The Orioles kicked off their road trip with a bang, picking up a late-night Friday victory against the Angels. The 8-4 victory was capped by a handful of home runs and a gritty start from Mike Wright.
Early on, the Orioles decided that they wanted to take a few strolls around the bases, much to the delight of Buck Showalter and Co. Joey Rickard and Manny Machado kicked off the game with back-to-back solo shots off of Hector Santiago, the right-hander who was fresh off an eight-inning shutout against the Seattle Mariners.
With Rickard and Machado's fireworks to kick things off, Mike Wright limped through the first two frames. The Angels got some heavy contact, plating a run in the second inning on a Carlos Perez RBI double, LAA's second two-bagger of the night. With the score at 2-1, that's where things got fun.
In the top of the third inning, Mark Trumbo launched a two-run HR, scoring Machado - who walked - and triggering the frustration for the 28-year-old Santiago. After throwing three straight out of the zone to Matt Wieters, the next batter, Santiago began jawing to the home plate umpire, sparking a back-and-forth that resulted in an ejection through just 2.2 total innings.
That sent Mike Scioscia into a shouting match with the umpire behind the dish, ultimately ending in him sending right-hander Mike Morin to the mound to finish off the inning after Santiago was sent to his early shower. It took an hour to complete the first two and a half innings, much to the delight of east-coast viewers ... *sarcasm alert*
Santiago threw a pitch near inside corner to Wieters and said something and HP ump John Tumpane tossed him. Mike Morin comes on.— Steve Melewski (@masnSteve) May 21, 2016
After the firework-filled start, Wright nicely settled down to string together a few scoreless innings.
He hit 97 MPH in the third inning to strike out Albert Pujols, worked a perfect fourth and continued to mow down Angels in the fifth. With the help of some one-pitch quick outs and a few web gems from Machado and Paul Janish (who had a great game at third), Wright kept the Angels off the board through five innings.
But as the Orioles bats failed to produce runs against the Angel bullpen, Mike Wright lost control of his start.
He allowed three of his first four faced in the sixth inning to reach base, including a surrendered single to Johnny Giavotella that made things 4-2. After a Chris Davis throwing error - an attempted force at second that hit the runner in the elbow - Wright was pulled for Mychal Givens in a bases loaded, one out spot.
Let's just say things didn't exactly go well.
Facing Perez his first hitter out of the 'pen, Givens allowed a sac-fly for LAA's third run of the night, getting two outs on the board ... unfortunately, the Angels had one more to play with. Gregorio Petit looped a double into shallow right-field out of the grasp of Rickard, knotting the score at four through six innings of play.
Mike Wright's final line: 5 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 2 ER (Davis error), 3 BB, 3 K.
But you didn't think the Orioles could hit three HRs and lose, did you? As it turned out, more power was on the docket.
In the top of the 7th with Machado at first, Chris Davis went all Crush Davis on us with an opposite-field on a belt-high slider, just over the glove of Rafael Ortega in left. This put the Birds up 6-4, boosting the spirits of Baltimore night-owls everywhere.
Givens and O'Day combined for a scoreless seventh inning, while the Orioles offense decided it was time for some insurance runs in the top of the eighth.
All in the top of the frame: Matt Wieters blooped a single to center, Jonathan Schoop ripped a double down the left field line, Nolan Reimold hit a sac-fly to score Wieters (7-4), Janish crushed a pitch to center for a single and Rickard smoked an RBI hit to left (8-4).
How's that for a healthy cushion?
O'Day worked a nine-pitch bottom of the eighth, Reimold picked up another RBI on a single and Brad Brach shut the door in the ninth.
With a 9-4 final, the Orioles pushed the season record up to 10 games over with an AL East-leading 25-15 mark.
Numbers to note
- He entered with a 5.20 ERA, but Mike Wright managed to go under five after his outing, now sitting firmly at 4.97.
- Matt Wieters looks healthy and locked in at the plate. After a 3-4 on Wednesday against Seattle, Wieters had three more hits on the night, boosting his season average to .277.
- Manny Machado had another impressive game at shortstop, also picking up two hits and a walk at the plate. He's hitting .323 on the season - two (or three...ish) words: All-Star Game.