ANAHEIM, California—Mychal Givens came to Brandon Hyde before Sunday’s game and told his manager he wanted to pitch. Givens threw 30 pitches in saving Saturday’s exciting win, and in a 4-4 tie on Sunday, Hyde thought his closer was his best option.
After getting one out, Matt Thaiss hit his second home run of the game, and the Orioles’ three-game winning streak was over as was a chance for their first four-game road series sweep in nearly eight years.
The Orioles’ 5-4 loss to the Los Angeles Angels still gave them three wins in four games and a chance for a winning road trip if they win one of two in San Diego.
Givens, who survived a rugged ninth inning on Saturday, retired his first batter, Andrelton Simmons, on a grounder to third. Thaiss, who hit a two-run homer against Dylan Bundy in the second inning, then hit a 3-2 pitch over the center-field wall to give the Angels a walk-off victory.
“I checked before the game,” Hyde said. “He said he felt great, wanted to be in there today. I think this was his third time pitching in the last [four] days. I didn’t want to use the two kids [Evan Phillips and Dillon Tate], to be honest with you in a tie game, and we didn’t have a whole lot of options in the bullpen.”
With John Means missing Monday’s scheduled start because of biceps soreness, Hyde was unsure about his starters against the Padres. After Thursday’s 16-inning win, the Orioles added Phillips and Tate for the bullpen.
Shawn Armstrong retired five of six hitters, and Paul Fry set down all four of his. Hyde hoped the Orioles could send this game to the 10th inning.
“I was a little sore, but trying to get through it and help us win a ballgame,” Givens said.
The Orioles have been playing their best ball of the season and are 13-12 since June 28. Their record is 35-70
“We won three out of four,” Hyde said. “We feel good about that. It doesn’t feel good to lose the fourth one like that, but you win a series on the road, and it’s positive.”
Villar stays hot: During the Orioles’ three-game series in Arizona, Jonathan Villar was 0-for-15 with seven strikeouts.
“In Arizona, I felt a little bit late with my mechanics,” Villar said. “We checked out how we can avoid being late.”
In this series, Villar was 10-for-18 with two home runs, three RBIs and five stolen bases.
“The games this series, he’s almost like taking over the game with his legs and his bat,” Hyde said. “He can do a lot of things offensively that help you win. He did a bunch this series.”
The Orioles’ major league record streak of homering at least twice in 10 straight games came to an end.
Bundy’s day: Dylan Bundy allowed four runs on seven hits in five-plus innings. He gave up two-run home runs to Thaiss in the second and Albert Pujols in the sixth. Bundy departed after Pujols’ home run on a 3-0 pitch.
“A 3-0 count you know you make a good pitch, it could be a double play,” Bundy said. “Bad pitch and it’s a two-run homer. Pretty simple.”
Pujols is 6-for-12 against Bundy with four home runs and eight RBIs.
“I was hoping he’d get through six, and didn’t quite get there,” Hyde said.
It was the 650th home run of Pujols’ career. He’s 10 behind Willie Mays for fifth place on the all-time list.
San Diego starters unknown: Hyde isn’t sure who will start either game in San Diego. Tom Eshelman could start on Tuesday or he could follow an opener.
Rutschman update: No. 1 draft pick Adley Rutschman went 2-for-4 in his second game for Short-Season Aberdeen. Rutschman, who went 0-for-5 for the IronBirds as the designated hitter in his debut on Saturday, caught on Sunday and threw out two baserunners.
Trade deadline approaching: The trade deadline is less than three days away, at 4 p.m. on Wednesday.
“I think we’ll handle it,” Hyde said. “I think we’ll handle it fine. It’s not a secret that things might happen. I think we’re all prepared for something to happen if it does.
“We’ve all been around enough. We understand that it’s part of the game.We’re used to movement.
“It’s not like we have this veteran club that we’ve grinded it out with this entire year and all of a sudden there might be a handful of these guys gone. There’s been so much movement on our club that I think guys are used to it.”
Hyde is more comfortable: In Hyde’s time with the Orioles, he’s lauded players for their growth, but he’s learned and changed during his four months as the team’s manager.
‘This is one job, where I think you can prepare all you want,” Hyde said. “There’s nothing like doing it. There’s nothing like going through it, like managing games the last few nights.
“It’s a lot of fun, and I’ve had a great time, a great experience this year. It’s been fantastic. I’ve had to learn where you have to deal with a ton of adversity, bullpen guys struggling and a lot of transactions and a lot of movement in our clubhouse. I think just learning on the job. I’ve really learned a lot from that. Just like a player, I’m just trying to get better every day.”