Machado’s 9th-inning slam lifts Orioles past Angels in slugfest
BALTIMORE — Manny Machado took a long time to get going on offense this season. He has really heated up in the past few weeks, and the third baseman helped the Baltimore Orioles to a stunning victory on Friday night.
Machado hit a grand slam off Keynan Middleton with one out in the bottom of the ninth inning, the third baseman’s third homer of the night, to give the Baltimore Orioles a 9-7, come-from-behind victory over the Los Angeles Angels.
The Orioles (60-62) and Angels (62-60) each hit five homers in the game, but Machado’s blast in the ninth was the biggest. It was his third grand slam in 11 games and finished off Baltimore’s comeback from an early 5-0 deficit.
Albert Pujols and Mike Trout each hit two-run homers for the Angels.
Pujols’ blast was the 609th of his career, tying Sammy Sosa for eighth place on the all-time list. Pujols and Sosa also are tied for first for most career homers by a foreign-born player.
Middleton (4-1) left a pitch where Machado could get it, and he sent a shot over the fence in center. Machado also hit a solo homer and a two-run homer and finished with seven RBIs — but the last home was the biggest.
“Everybody likes to hit with people on base,” Machado said. “(I) just (wanted to) put the ball up in the air. I’ve been fortunate to have a little more power and get a little stronger as the years go on and those fly balls keep going a little bit.”
Middleton entered in the ninth with two on and one out and gave up a single to Tim Beckham that loaded the bases for Machado.
Middleton said he simply didn’t put the key pitch in the right place.
“I was trying to go fastball away, and I left the fastball over the middle,” he said. “I’m going to go home, get some sleep, come back tomorrow, and hopefully, I’ll get the same opportunity.”
Machado, whose average was at .215 on July 6, now is hitting .264 with 26 homers and 81 RBIs. Orioles manager Buck Showalter said he’s impressed by the way Machado kept battling to get better during his slump.
“I know sometimes because of how fluid he is, sometimes people don’t know how much he cares and how hard he works,” Showalter said. “For a young player to go through the struggles he did with that kind of talent, to get back is a real testament to him and his makeup.”
Darren O’Day (2-3) picked up the victory with 1 1/3 scoreless innings for Baltimore.
The Angels were ranked next to last in the American League in homers but hit four in the first two innings and five in the first five. Kole Calhoun, C.J. Cron and Kaleb Cowart also homered.
The Angels hit all five of their homers off Orioles starter Jeremy Hellickson. He allowed seven runs and eight hits in 4 2/3 innings.
Also, this was the 38th time in team history the Angels have hit at least five homers in a game.
The Orioles also got solo homers from Mark Trumbo and Caleb Joseph. Four of their five homers came against Angels starter Andrew Heaney in his first appearance this season.
Heaney lasted five innings and left with a 7-5 lead.
The homers started flying out of the park quickly after rain delayed the start of the game by 42 minutes.
Pujols hit a two-run homer with one out in the top of the first and Calhoun added a solo shot on the next pitch, giving the Angels a 3-0 lead.
Cron sent a solo homer to left on Hellickson’s first pitch in the second, making it 4-0.
But the Orioles then used their own power to bounce back.
Trumbo made it 5-1 with a second-inning solo homer off Heaney. Joseph led off the third with a homer and Machado’s two-run shot later in the inning cut the Angels’ lead to 5-4.
The Angels then stretched the margin to 7-4 in the fifth with their fifth homer of the night, a two-run blast from Trout.
Machado belted his second homer in the game leading off the fifth, making it 7-5. Later, Machado came through one more time.
“We had opportunities,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “We got off to a lead ... those guys, they hit the ball out of the park. We hit the ball good tonight; they did too. They got the last big hit.”
NOTES: Orioles SS Tim Beckham was honored before the game after being named the American League Player of the Week on Aug. 7. ... The Orioles are celebrating the 25th anniversary of the opening of Camden Yards this weekend with number of players from the 1992 team back in town. ... Angels LHP Tyler Skaggs was placed on the bereavement list (three days) on Friday after the death of his grandfather.