By Pete Zarustica
Imagine a quarterback being able to get four touchdowns on a single throw. That’s sort of what the grand slam is in baseball, and it sunk the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on Monday night, sending them down to a 6-2 loss to the Baltimore Orioles at the Big A.
Manny Machado hit the bases-loaded home run in the seventh inning, handing the Angels their third straight loss, following a four-game winning streak. The team record is now 55-58 and the Halos still sit in third place in the American League West.
The loss wasn’t catastrophic in the AL wild care race, as they’ve fallen just one more game back, but the team’s inability to sustain any momentum has to be frustrating.
Monday’s loss came on a day of milestones. Former Angel star Don Baylor died at the age of 68. He had been a star for the Halos, winning the American League MVP award in 1979 as the Orange County team won its first division title and got its first taste of the post-season.
Mike Trout, the current Angel standout, had a good night with a double and a home run. He reached 1,000 career hits and became only the 10th AL player to have that many hits before his age-26 season. It was also the fourth time he homered on his birthday in six big league campaigns.
But none of that matters in the standings. Starter J.C. Ramirez (10-10) was pitching a good game until Machado’s crusher. He finished with eight hits and six runs over seven innings. He walked two batters and struck out two.
“He just plays hardball and goes after hitters,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “He made a lot of good pitches tonight. There weren’t many that got away from him. The one little slider to Machado was one of those.”
On Tuesday, Parker Bridwell (5-1) will make the start for the Angels against the Orioles.
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