The Angels spared themselves the indignity of blowing a six-run lead to the Baltimore Orioles on Sunday, rallying for a run in the seventh inning on a bases-loaded walk to eke out a 7-6 win before 41,984 at Angel Stadium.
The Angels erupted for six runs in the first on Jared Walsh’s two-run single and Jo Adell’s grand slam, but starter Jose Suarez was tagged for three runs in the third and relievers Aaron Loup and Austin Warren combined to give up three runs in the top of the seventh, the Orioles tying the score 6-6.
But Shohei Ohtani, hitless with five strikeouts in his first 10 at-bats of the series, led off the bottom of the seventh with a single to right field off reliver Mike Baumann and took second base on Mike Trout’s fly out to the right-field corner.
Anthony Rendon walked, and Walsh was nicked in the right elbow by a pitch to load the bases. Baltimore manager Brandon Hyde summoned hard-throwing right-hander Felix Bautista to face Taylor Ward, who capped a nine-pitch at-bat by taking a high 99-mph fastball for ball four, forcing in a run for a 7-6 lead.
Matt Duffy, pinch-hitting for Adell, flied to shallow right, Rendon holding at third, and Kurt Suzuki popped out to third, preventing the Angels from tacking on any insurance runs.
Angels reliever Jimmy Herget retired the side in order in the eighth, and with closer Raisel Iglesias apparently unavailable, Archie Bradley, who had an 11.12 ERA in his first five games, struck out Anthony Santander in the ninth and got Ryan Mountcastle to ground into a game-ending 6-4-3 double play, as the Angels salvaged the final game of a three-game series.
Chris Ellis, a former Angels prospect who was traded to Atlanta for shortstop Andrelton Simmons after the 2015 season, started for the Orioles and did not retire any of the five batters he faced before departing because of shoulder discomfort.
Ohtani walked to open the bottom of the first and Trout was hit by a pitch. Rendon walked to load the bases, and Walsh poked an opposite-field, two-run single to left field.
Ward walked to load the bases, and Ellis was replaced by right-hander Travis Lakins. Adell, who was added to the lineup after Brandon Marsh was scratched because of a stomach bug, lined his second grand slam of his career off the high wall in right-center field for a 6-0 lead.
Suarez retired seven of the first eight Orioles batters before stumbling in the third, when Chris Owings hit a one-out single, Cedric Mullins walked and Trey Mancini lofted a three-run homer to left to cut the lead to 6-3.
Suarez ran into more trouble in the fifth when Kelvin Gutierrez led off with a walk and Mullins reached on a one-out bunt single. Right-hander Oliver Ortega was summoned to face Mancini, who walked to load the bases, but Ortega struck out Santander and got Mountcastle to fly to right to end the inning.
Ortega retired the first two batters in the sixth before yielding a double to Jorge Mateo and walking Gutierrez. Loup replaced Ortega and struck out pinch-hitter Rougned Odor on a full-count sinker to douse the threat, but he walked Mullins to open the seventh and hit Santander with a pitch with one out.
Angels manager Joe Maddon summoned right-hander Austin Warren to face Mountcastle, who grounded an RBI single to right to cut the lead to 6-4, the Angels catching a break when Santander over-ran second and was tagged out in a rundown between second and third for the second out.
But Austin Hays lined a two-run homer over the left-field wall to pull the Orioles even 6-6. Ward lost Robinson Chirinos’ fly ball to right in the sun, the ball dropping for a double, before Mateo flied out to the warning track in right to end the inning.
Infielder David Fletcher (left-hip strain) was scheduled to play nine innings in the field in his third game of a rehabilitation stint with triple-A Salt Lake on Sunday. Head athletic trainer Mike Frostad said Fletcher has “cleared all of our hurdles, so it’s just a matter of what the baseball department wants to do at this point.” … Left fielder Brandon Marsh was scratched from Sunday’s lineup because of a stomach bug and replaced by Jo Adell. Mike Trout and Anthony Rendon have also missed games this season because of stomach bugs … Right-hander Griffin Canning, on the 60-day injured list because of a stress reaction in his lower back, has thrown off a mound twice and should progress to throwing to hitters “in the next few weeks,” Frostad said.