Orioles leave Los Angeles with two of three games

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With five players heading to the MLB All-Star Game in San Diego, the Baltimore Orioles are not only in a good position to close out the first half of the season with a great record, their presence in San Diego will give the major leagues — and the fans — a demonstration of why the O’s lead the American League East . The five players going to the Midsummer Classic are: catcher Matt Wieters, Outfielder Mark Trumbo, Relief Pitcher/Closer Zack Britton, Relief Pitcher Brad Brach and third time All Star, Shortstop Manny Machado. Starting pitcher Chris Tillman has a record of 11-2, with an ERA of 3.55. Makes everyone wonder why he’s not suiting up for the game on Tuesday, July 12. But that can be said of at least a dozen other players around the league.

Orioles manager Buck Showalter
Orioles manager Buck Showalter

Before the Birds get to close this part of the season at home, they had to go on a nine game road trip on the West Coast. The swept the San Diego Padres in a two-game series at Petco Park, but were swept by the Seattle Mariners in a four-game stand. After leaving Seattle they went to Chavez Ravine in Los Angeles for a three-game series with the Dodgers.

They entered Dodger Stadium with a four game losing streak, facing the 47-37 Dodgers. The O’s record was none too shabby, 47-34, but they were on that losing streak.

Both teams have a lot of firepower in their lineups and as our video reporter noted, by Wednesday Mark Trumbo, Chris Davis, Adam Jones and Manny Machado had accounted for 80 homeruns up to that point in the season. In his interview (which you can see in the video below) Machado said, “It’s a great confidence booster. It gives us an opportunity to score a lot of runs, and gives us an opportunity to score runs from first base.”

Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal
Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal

On July 4 they played the first game, with the Dodgers young new pitcher, Julio Urías starting and Yovani Gallardo starting for Baltimore. The Orioles bats got to Urías in the second inning with three runs. J.J. Hardy doubled to right, scoring Trumbo and Davis.

But the Dodger bats came back in the bottom of the inning to score two runs, two towering homeruns from Yasiel Puig and Yasmani Grandal.

The O’s scored two more runs in the 4th, but so did the Dodgers. Chase Utley hit one to center in the sixth, tying the game when Will Venable crossed the plate and then in the seventh Justin Turner hit a sacrifice fly to left, scoring Corey Seager, putting the Dodgers ahead.

Howie Kendrick doubled to right, scoring Chris Taylor and that would be all the scoring for the game. The final score was 7-5 Dodgers, who extended their winning streak to five and extending the Orioles’ losing streak to five.

The second game was much different. Chris Tillman pitching for the Orioles went seven innings, allowing only one run and five hits. Zack Britton got his 24th save. After the game Orioles manager Buck Showalter talked about Tillman’s outing, “

Orioles pitcher Chris Tillman
Orioles pitcher Chris Tillman

Kenta Maeda, the Japanese rookie in the Dodgers’ rotation, took the mound, giving up seven hits in four innings. In the fifth Adam Jones and Chris Davis got on base, setting the stage for Manny Machado to hit a soaring homerun that statisticians say would have gone 453 feet, if it hadn’t been impeded.

The final score of the game was 4-1, Orioles.

On Wednesday the Dodgers and Orioles had an early start: 12:30 p.m. And then the game went into extra innings. After nine the game was tied at four a piece. Five innings later Manny Machado and Chris Davis hit consecutive singles. Jonathan Schoop came to the plate and hit a flyball to center field that was just beyond the reach of Trayce Thompson’s diving attempt. Machado and Davis scored.

The Dodgers were unable to answer and the game ended, 6-4.

Orioles shortstop Manny Machado
Orioles shortstop Manny Machado

Not bad for the road trip. They won four of the nine games, two against a very tough opponent.

On Friday the Orioles will open a three game stand against the Los Angeles Angels. In May the two teams met in Anaheim and the O’s won two of the three games. If they can do that again at home, they will be in good shape when the second half of the season gets under way July 15 in Tampa Bay.

Photos and videos by Claudia Gestro
Top photo: Outfielder Mark Trumbo who hit two homers in the 14 inning marathon Wednesday.