BALTIMORE—The Orioles looked as if they’d be heading out for a most difficult road trip to Toronto and New York with an energizing come-from-behind win.
Adley Rutschman’s two-run home run in the bottom of the seventh inning had given them a 5-4 lead, but in the top of the eighth, the Los Angeles Angels scored two runs, and instead of another series win, the Orioles had to settle for a split of the four-game series.
Despite the 6-5 loss to the Angels before an announced crowd of 27,778 on Thursday, the Orioles had a successful homestand. They won two of three against Tampa Bay and Pittsburgh before the four-game split.
Luis Rengifo singled with one out in the eighth against Bryan Baker (3-1). Baker walked Zach Neto, and Austin Voth allowed an RBI single to Gio Urshela that tied the score, 5-5.
Voth struck out Tyler Ward but hit Mike Trout with a pitch to load the bases. Danny Coulombe relieved Voth to face Shohei Ohtani, who homered against Tyler Wells in the first inning.
Ohtani hit a ball in the first base hole that Ryan Mountcastle snared, but Coulombe wasn’t anywhere near first, and Neto scored with the go-ahead run.
“Danny falls off the mound over to the right, it’s so hard to beat him to the bag. He’s so fast,” Mountcastle said. “He’s extremely fast. He was probably going to beat it out, no matter what.”
“We had a lot of walks today out of the bullpen,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “Bake’s had a lot of appearances this year and not as sharp as he usually is … A little bit on fumes in the ‘pen. Unfortunately, couldn’t close it out there.”
In the bottom of the ninth, Adam Frazier was thrown out at second trying for a double for the second out. Cedric Mullins, pinch-hitting for Austin Hays, doubled. Rutschman was intentionally walked and Carlos Estévez caught Mountcastle looking for the third out and his 10th save.
Rutschman homered against Chris Devenski (1-0) in the seventh to give the Orioles a 5-4 lead, and with a 24-2 record when leading after seven, it looked as if the Orioles would head to Toronto in an excellent place.
The Orioles (28-16) play three games in Toronto beginning on Friday and three games in New York next week, their only consecutive series with American League East teams in the first half of the season.
Ohtani and Trout hit home runs against Wells, and the Orioles trailed, 3-0, in the third.
“Both were just poorly located pitches,” Wells said.
The Orioles had the bases loaded with one out in the first inning, and didn’t score and left two runners on in the second.
Joey Ortiz singled to lead off the fifth against Tyler Anderson. He moved to third on a double by Hays and scored on Mountcastle’s shallow fly ball to left. With two outs, Anthony Santander hit a long two-run home run to left, his seventh, and for the moment, it was a 3-3 tie.
Wells left after five innings, and Mike Baumann gave up an RBI single to Zach Neto in the sixth to give the Angels a 4-3 lead.
He set a career high with 19 swings and misses, the most by an Oriole since Bruce Zimmermann also had 19 on June 1st 2021.
“I think that we’ve been playing good baseball,” Wells said. “It’s not like we got [blown] today. It was a one-run game. Obviously, there’s probably some frustration revolving around today’s game … The team did a great job picking me up today, especially in the fifth inning. We continue to battle, and I think that’s going to continue to be the case, wherever we go. Overall, not worried, but I think we’re going to keep battling.”
Notes: Mychal Givens threw a bullpen session and could be activated from the 15-day injured list this weekend, but Hyde said he wouldn’t be available on Friday. … Triple-A Norfolk outfielder Colton Cowser is out with left quad tightness. He’s day-to-day. The Tides lost to Syracuse, 5-4. Shortstop Jordan Westburg hit his 12th home run. Spenser Watkins returned from a finger injury and allowed one run on three hits in two innings. … Kyle Gibson (4-3, 4.67) will face Yusei Kikuchi (5-0, 3.89) on Friday night at 7:07. The game will be shown exclusively on Apple TV+.
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