Baltimore Orioles can’t keep the momentum going against Angels
After the surprising walk-off win Friday night, the Baltimore Orioles offense looked tired against the Los Angeles Angels.
On Friday night, the Baltimore Orioles and the Angels combined to hit a total of 10 home runs. In fact, those were the only plays that scored runs. Of those home runs, four of them were hit with runners on base.
But, on Saturday, the home runs only came from the Angels.
Unfortunately, Kevin Gausman couldn’t keep the balls in the park. He pitched four innings and gave up five runs – four of them left the park. In those four innings, his final line was six hits, five runs, four walks, and three strikeouts.
Gausman has a terrible start
Everyone has a bad day occasionally, and it was clear that this was one of Gausman’s worst. It was his worst outing since he gave up four home runs to the Chicago Cubs on July 14. After today’s game, Gausman’s average home runs per game moved from .84 to .96.
The four home runs were hit by Mike Trout and Luis Valbuena. Trout’s home runs were both solos, but Valbuena’s second one scored Andrelton Simmons.
Fortunately, the bullpen had a better day as all three pitchers, Miguel Castro, Richard Bleier, and Mychal Givens held the Angels to the five runs they scored off of Gausman.
Wild Card is at stake
This series with the Angels is extremely important for the Orioles earning a Wild Card berth. In the current standings, the Angels and the Minnesota Twins are tied for the second spot. The O’s need to pull ahead of the Angels if they want to go to the post season.
The Orioles should have put on a show today in Camden Yards as the team celebrated the 25th anniversary of the beautiful ballpark. With retired players from the inaugural year of the park on hand to celebrate, the O’s turned a disappointing game.
Flat offense only scores in first inning
The poor pitching from Gausman was paired with a flat offense. Despite getting seven hits, the team could only convert one into a run in the first inning of the game. Tim Beckham, who hit a double to start the game, crossed home plate after a wild pitch from JC Ramirez.
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The last time the O’s faced Ramirez at Angels Stadium, they lit him up for six runs, including a grand slam from Manny Machado. He pitched in 5.2 innings at Camden Yards and only gave up the run in the first. Ramirez relied on his defense for help today as his final line included zero strikeouts and five hits. The Angels’ bullpen, which began the season ranked 24th in the MLB, has turned into one of the better ones as the season moves closer to September. Jeff Sullivan with Fangraphs said about the Angels’ bullpen back in July:
"The Angels acquired a pile of lemons, and they’ve turned it into tasty juice."
Sadly, several of the Angels’ bullpen successes have come at the expense of the Orioles. After Ramirez left, the bullpen prevented the O’s from scoring. This was also the case for the O’s, but unfortunately, the Orioles starters are still leaving their bullpen with big messes to clean up. The Saturday mess was just too much and the O’s were simply out-pitched.
Hit streaks continue
On a positive note, Anthony Santander earned his second hit of his young career. He is now officially on a two-game hitting streak. The other hits today came from Seth Smith, who hit a double, Jonathan Schoop, and Adam Jones. Manny Machado had his ninth multi-hit game in August.
Next: Orioles: Machado's grand slams require team effort
The O’s face the Angels on Sunday at 1:35. Chris Tillman is back in the rotation and he will face the red-hot Parker Bridwell who held the Orioles to one run in seven innings on August 8. Hopefully, the O’s won’t let him have a repeat performance.