On the night of September 6 or the morning of September 7 depending on which side of the United States you're on, the Baltimore Orioles completed a series sweep of the Los Angeles Angels. The best team in the American League remained hot and won the last five games on their six game trip out west that included a series with the Arizona Diamondbacks.
The Angels have again struggled this season, but it is always an accomplishment to record a sweep, and good teams win the games that they are supposed to win. Let's take a look at how the O's won each of these games.
Baltimore Orioles dispatch Angels in three game sweep
Game 1: Orioles 6 - 3 Angels
The Angels were able to get out to an early lead against Orioles rookie Grayson Rodriguez with an RBI double but Mickey Moniak in the bottom of the second, but the Orioles never stop hitting. They came right back and put up three runs in the top of the third, highlighted by Aaron Hicks' two RBI single. Now with the lead, GrayRod settled in and pitched his fifth consecutive quality start. Rodriguez ended his night allowing two runs on seven hits with seven strikeouts in 6.0 innings.
The big blow for the O's came in the top of the seventh inning. After Angels reliever Gerardo Reyes struck out the first two hitters he faced, Anthony Santander was able to keep the inning going with a single. Ryan Mountcastle followed with a walk and Rookie of the Year front runner Gunnar Henderson put the game out of reach with a three run blast. The Angels scored a run in the eighth, but Yennier Cano came in to pitch the ninth and recorded a 1-2-3 inning to earn his sixth save of the season.
Game 2: Orioles 5 - 4 Angels (10 innings)
The second game of the series was a roller coaster ride for both teams. The Orioles again scored multiple runs in the top of the third, this time with consecutive singles by Jorge Mateo (who then stole second), Adley Rutschman (who advanced to second when Mateo scored) and Ryan Mountcastle. Dean Kremer was pulled from the game after loading the bases in the bottom of the fifth, but Cionel Perez came in to get the final out without allowing a run to score.
The Angels were able to tie the game in the seventh by scoring two runs off newly returned Oriole Jorge Lopez, though one of those runs charged to Lopez scored while Danny Coulombe was pitching. The Angels then took a lead in the eighth inning with an RBI single by Trey Cabbage. The Orioles came right back and scored two more runs in the ninth on RBI singles by each of the two best first basemen named Ryan in the game. DL Hall was called upon for the save, but another Moniak RBI tied the game.
The O's again took the lead in the 10th and did so without recording a hit. Henderson and Jordan Westburg were both able to advance Austin Hays, who started the inning at second base, allowing him to score. This time, Brandon Hyde called upon Shintaro Fujinami. Fujinami retired the Angels hitters in order, striking out two, to record his second save and give the Orioles the series win.
Game 3: Orioles 10 - 3 Angels
The finale was more of a smooth ride for the Orioles who scored early and often leaving nothing up to chance. Offensively, the Birds got big games from several players. Ramon Urias had a three hit day in a rare start at second base. Anthony Santander also had three hits, including a home run, while driving in three runs and scoring two of his own and Austin Hays went 4-4 on the day, also with a home run, while driving in four runs and scoring three.
The Birds needed a strong outing from their starter after using seven arms out of the bullpen the night before and Kyle Gibson delivered. Gibson had a quality start and gave the Orioles6.0 strong innings en route to his league leading 14th win of the season. Perez and Fujinami were both solid out of the bullpen in the seventh and eighth innings and Cole Irvin pitched a perfect ninth inning in his return to the bullpen.
The Orioles had a great series all around and are 7-3 in their last 10 games. They got to enjoy a well-deserved day off on Thursday while heading back to the east coast. The O's will finish this nine game road trip with a three game series at Fenway Park against the Boston Red Sox.
The Birds are 3-3 against the Red Sox this season, having lost two of three in Boston and winning two of three in Baltimore back in April. The Orioles will look to continue their winning ways against their division rival and maintain their lead in the AL East over Tampa Bay. Kyle Bradish, Jack Flaherty and GrayRod are expected to take the mound for the O's in this upcoming series.