The Orioles have waited more than three weeks for a victory. It fittingly took patience to deliver it.
A five-run rally in the bottom of the eighth inning featuring two bases-loaded walks led Baltimore to a 10-6 victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Wednesday night, ending the team’s 19-game losing streak, the longest in Major League Baseball since 2005.
Many of the announced 15,867 in attendance at Camden Yards likely came to watch two-way Angels star Shohei Ohtani start on the mound and bat leadoff, with the Orioles fans among them hoping to see this losing streak — two shy of the 1988 club’s season-opening 21-game skid that set the franchise and American League record — end.
It finally did, with the Orioles at last securing their 39th win against what has grown to a major league-most 86 defeats.
Yuba City High product and Angels catcher, Max Stassi went 1-3 with a double and scored twice in defeat. He is hitting .272 as Los Angeles wraps it up with Baltimore today at 10:05 a.m. on the west coast.
With the Orioles trailing 6-5, Trey Mancini opened the bottom of the eighth with a single. After momentarily electrifying the crowd with a deep-but-foul drive, Anthony Santander doubled to put two in scoring position with no outs. An intentional walk of DJ Stewart — who like Santander and Cedric Mullins homered off Ohtani — loaded the bases for Ramón Urías, who walked on four pitches to even the score.
Jahmai Jones struck out for the frame’s first out, but Kelvin Gutiérrez worked a full-count free pass to give the Orioles a late lead.
They had been infrequent for the Orioles, outscored by 108 runs over those 19 losses, all but one of them decided by multiple runs.
Austin Hays’ pinch-hit two-run double ensured the trend would be reversed, building the Orioles’ lead to 9-6 before Mullins added a sacrifice fly.
Once the frame was complete, rookie Rule 5 pick Tyler Wells trotted out to the mound, the last arm Hyde called on in a bullpen game opposite one of the game’s top stars. Making his team debut, spot starter Chris Ellis went to the mound for the fourth in a 2-2 tie, but Jared Walsh homered on his first pitch of the inning, and Brandon Marsh added a three-run shot, his first in the majors, off Marcos Diplán as Los Angeles took a 6-2 lead.
The Orioles cut that deficit in half when Stewart homered to the opposite-field off Ohtani in the fourth. In 30 major league starts on the mound, Ohtani had never allowed multiple home runs. Baltimore snapped that streak in four batters.
First-inning home runs from Mullins and Santander provided Baltimore an early lead, though it lasted only three batters into the second inning. With Stewart’s shot the exception, Ohtani seemed to settle in from there. He struck out seven in five innings of four-run ball, with the outing raising his ERA to 3.00.
On the other side of the ball, the Angels built their lead without Ohtani doing the damage. The major league leader with 40 home runs, Ohtani went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts and has gone 1-for-8 with five strikeouts and two walks at the plate in this series.
With Ohtani out of the game, the Orioles’ bullpen featured the starring pitchers, with Conner Greene, Cole Sulser, Dillon Tate and Tanner Scott combining for five scoreless innings before Wells shut the door — and snapped the streak — in the ninth.