How is it that the Los Angeles Angels could sweep the season series with the best team in baseball – the Dodgers – and break even with the best team in the American League West – the Houston Astros – and yet drop two to the second-worst team in all of big league ball, the Baltimore Orioles?
For whatever reason, it did happen. On Friday the Angels were thumped 9-3 by the O’s in Anaheim. They fell behind early, trailing 7-0 after two innings.
The Angels rallied – a bit – with two runs in the seventh and one in the ninth, but that wasn’t nearly enough as the team fell to 54-51 but still in third place in the AL West. However the two losses allowed the Texas Rangers (53-51) to creep within a half-game of third.
You could blame it on the bullpen-exhausting previous game in which the Halos sent 11 pitchers to the mound Thursday in a 16-inning contest. But the Orioles did the same.
The difference was Nick Tropeano, who stepped in Friday to make the start and got hammered. He did manage to last five innings, but was tagged for six hits and seven runs. He walked three and struck out three and hit one batter. After all of that, his ERA ballooned to 9.88.
On Saturday (today), the Angels will get a chance to get back on track against the boys from Maryland in a 6 p.m. game at the Big A. No starting pitcher was immediately named.