Thaiss hits walk-off HR, Angels avoid being swept by O’s
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Matt Thaiss hit his second home run of the game in the bottom of the ninth inning to give the Los Angeles Angels a 5-4 victory over the Baltimore Orioles on Sunday.
Albert Pujols hit his 650th homer and the Angels avoided being swept at home in a four-game series by Baltimore for the first time. Taylor Cole (1-1) threw 1 2/3 scoreless innings of relief for the win.
Trey Mancini and Jonathan Villar each drove in two runs, but the last-place Orioles could not complete their first four-game sweep in more than two years. Baltimore’s most recent four-game sweep came in July 2017 against Texas, and the Orioles have not taken all four games of a road series since August 2011 at Minnesota.
Thaiss took Mychal Givens (1-5) deep to center field for a solo shot with one out in the ninth, his fourth consecutive hit resulting in a homer. It was his fourth career home run and third of the series.
Pujols tied the game at 4 with a two-run drive on a 3-0 count in the sixth inning. Pujols is the sixth major leaguer to hit 650 homers, and he needs 11 more to pass Willie Mays (660) for fifth place.
It was Pujols’ fourth homer in 12 at-bats against Orioles starter Dylan Bundy, who allowed four runs in five innings.
Angels starter Felix Peña sustained a cut to his right thumb in the second inning. After receiving treatment during a five-minute delay, Peña returned to the game and got Jace Peterson to ground out to end the inning.
However, Peña was less effective after the injury. He retired the first five Baltimore batters on 20 pitches, but issued two walks in the third inning before Villar hit a sharp double to right that cut the Orioles’ deficit to 2-1.
In the fifth inning, Peña could not cleanly field a grounder by Hanser Alberto that would have been the third out. Instead, it gave the Orioles runners at the corners, and Villar singled to tie it at 2. Baltimore then took a 4-2 lead on Mancini’s two-run single.
Thaiss gave the Angels a 2-0 lead in the second with a two-run shot down the right field line that tucked inside the foul pole.
The Angels recalled RHP Luke Bard from Triple-A Salt Lake, with RHP Jose Rodriguez optioned to Triple-A in a corresponding move. Bard replaced Peña in the sixth and did not allow a run in 2 1/3 innings.
Orioles: All-Star LHP John Means underwent an MRI on his left shoulder Saturday that revealed “normal wear and tear” in his rotator cuff, manager Brandon Hyde said. Hyde does not expect Means, who is 8-6 with a 3.12 ERA, to miss more than one scheduled start after being placed on the 10-day injured list Friday.
Angels: C Jonathan Lucroy (concussion) could rejoin the team as early as Monday, manager Brad Ausmus said. Lucroy has not played since July 7, when he was injured in a home-plate collision with Houston OF Jake Marisnick. . OF Justin Upton got the day off for rest.
Orioles: Baltimore had not announced a starter for Monday night at San Diego on Monday, with Hyde saying a bullpen game or an opener were the likeliest options.
Angels: RHP Jaime Barria (4-3, 6.63 ERA) will start Monday in the opener of a three-game series against Detroit. Barria is 2-0 with a 2.04 ERA at home in five appearances this season.