Machado hits go-ahead homer as O’s win to complete 7-4 road trip

Maybe it wasn’t quite as dramatic as his ninth-inning homer at Fenway Park earlier this year but Manny Machado’s latest homer was a big one today for the Orioles as they beat Los Angeles 8-4 in the finale of an 11-game west coast road trip.

The Orioles went an impressive 7-4 on the trip, going 3-1 each at Oakland and Anaheim sandwiched around a 1-2 series in Seattle.

Down 3-1 after the first inning, the O’s tied the game 3-3 on J.J. Hardy’s two-run homer in the fourth. But Los Angeles went back ahead by one on a Mike Trout blast to center off Jason Hammel in the bottom of the inning.

That lead lasted two batters. Machado followed a walk to Nate McLouth and a stolen base with a two-run blast to left for a 5-4 lead in the fifth. It was his third homer in the last five games and his fifth on the season.

Over his last 14 games, Machado is batting .383 (23-for-60) with seven doubles, a triple, three homers and 10 RBIs. Machado has 21 RBIs on the year with 14 coming in his past 16 games.

He also scored a big insurance run in the eighth when he walked and scored on a two-out, Chris Davis single. Davis missed Saturday’s game with a right knee injury, but returned today, going 1-for-4 with his 30th RBI. That single made it 6-4 Orioles and the lead grew to 8-4 when Ryan Flaherty singled in a pair of runs.

Hammel got the win, improving to 5-1 with an ERA of 4.10. He gave up three runs in the first, but just one after that. After needing 69 pitches over the first three innings, he got through the next three frames on just 38. Over six innings, Hammel gave up nine hits and four runs, throwing 107 pitches.

The Orioles are 6-1 in Hammel’s seven starts in 2013 and 19-8 in his 27 career starts for the club.

The Orioles used four pitches to keep Anaheim off the board in the seventh and eighth innings and Darren O’Day pitched the ninth after getting the final out in the eighth. In his last 28 appearances dating to last Sept. 18, O’Day is 2-0 with an ERA of 0.90

So the Orioles won three of four against an Angels team they went 2-7 against last season and 5-13 against over the past two years. They had lost eight of their last 10 games in Anaheim heading into this series.

The Orioles are off Monday and today ended a stretch of 20 games over the last 20 days where they went 13-7. With Boston and New York losing this afernoon, the Orioles head home tied for second place, a game and a half out and host Kansas City on Tuesday night at Camden Yards.

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