This one got away.
The Orioles took a 4-2 lead to the top of the seventh this afternoon, but Jason Hammel appeared to tire and Pedro Strop struggled yet again. The Angels scored six times that inning to take an 8-4 lead and went on to post a 9-5 win over the Orioles.
Hammel issued a single and walk to end his day. Strop got Hank Conger to hit a high chopper toward the mound. Had he fielded it cleanly or even let it go, it might have been a double play, but it hit off his glove for a single to load the bases.
It got much worse from there.
Erick Aybar ripped a three-run triple to right-center and scored on the play when Ryan Flaherty’s relay throw skipped by Manny Machado at third. Three hitters later, Albert Pujols hit a two-run homer and Strop exited to a chorus of boos from the Camden Yards crowd.
He gave up three hits and four runs in just one-third of an inning. Hammel’s line showed seven hits and four runs allowed.
The Orioles were going for their first three-game sweep of the Angels since Aug. 27-29, 2010. They are also now 0-5 this year when they’ve had a chance to sweep a three- or four-game series.
Adam Jones hit a solo homer with two RBIs for the Orioles. Chris Davis, who began the day in a 1-for-18 drought, hit his major league-leading 21st homer in the fourth and added a double and two RBIs. Machado had a single and double to snap an 11-game stretch without a multi-hit showing.
Davis didn’t hit his 21st homer last season until Aug. 24 in the season’s 108th game. Davis had gone eight games without a homer or RBI, his longest stretch of the season.
Now 37-29, the O’s homestand continues Thursday night when the Orioles host first-place Boston in the start of a four-game series. Kevin Gausman (0-3, 8.84 ERA) will pitch against Red Sox lefty Felix Doubront (4-3, 4.84 ERA).