In their first trip to the west coast this season, the Orioles faced off against the Angels. It was also the first time facing the Angels on the season with the Angels set to make a trip to Camden Yards in July.
Game One: Orioles: 9, Angels: 4
Mike Wright got the start for the Orioles and he once again faced trouble while facing the lineup for the third time in the game. Wright on the night went 5 1/3 allowing four runs, two earned, on five hits with three strikeouts and three walks.
Wright was relieved by Mychal Givens in the bottom of the sixth, which is when those unearned runs would score. Lucky for Givens, he was helped out by a Chris Davis two run home run in the top of the seventh, letting the Orioles take the lead back at the time at 6-4.
The other seven runs came courtesy of lead off back-to-back home runs by Joey Rickard and Manny Machado, a Mark Trumbo home run in the third, a Nolan Reimold sac fly and Joey Rickard RBI single in the eighth and finally a Nolan Reimold RBI single in the ninth.
Game Two: Orioles: 3, Angels: 1
Angels starter Matt Shoemaker came into the game struggling mightily but you might not believe that if you only watched this game. Shoemaker pitched amazingly against the Orioles, going 7 1/3 innings allowing no runs on three hits while striking out 12 and walking nobody.
He was matched pitch for pitch by Kevin Gausman all game, who himself went 6 2/3 innings while allowing one run on eight hits with six strikeouts and only allowing one walk. Unfortunately for both starters, neither would qualify for a win after their very good performances.
The scoreless tie was broken up in the bottom of the seventh by a Yunel Escobar RBI single that scored Gregorio Petit, who went 3-3 on the night. Gausman was pulled after facing Escobar for Vance Worley, a move I’m still wondering why Buck made it.
One of the biggest moments in this game was when Brad Brach came in to relieve Worley after he allowed back-to-back walks to Kole Calhoun and Mike Trout, which would load the bases with Escobar at third. Brach was able to induce a ground ball from Albert Pujols to end the inning in what may be one of the most important at bats so far this season against Orioles pitching, considering how the rest of the game was going.
The obvious biggest moment came in the top of the ninth with the Angels still up 1-0 and bringing in their replacement closer Joe Smith. Manny Machado and Adam Jones were very quick to get the first two outs of the inning on a very small amount of pitches. This would bring Davis up to the plate with two outs and he would deliver with a base hit up the middle. This was followed by a Mark Trumbo walk, in which he took the count full.
With two men on, Matt Wieters took a pitch deep to left center field, resulting in a three run home run, giving the Orioles their first three runs of the game to make it 3-1, which would go on to be the final.
Game Three: Angels: 10, Orioles: 2
Another easily forgettable game, Orioles starter Ubaldo Jimenez struggled mightily once again this season, bring a lot of post game discussion to be about his role on this team. Jimenez went 5 2/3 allowing six runs on eight hits while striking out three but also walking three.
As for Jimenez’s counterpart, Jered Weaver, he left the Orioles hitters puzzled all day long. Weaver went seven innings allowing two runs on five hits while striking out six and walking only one. The only two runs Weaver gave up came off a Jonathan Schoop two-run home run in the top of the seventh. Despite the home run, Weaver was allowed to finish the inning to the delight of many Angels fans who were mad at their manager Mike Scioscia for pulling Matt Shoemaker early the night before.
This is the second game in a span of seven days that the Orioles lost and gave up 10 runs; the other coming in the opener of the Mariners series, also started by Ubaldo Jimenez. These are still the only two games the Orioles have allowed double digit runs on the season.
If you take away anything from this series, it has to be the obvious concern about the Orioles hitters when facing an offspeed-style pitcher such as Shoemaker or Weaver. We saw similar struggles against C.C. Sabathia. The only reason I worry about this is because it makes the Orioles very potent offense look beatable with a certain style of pitching; obviously one that is not the forte of many MLB pitchers, but still a call for some light concern.
The Orioles will now head to Houston to face the Astros who are surprisingly in last place after making the postseason last season and being an offseason favorite to go back to the playoffs. Chris Tillman will open up the series for the Orioles against Doug Fister. In the second game of the series, Colin McHugh is scheduled to go for the Astros with the Orioles starter still to be announced. In the series finale, Kevin Gausman will go up against Lance McCullers.