The Orioles traveled out to the West Coast to face the A.L. M.V.P. favorite, Shohei Ohtani, and the Los Angeles Angels. Us fans were kept up late, as the Angels won all three games in this series, two of them on walk-offs.
This series was a great fight from start to finish. Timely hitting and good bullpen work kept these games close. There were late-game heroics by Cedric Mullins, who was just named to his first All-Star Game, but, ultimately, the series belonged to the Halos.
Here is a breakdown of what happened out west!
Keegan Akin was set to kick off this late night series on Fourth of July weekend, and he had the tall task of trying to conquer one of the league’s best lineups. He didn’t fare all too well, as he gave up four runs on seven hits. One of those hits was Ohtani’s 29th home run.
Despite this, Akin went to work with a lead. In the first inning, Trey Mancini sent Griffin Canning deep to straight away center field. This was his 15th on the year, and he looks ready to make some noise at the Home Run Derby in Colorado.
Domingo Leyba added to the Orioles’ lead in his first at-bat in the second inning. With the count 3-2 with two outs, he sent one over the right field fence to put the O’s up 2-0. This was his first Major League home run. Congrats, Domingo!
In response to Jose Iglesias’ game-tying two-run homer, Anthony Santander and Pedro Severino each came up with run-scoring doubles that gave the Orioles a decent lead at 6-2. Santander cleared the bases with his double, netting him three RBI in one swing.
Ohtani and the rest of the Angels lineup would run Keegan Akin out of the game and would also get to Dillon Tate. Going into the sixth inning, the O’s were down 7-6.
Austin “Clutch” Hays come through yet again, bringing home the tying run on his eighth double of the year! Over his last 10 games, Hays has 14 hits, two home runs, and nine RBI.
Now in the ninth inning, with the game tied 7-7, Ohtani put this game on his back and stole it from the Orioles. After a walk let up by Paul Fry, Ohtani stole second base and then got driven home by Jared Walsh on a weak line drive to right field. This gave the Angels the 8-7 victory.
Paul Fry takes the loss and moved to 2-3 on the year. The Baltimore Battery’s Player of the Game is Tyler Wells. Wells continues to prove he was an absolute steal, as he tossed two hitless innings to keep this game tied in the seventh and eighth innings.
Game two was still a very close game, but the score may not show it. It always felt like the Orioles were about to get to former O’s pitcher, Alex Cobb, but they just couldn’t. The Orioles went 2-for-11 with runners in scoring position, and that just about sums up this one.
After a freshly shaven Jorge López gave up three runs in the first and second innings, the Orioles started to climb back into the game. Domingo Leyba scored on a ground out fielder’s choice by Pat Valaika. This made it only a two-run game, with the Orioles trailing 3-1.
López let up another run before exiting. After 4.2 innings of watching our old friend look nearly recognizable without his hair, we saw a face we have seen plenty of times in Adam Plutko. He was lights out, giving up just one hit and no runs over two innings of work.
Isaac Mattson got another chance on the bump in the big leagues, and he didn’t disappoint. In a 4-1 game, which could certainly be considered a somewhat high leverage situation, Mattson survived for 1.1 innings without letting up a hit. He even notched his first Major League strikeout in this outing!
Despite the fact that the bullpen held this game where it was at, a three-run game, the Oriole offense couldn’t climb back. They recorded only five hits in the game, an amount that won’t win you too many games.
Jorge López took the loss and moves to 2-11 on the season. The Baltimore Battery’s Player of the Game is rookie pitcher, Isaac Mattson. For the second night in a row, a rookie pitcher stood out. Mattson held the Angels lineup down to keep the game close. Unfortunately, the offense did little to help.
This game was extremely exciting and felt a lot like game one. It also ended in the same heartbreak as game one.
Thomas Eshelman was on the bump on July 4, and the Angels hit him like their bats were made out of fireworks. He was shelled for four runs on seven hits, including two home runs that came back-to-back.
The Orioles got on the board in the sixth inning from some unlikely bats. Ramón Urías, who has actually been on a slight tear since being recalled from Norfolk, sent a ball over the third basemen and up the line in left. Due to the positioning, it was a long run for that ball, and Urías reached second with an RBI.
DJ Stewart followed that up with a two-RBI double of his own. That scored Mancini and Urías and cut the deficit to 3-2.
In comes pinch hitter, Cedric Mullins. Sorry, I mean pinch hitter and All-Star, Cedric Mullins! And all Mullins did was tie the game with a RBI single, his 100th hit on the season.
In the ninth inning, the Orioles needed something to extend this game. Down 5-4, Mullins came to the plate again. Mind you, he didn’t start this game; he came in to pinch hit and play defense in the sixth inning. With the count full at 3-2, All-Star Mullins sent a 98 mph fastball at his knees into deep right field. This would force the Angels to bat in the ninth inning with the game tied at 5-5.
Much like game one, the Angels would get the best of the Orioles in the last inning. A walk and a single let up by Cole Sulser set up the game-winning double by Juan Lugares. This won the game for the Angels, 6-5.
Cole Sulser tales his first loss and moves to 2-1. The Baltimore Battery’s Player of the Game is Cedric Mullins. In a game he didn’t even start, Mullins had two at-bats, which resulted in a game-tying RBI single and a game-tying home run in the ninth inning. He also surpassed 100 hits in the game, keeping himself in pace to become the fifth different Oriole player to reach 200 hits in a season.
Although the Orioles fought hard late into the night, the Angels got away with a series sweep in this one. The O’s gear up to come home Tuesday and begin their second to last series before the All-Star Break.
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