Written by Chris Slade
Tonight's contest got under way at the standard issue time of 7:05 ET with talented young righthanders Kevin Gausman and Garrett Richards on the hill. The Orioles had no problem with Richards tonight as Adam Jones sent one over the fence in the 1st inning to give the Orioles a 2-0 lead. The Orioles scored twice more in the 4th from our heavy hitters David Lough and Ryan Flaherty coming up with two RBI hits. That was all the O's needed tonight. The Angels mustered up three runs int he 5th inning against Gausman but were unable to tie it up as Zach Britton shut the door in the 9th for the win.
Aside from a rocky 5th inning of work, tonight was a solid outing from Kevin Gausman against a great offense. He set the side down in order in the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, AND 4th innings. He even retired the first two batters of the 5th inning before the Angels kicked off what would become quite the annoying little two-out rally. Gausman walked the bases with two outs, getting squeezed on a couple pitches in the process, then proceeded to allow a two-run single to Chris Ianetta and an RBI double to Kole Calhoun.
After that rocky 5th, Gausman returned to dominant form, with a scoreless 6th, allowing just a single to Josh Hamilton. He then set the side down in order int he 7th to cap off his night's work on a strong note and finished with a qaulity start. The bullpen did their job and Gausman picked up his 5th win.
Final Line: 7 IP, 3 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 2 K, Win
With the O's leading by one heading into the 8th it was time for a lethal dosage of Darren O'Day and Zach Britton to finish off the Angels and secure the Oriole victory. They did just that. O'Day struck out two in a 1-2-3 inning of work in the 8th. Britton picked up his 21st save in the 9th, allowing a single, and striking out Josh Hamilton during his scoreless inning.
Like most of the games of late, it wasn't a great night for the bats, but they came through with timely hits early on and scored enough runs for the pitching staff to take care of the rest. Adam Jones hit a two-run bomb in what other inning but the first inning of the game, scoring Manny Machado, to give the O's an early lead against a talented pitcher. Jones would finish with the lone two-hit game for the Birds.
David Lough got the starting nod in left field tonight and picked up a key RBI double in the 4th inning while playing his usual stellar brand of defense in the outfield.
Ryan Flaherty drove in the Orioles 4th and final run of the night with a single. What a key run that turned out to be as Richards settled in to give the Angels 7 innings with no further runs scored.
Defensive Highlights/ Lowlights
Caleb Joseph gunned down Josh Hamilton at second base in the 6th. He's now 16-for-32 in throwing out runners which is kinda amazing.
Key Moments In The Game
Early leads are crucial and Adam Jones has a knack for giving them to the Orioles via the long ball. Tonight was his 21st home run hit on the season, and the 11th of which has come in the 1st inning.
Kevin Gausman's ability to put that lousy 5th inning behind him and come right back out and toss scoreless innings in the 6th and 7th was crucial. That's also what we love to see from a young pitcher trying to establish himself in the big leagues.
The Orioles are now a season best 14 games above .500 after tonight's win.
They're also 4-1 against the Angels now. The Angels are 15-3 against all other teams aside the Orioles over the last month. I guess we have their number.
Get ready for the trade deadline at 4 ET tomorrow. By then we will know if all this Jon Lester talk is just smoke and mirrors (I have a feeling it is) and we also may see a deal for a reliever or middle infielder (Emilio Bonifacio?) go down.
Chris Davis has been dealing with flu-like symptoms the last few days, explaining his absence from the lineup. Buck expects him back tomorrow.
Sadly, Hunter Harvey has been shut down for presumably the rest of the year due to elbow inflammation. That may mean a TJ surgery for him in the near future.
The good news is the O's are in first place! That's all that matters at the moment.
O's go for the sweep tomorrow. Bud Norris is scheduled to oppose Tyler Skaggs.
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