams in baseball – the Red Sox (55-27) and Yankees (52-26) – in the American League East. Out west, the Astros (55-28) have the third-best record in the majors, with the Angles sitting at .500 in fourth place, 13.5 games back. The Mariners (51-31) are 3.5 games behind Houston.

Last Meeting: The Orioles kicked off the month of May by getting swept in Anaheim. The entire series swirled around Albert Pujols, who came just one hit shy of 3,000 in the series finale before the Angels left for a five-game road trip.

The Birds lost a close 3-2 opener before the Angels outscored Baltimore 22-10 over the final two games, including a 12-3 win on May 3.

Last season, the Angels won a late-August three-game set over the Orioles 2-1. The O’s won the opener 9-7 despite starter Jeremy Hellickson allowing all seven Angels runs over 4.2 innings.

Miguel Castro, Richard Bleier, and O’Day held the Angels in check after Hellickson’s exit, limiting the Angels to three hits, one walk, and two strikeouts. Manny Machado plated seven of Baltimore’s runs, including a walk-off grand slam.

Overall, the Angels won the 2017 season series vs. Baltimore 4-2.

Game times and pitching matchups:

Game 1: Friday, Jun. 29, 7:05 pm – Felix Peña (0-0, 5.40 ERA) vs. David Hess (2-4, 5.44 ERA) – MASN, 105.7 The Fan

Game 2: Saturday, Jun. 30, 4:05 pm – Tyler Skaggs (6-5, 2.69 ERA) vs. Andrew Cashner (2-8, 4.70 ERA) – MASN, 105.7 The Fan

Game 3: Sunday, Jul. 1, 1:05 pm – Deck McGuire (0-0, 6.08 ERA) vs. Kevin Gausman (3-6, 4.20 ERA) – MASN, 105.7 The Fan

Notes on the Angels:

  • At Camden Yards, superstar outfielder Mike Trout owns a lifetime average of .278 in 90 at-bats with seven home runs.
  • Two-way player Shohei Ohtani was cleared to resume hitting on Thursday. He has not appeared in a game since Jun. 6 because of a partially-torn ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) in his right elbow.

Notes on the Orioles:

  • Mark Trumbo has hit safely in 12 straight games, tying his career-high that was set on Aug. 29-Sept. 10, 2015 while he played in Seattle.
  • Machado’s average at home this season stands at .350 (48-for-137, 13 home runs), whereas on the road, he is 15-for-170 (.265, 7 home runs).

Image Credit: USA Today