It was somewhat of a throwback game at Camden Yards today, as the Birdland Power Company made a rare 2018 appearance as the Orioles beat the Angels 8-2. The offensive output allowed Kevin Gausman to throw his game into cruise control and he made it through eight very strong innings. The win snapped a seven game losing streak and it was Baltimore’s first win against the AL West this season.
Kevin Gausman (4-6) grabbed the win and was fantastic on a brutally hot day in which the ball was flying off of bats. He pitched eight innings and allowed two runs on six hits and did not walk a batter. He only struck out two, both in his last inning. The Angels got a runner in scoring position to lead off the game and didn’t get another one there until the eighth inning. Gausman was very efficient, throwing 104 pitches (73 strikes) in his eight innings of work. Those quick innings were important on such a hot day. His last pitch of the game was his hardest of the game, 98 MPH, that struck out Mike Trout. The performance lowered his season ERA to 4.02 and he’s trending in the right direction. He has allowed ten runs over his last 32.2 innings.
Equally as impressive as Gausman was the O’s offensive performance against Angels’ spot starter Deck McGuire (0-1) and a tired bullpen. They hit four home runs on the day and put up six runs in the fourth inning. Manny Machado hit his 21st of the season, Mark Trumbo connected for his 9th and 10th, and Trey Mancini added his 11th. This was Trumbo’s first multi-home run game of the season.
This game did not have an encouraging start. Kole Calhoun laced the second pitch of the game to right field for a double, immediately putting himself into scoring position. Gausman retired Mike Trout and Justin Upton, but could not get Albert Pujols. He singled to left, giving the Angels and early 1-0 lead.
In what was a familiar sight, the O’s offense struggled mightily to start the game. Adam Jones worked a one out walk in the first, but was eliminated when Machado grounded into a double play. All they got in the second and third innings were a Steve Wilkerson single. Through three innings, McGuire struck out three and allowed just one hit and one walk.
Gausman responded after a rough first inning by retiring the Angels on seven pitches in the second. He worked around lead off singles in both the third and fourth innings, using a ground ball double play to his benefit in the latter.
This game ceased to be a pitchers’ duel in the bottom of the fourth inning and it happened quickly. Adam Jones appeared to pop up to first base on the first pitch of the bottom of the fourth; he slammed his bat down and jogged to first. But the Angels failed to communicate and lost the ball in the sun, allowing Jones to reach. Machado, the next batter, blasted a 2-2 pitch into the stands to give the O’s a 2-1 lead. Trumbo followed up with a solo shot to extend the lead to 3-1. Chris Davis doubled, moved to third on a wild pitch, and Chance Sisco walked. Wilkerson followed that up with his first career extra base hit, driving an RBI double to the right-center gap to score Davis and make the score 4-1. Tim Beckham concluded the offensive uprising by ringing a two-run single to center. Coming into today, the Orioles have scored two runs or fewer in 35 of 82 games. They scored six in the fourth inning.
The fun continued in the fifth inning. Trumbo and Trey Mancini each hit long solo home runs to left-center field to make the score 8-1. Their at bats sandwiched Chris Davis, who flew to the very back of the left field warning track. That would be the end of the O’s offense for the day, as they managed only a Machado single in the seventh inning after that.
Meanwhile, Kevin Gausman was doing a masterful job on the mound. After his team gave him a 6-1 lead in the fourth, he responded by recording a shutdown fifth inning on only nine pitches. He allowed a two out single in the sixth inning and then retired the side in order in the seventh. He was in cruise control and retired the first two batters of in the eighth as his pitch count approached 100. Kole Calhoun then got Gausman again, this time hitting a home run to dead center making the score 8-2. Gausman then struck out Mike Trout on a 98 MPH fastball to finish his day.
Miguel Castro closed out the game and allowed a baserunner when he nicked Albert Pujols with a slider. This was encouraging, as Castro has had some shaky outings lately.
The O’s have off tomorrow and will travel to Philadelphia for another interleague series. Alex Cobb (2-9, 6.75) will take on Zach Eflin (6-2, 3.02).
Who is the Most Birdland Player for Sunday, July 1st?
This poll is closed
Mark Trumbo (2-4, 2 solo home runs)
Kevin Gausman (8 IP, 2 ER)
Manny Machado (2-4, one home run, two RBI)