The Orioles finished their early West Coast trip this weekend by visiting Shohei Ohtani and the Los Angeles Angels. It was a tough test for the Birds, and they rose to the occasion.
First off, the pitching was, yet again, stellar. Bruce Zimmermann struck out Ohtani three times, and in total, Ohtani was just 2-for-12 with five strikeouts and two inning-ending double plays hit into.
The offense finally came around, and two players hit their first long balls of the season. Trey Mancini and Austin Hays joined the club, while Ryan Mountcastle delivered with RISP in multiple games.
It’s a happy recap, folks! Here is how this late night series went down:
The Orioles opened up the last series of the California trip by matching Bruce Zimmermann up with a powerful Angels lineup.
Zimmermann shined once again, proving himself as the best pitcher on the Orioles roster right now. Zimm pitched six full innings and was pulled in the seventh. He gave up three runs, two of which were earned, and struck out six.
Through this start, Zimmermann was fooling the Angels lineup. He struck Shohei Ohtani out three times and forced three double plays, two of them ending the inning.
Zimmermann gave up a sacrifice fly as an unearned run, following an error by Anthony Santander in left field. Anthony Rendon then sent a hanging breaking ball 420 feet for a two-run homer. Those two earned runs were the first allowed by Zimmermann this season.
The O’s offense kind of came alive in this game. They were 3-for-10 with RISP, a vast improvement.
Robinson Chirinos had a three-RBI day just a few days removed from being hit in the face by a pitch. He gave the Orioles a 2-0 lead in the second inning with his first run-scoring single.
In the sixth, Santander got the scoring started with runners on the corners. A ground ball bounced off the pitcher, and Mancini scored from third.
Hays later scored on a ground ball out by Ramón Urías, and then Chirinos added his third RBI on another groundout. After this, the Orioles led 5-0.
Felix Bautista and Cionel Pérez held the Angels down with two combined innings without giving up a run.
Jorge López then sealed the deal with a great inning in the ninth. López struck out Rendon, forced a groundout, then got the third out on a backwards K. He is now perfect in save opportunities with three on the year.
The Orioles took game one, 5-3.
The Baltimore Battery’s Player of the Game is Bruce Zimmermann. Delivering his third fantastic start of the season, Zimm went farther than any Oriole starter to date and threw 51 strikes to 25 balls for only 76 pitches through six innings.
The Orioles had the chance to take a series over Ohtani and the Angels. And take the series they did. Game two was a very exciting affair, and it ended in grand fashion.
Spenser Watkins delivered another good start, with two runs allowed through five innings. He left when the game was tied at two, and his offense did the rest to not waste his good outing.
The Birds got up early on Noah Syndergaard with two runs in the first. Mountcastle came through with a runner in scoring position with an RBI single. That was followed by a Roughned Odor sacrifice fly to take a 2-0 lead.
Watkins gave up his first run in the bottom of that inning, a home run to Mike Trout. Watkins was then lights out until the fifth, with the score still 2-1, when he allowed another solo shot to Trout.
Sometimes, you get beat by the best. In the end, those two solo home runs only tied the game at two.
Bryan Baker allowed the Angels to go ahead 4-2 in the sixth after a Brandon Marsh homer, and the O’s had to climb from behind.
In the seventh, Mancini cut the deficit to 4-3 with a sacrifice fly. Then Mountcastle came in clutch again, this time scoring two runs on an RBI single and taking a 5-4 lead.
Dillon Tate and Joey Krehbiel each threw a scoreless inning, before López closed the door in the ninth. He allowed a leadoff single to Trout, who then advanced to second on a wild pitch. López then retired the next three batters in order and finished this one.
The Orioles won this game by a score of 5-4.
The Baltimore Battery’s Player of the Game is Ryan Mountcastle. Mounty delivered three RBIs, all three coming from hits with RISP. He took the lead with his third RBI and helped win this one.
With the chance to sweep the Angels in their stadium, the Orioles sent Chris Ellis to the mound. It was a disaster.
Ellis gave up five earned runs before recording an out. He never did record an out, as he was pulled after the trainer had come to the check on him.
When Travis Lakins Sr. was brought in with no outs in the first, the bases were loaded. Lakins Sr. then allowed a grand slam, with the three base runners being credited to Ellis. This had the O’s down 6-0 in the first.
The Orioles bullpen did their thing and held the score like they have been all season. Although this time, they were holding a 6-0 lead where it was.
In the third, the Orioles made a dent in the lead, and it came via a three-run shot off the bat of Mancini. His first long ball of the year was an Earl Weaver Special, and it came in a big spot.
Keegan Akin pitched another two innings of scoreless ball, now totaling 11.2 innings with just two runs allowed on the year.
In the seventh inning, the Orioles made another dent in the deficit. This dent tied the game, actually.
Mountcastle started it off with another RBI single to score Mullins from third. This is his fourth RBI off singles in the last two games, and this one made it a 6-4 game.
Austin Hays then finally joined the home run train with a line drive shot to left with a runner on base. Hays’ first long ball of the year tied the game at six. Unbelievable.
Unfortunately, the lead didn’t last long. In the bottom of the seventh, Mike Baumann loaded the bases before being pulled. Bautista then walked in the go-ahead run, and the Angels led, 7-6.
The Oriole’s offense had no fight left in them, and they dropped game three, 7-6.
The Baltimore Battery’s Player of the Game is Cedric Mullins. This is a weird one, but hear me out. He went 2-for-3, had a double and a single and scored two runs. He also walked twice. In all, he was on base four out of five plate appearances and scored half of the time. He was always out there for his teammates to drive in.
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