ANAHEIM, Calif. - It was a chance for Orioles right-hander Asher Wojciechowski to follow up his strong start against Boston with another. And also get the Orioles and Angels out of here at a more reasonable hour.
He got both done tonight, pitching the Orioles to a 9-3 win over the Los Angeles Angels in front of 38,852 at Angel Stadium. Baltimore improves to 34-69. The Orioles have won six of nine and are 12-11 in the past 23 games. They are 3-2 on this road trip with four games to go.
Trey Mancini completed the O’s scoring with a two-run homer to right in the ninth for the 9-2 lead. It was the O’s second homer tonight and that tied a major league record. According to STATS, the O’s have now hit at least two home runs in nine straight games, tying the major league record (it was the sixth occurrence). Of the six occurrences, three have been by Baltimore - the Orioles also did it in 1987 and 1996.
Mancini hit No. 24 and has homered in three straight games for the first time in his career. He has seven homers over the past nine games.
The Orioles offense backed Wojciechowski with plenty of early runs, but he was in charge from the start, just like Sunday against Boston when he blanked the Red Sox on one hit over 7 1/3 innings.
Tonight, he retired the first 11 batters before Shohei Ohtani’s two-out triple in the fourth. But Ohtani was stranded. So was Mike Trout after he doubled with one down in the sixth.
The only blemish on his record came in the fifth, when a walk and homer with two outs got the Angels on the board. First baseman Matt Thaiss hit a very high fly ball to right that carried out for his second of the year and cut the O’s lead to 7-2.
Making his fifth O’s start and 16th of his career, Wojciechowski went seven innings allowing just three hits and the two runs on 100 pitches with 64 strikes. He walked one and fanned six to improve to 2-3 with a 3.60 ERA. Over his last two games he’s allowed two runs and four hits over 14 1/3 with three walks and 16 strikeouts.
The Orioles backed Wojciechowski with seven early runs. They scored once in the first and six runs in the second to open a 7-0 lead. The six runs matches their biggest inning of the year.
Right-hander Nick Tropeano hit Jonathan Villar to start the game. He stole second - his fourth steal in this series - and advanced to third and home on fly balls. Anthony Santander’s sac fly to center made it 1-0.
Then the O’s used a single, steal and error to put runners on the corners with one out in the second. Stevie Wilkerson’s RBI groundout made it 2-0. With the bases loaded and two outs, Santander’s single to right scored two to give him a three-RBI night and the O’s a 4-0 edge.
Renato Núñez followed with an opposite-field three-run homer to right center to open a 7-0 lead. Núñez hit a 1-1 split with an exit velocity of 107 mph. It was his 25th homer of the year. He’s hit four in the last seven games and seven in his past 18.
The Orioles didn’t score after the early outburst, but with Wojciechowski dealing they didn’t need to. They’ll be back Saturday night for the third game of the four-game set looking for a series win.
Manager Brandon Hyde on Wojciechowski: “He’s been enormous for us. He’s pitched, his last two starts, what did he give up, three hits today? One hit last time out? He’s going deep for us. That was a bullpen saver on a day when we really, really needed it with so many guys down. The way he pitched with a lead, too. Throwing strikes, attacking hitters. I love his competitiveness. I think you see, after strikeouts, I like his emotion on the mound. He’s out to beat people and I love the way he competes.”
Hyde when asked whether the team was more fired up after yesterday’s win: I thought it was normal pregame, our guys were ready to play. I thought we had a really nice start to the game, putting together some really good at-bats early. Got their pitch count up for their starter. We knew they were in the same situation that we were, everyone’s bullpen is taxed. So I think we did a really nice job early in the game of taking great at-bats.”
Wojciechowski on following up Boston start with another good one: “I just took that start and just rolled with it. Just kind of building confidence and executing pitches. On a good roll right now and in sync with my mechanics and executing pitches, and I feel like, when I do that, I’ll have success.”
Wojciechowski on getting the bullpen some rest with his long start: “That’s just a game where I know I need to go deep. I need to give the bullpen a rest. Every single game I’m trying to do that, I’m trying to do as quick as I can, get quick outs. I wouldn’t say it’s anything extra. You don’t want to put any pressure on yourself. You just want to do your job and execute pitches.”
Núñez on hitting his 25th homer: “I feel like I always prepared myself, all the work I put in the offseason. It’s great to be having this season. Hopefully, we keep it going.”