ANAHEIM, Calif. - On his 26th birthday, Mike Trout hit a huge homer. Moments later, 25-year-old Manny Machado trumped him.
With the game tied 2-2 and the bases loaded with two outs in the top of the seventh, Machado hit a rocket grand slam to left to provide a 6-2 lead. The Orioles won by that score tonight over the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
They started a 10-game West Coast trip in impressive fashion and moved to within 1 ½ games of the second AL wild card spot. They also get back to .500 at 56-56, the first time they reached that mark since June 29.
That set the stage for Machado, who went 4-for-5 with a homer and five RBIs yesterday, but was 0-for-3 tonight as he settled into the box. But he then blasted a 1-0 slider 423-feet to left for the four-run lead. The ball left the bat at 107 mph. Machado has two homers and nine RBIs his last two games.
It was Machado’s second homer in two games and 21st for the year. It was his first grand slam of 2017 and the fifth of his career. The O’s have hit four this season. For good measure, Machado made an outstanding backhand stop to start an inning-ending double play in the last of the seventh.
Right-hander Dylan Bundy pitched through the seventh to get the win and improved to 11-8 with an ERA of 4.15. He gave up five hits and two runs with no walks and a career-high 10 strikeouts. He has allowed two runs over 15 innings his past two starts.
Bundy threw 105 pitches, 72 for strikes, and got 16 swinging strikes, including eight off his slider. His 11 wins top last year’s total of 10 for a new career-high. He recorded his team-leading 15th quality start.
The Angels broke a scoreless tie in the bottom of the fourth after the Orioles stranded two runners in the top half of the inning.
The frame began when Mike Trout doubled to left for career hit No. 1,000. Trout advanced to third on a grounder and scored on Kole Calhoun’s line drive sac fly to center. The Angels went ahead 1-0.
Trout joins Hall of Famers Mickey Mantle, Mel Ott and Jimmie Foxx as the only players with 1000 hits, 500 runs and 500 walks so young. Trout became the second-youngest active player to reach 1,000, only Miguel Cabrera did so at a younger age. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, only six players who debuted in the last 50 years reached 1,000 hits at a younger age.
The Orioles took a 2-1 lead and used some solid baserunning to do it in the fifth. Tim Beckham led off with a single, making him 15-for-26 with the team. He reached second on an error and stayed there when Smith walked. Both runners moved up on a fly ball to right and both made good reads to advance. Then Joey Rickard’s bloop single to center made it 1-1 and Jones deep fly ball went for a sac fly and a 2-1 lead.
The game became tied when Trout did more damage. His solo homer hit the left-field foul pole to tie it 2-2 in the sixth. It was his 23rd on a 3-2 Bundy slider and his fourth on his birthday in the majors.
But Machado’s slam topped that and got the Orioles an important and winning start to the long three-city trip. In the second game of this series on Tuesday night, Jeremy Hellickson (1-0, 0.00 ERA) faces former Oriole Parker Bridwell (5-1, 3.20 ERA).
Clubhouse postgame quotes:
Machado on the grand slam at bat: “I was just trying to get something over the plate. He was running the ball in and using that slider the whole game. He was pitching a hell of a game. Just had a couple mistakes and we were able to take advantage of it. Played overall a great game. That was a great inning, started off with Castillo getting a base hit and getting guys over. It was a team win today.”
Machado on Bundy: “When Dylan is out there and throwing strikes, pounding the zone, getting us in the dugout, he was pitching a hell of a game. The only reason why we were able to do that is because he gave us the opportunity to just be in the game. When one of our starters can do that, it’s going to be a huge thing. We’re not going to win this offensively or defensively. Everyone’s going to have to come together like we have lately and keep it going the next two months and see what happens.”
Machado on getting a chance to deliver in a key spot: “Everyone does (want that chance). Obviously everyone does love to be in that situation. Unfortunately sometimes in that situation we fail more than we succeed but we always want that opportunity to try to put our team in the lead.”
Bundy on if he thought his slider would be so effective: “I mean you never know. These guys haven’t seen me this year. Last time they saw me was last year and I think that was in relief. So they just didn’t have a whole lot of info on me I don’t think and I wasn’t throwing the slider last year.”
Bundy on a career-high 10 strikeouts: “I think just showing a slider early (was important) and also sticking with it. That was kind of the game plan. We knew coming into the game with Welly (Welington Castillo) that we were going to throw quite a bit of sliders to these guys. Just because their numbers were a little better on the curveball. So, like I said, we had a good game plan with Welly and the defense really played great. Manny really got me out of that seventh inning there.”
Manager Buck Showalter on Bundy: “He was good. A real mature effort. We knew coming in how much they push the envelope on the bases. I think they lead the league in stolen base attempts from second to third, they hit and run. He managed the game real well. Just a real mature effort. He was good. Dylan and Welington were on the same page. It was fun to watch.”
Showalter on Machado’s offensive resurgence: “I can’t tell you how hard it is to get where he’s got from where he was. It takes a lot of strong constitution to do it. You go through a period of, ‘When’s the game going to let me up?’ If you stay true to it, and you get grinding and keep working, it will let you up. Manny’s in that mood where he wants some people to pay for his struggles.”