Justin Upton’s walk-off single puts Angels past Orioles, 3-2
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — The Baltimore Orioles intentionally walked Mike Trout three times to get to Justin Upton. Each time, Upton couldn’t make them pay.
When Trout drew his fourth walk to load the bases in the ninth inning, Upton forgot his recent failures and the Angels’ current team-wide offensive struggles.
“I wanted it,” Upton said.
Upton hit a walk-off single with the bases loaded for Los Angeles, which blew a two-run lead in the ninth inning before snapping a four-game skid with a 3-2 victory Tuesday night.
Martin Maldonado and Ian Kinsler delivered one-out singles in the ninth against Brad Brach (0-1) before Trout loaded the bases. Upton shrugged off his 5-for-46 slump over the past two weeks and lined a clean single to left, setting off a celebration that ended with a thorough dousing from his teammates.
“Baseball is a humbling game,” Upton said after his 11th career walk-off hit, and his first with the Angels. “Those first three times they walked Trouty were pretty humbling. But at no point in my career have I backed away from a challenge.”
Luis Valbuena homered for the Angels, who picked up just their second home victory in 10 games since April 8.
Nick Tropeano pitched scoreless one-hit ball into the seventh inning for Los Angeles, retiring 13 of his final 14 batters and not allowing a hit after the first inning. He was denied a victory when Cam Bedrosian (1-0) blew his second save in three chances this season.
Manny Machado had a run-scoring double before Adam Jones delivered the tying RBI single off Bedrosian, who struggled in place of injured closer Keynan Middleton .
Machado had two hits and a key throwing error for the Orioles, who have lost seven of nine.
“You only have one hit for eight innings and finally put some good at-bats together, so it’s tough to let that one get away,” Baltimore manager Buck Showalter said.
Alex Cobb pitched six solid innings of seven-hit ball for Baltimore, but the Angels abruptly opened the scoring after Andrelton Simmons’ two-out double in the sixth. Machado apparently was trying to double up Simmons at second base when he winged a high throw over the bag, and Simmons started running while the ball bounced all the way out of play near the Orioles’ dugout, allowing him to score.
Valbuena followed with his fourth homer.
“I don’t know if you can look at our offense and say we pounded the ball,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “We came through late.”
Shohei Ohtani went 1 for 4 with a sharp fourth-inning double, getting a hit for the 11th time in 12 games as the Angels’ designated hitter. The two-way rookie sensation’s next pitching start has been pushed back until at least this weekend.
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Trout was intentionally walked three times by Showalter, each time with first base open. His four walks are the most by an Angels player since David Freese also walked four times on June 8, 2014. “The situation just called for it every time,” Showalter said.
Albert Pujols went 0 for 4, leaving him at 2,996 career hits. He is 2 for 16 on the Angels’ homestand.
Orioles catcher Chance Sisco was motionless on the field for several moments after his head collided with teammate Pedro Alvarez’s outstretched elbow while they chased a foul popup in the seventh inning. Sisco, who is from nearby Corona, California, eventually walked off the field. Showalter said the Orioles’ trainers saw no signs of a concussion, but the catcher will be re-evaluated Wednesday.
“The way he was laying on the ground, that’s not a fun walk over there, that’s for sure,” Showalter said.
Maldonado ended his career-worst 0-for-34 hitless streak with a third-inning single. The Gold Glove winner hadn’t managed a hit since April 10, but he avoided the franchise-record hitless stretch endured last year by Danny Espinosa, who went 0 for 38. Maldonado added a double off the wall in the seventh and a single in the ninth.
Designated hitter Mark Trumbo went 0 for 4 with two strikeouts in his season debut for Baltimore. The former Angels slugger and Anaheim native spent April on the disabled list with a quadriceps strain.
Orioles: To make room for Trumbo’s healthy return, Baltimore sent OF Joey Rickard back to Triple-A Norfolk.
Angels: Middleton went on the 10-day disabled list with right elbow inflammation. He can return to the bullpen May 8.
Orioles: Dylan Bundy (1-3, 2.97 ERA) has lost three of his last four starts, but the right-hander pitched well for most of April, taking two hard-luck defeats before getting drilled by Tampa Bay for seven earned runs last week.
Angels: Andrew Heaney (0-1, 6.91 ERA) struck out nine Yankees in five innings while getting no decision last week. He has allowed nine runs in 10 2/3 innings in his two career starts against Baltimore.
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