ANAHEIM, CALIF. — The Orioles won Friday night at Angel Stadium the same way they have so many times this season, and will have to in order to stay atop the American League East. They hit all of the home runs.
Back-to-back home runs by right fielder Joey Rickard and shortstop Manny Machado opened the game that way, and first baseman Chris Davis gave the Orioles the last lead they'd need in a 9-4 win before 40,987 in Anaheim.
"Runs are runs, any time you score them," manager Buck Showalter said. "After the first couple of innings here, you've got to really earn a home run in this park and Chris hitting a left-handed pitcher the other way is pretty impressive."
In between, designated hitter Mark Trumbo hit his team-high 13th home run against his former team in his hometown, with the four total home runs giving the Orioles a league-leading 61 on the season.
They're now 20-7 when they hit at least one home run, and 13-3 in games when they hit multiple home runs. Friday was the sixth game out of 40 that they've homered four or more times in a game.
The early home runs buoyed the Orioles, especially Rickard's, which came before friends and family who traveled from Northern California and Las Vegas for the game.
"It's a lot of fun, obviously," Trumbo said. "I think it can create some confidence for you, watching guys go up there and do it before you, watching both Rick and Manny go up there and hammer balls, that's a good sign."
With the leadoff home run by Rickard and the follow-up by Machado, which marked the eighth time this season that the Orioles hit back-to-back home runs, the Angels were quickly deflated in their first game after winning three of four from their cross-town rival Dodgers.
They'd managed just three hits and were trailing 4-1 at the end of five innings, but drew even thanks to some well-placed hits off Orioles starter Mike Wright and reliever Mychal Givens.
Things weren't level for long. Machado reached on an error with one out in the seventh, then Davis' home run off reliever Jose Alvarez scored them both. An inning later, the Orioles deigned to merely string together hits that stayed in the park, with runs scoring on a sacrifice fly by left fielder Nolan Reimold and a run-scoring single by Rickard. Reimold tacked on a run with a single in the ninth.
Second baseman Jonathan Schoop and catcher Matt Wieters had three hits apiece, while Machado and Rickard each had two in the win.
Givens earned his third win of the season, and after right-hander Darren O'Day retired all four batters he faced over the seventh and eighth innings, reliever Brad Brach worked a clean ninth.
Third time through gets Wright: Orioles right-hander Mike Wright ran into a familiar foe Friday — the familiarity hitters get when seeing him twice already. Wright had allowed a run on three hits and retired the last 10 batters he had faced before the Angels lineup turned over for a third time. The Angels had two walks and two hits in their third time seeing Wright, who entered the game with opponents batting .333/.429/.526 in their third time seeing him.
Still, Wright lowered his ERA below five to 4.97 by four runs (two earned) on five hits and three walks with three strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings.
"I felt pretty good," Wright said. "I strayed from the game plan that I wanted a few times, and that's the reason I gave up some of those earlier runs—not convicted pitches. But overall, I felt solid. I felt pretty strong. It was good to come back on that semi-normal rotation and get out there and attack."
Wave it (and him) bye bye: Angels starter Hector Santiago had a night to forget Friday. After allowing the third of the Orioles' three home runs, Santiago took issue with the first pitch he threw to Wieters being called a ball. Home plate umpire John Tumpane heard his complaints, told him to stop, and then ejected Santiago as he kept going. It was Santiago's second career ejection, and caused the Angels to blow through their bullpen for the rest of the game.
It also, oddly enough, caused Wieters to bat from both sides in the same at-bat. He began batting right-handed against the left-handed Santiago, then switched around to the right side against left-hander Mike Morin for a base-hit.
Crush gon' cut you down: Showalter has spent the entire season touting Davis' arm, and it saved his team a run in the first inning. After Angels right fielder Kole Calhoun doubled to right field on a ball that a fan interfered with, Calhoun advanced to third on a wild pitch, then tried to score on a ground ball to first base.
Calhoun hesitated, and Davis threw home where Wieters made an easy tag to keep the Orioles' lead at 2-0. Davis' arm betrayed him, however, in the sixth inning when he hit Angels second baseman Johnny Giavotella trying to make an out at second base in what proved to be a three-run inning.
Showalter said it appeared the runner was out of the base path, and praised Davis' whole game.
"I love the way he has played on both sides of the ball," Showalter said. "Chris has had great effort from the day he got here and I'm proud of him. Some great things have come his way in his life since he became an Oriole and he hasn't taken any of them for granted. When I watch him play, I take a lot of pride in that."
Everybody fields: Davis wasn't the only infielder to flash the leather Friday. In the fifth inning, Machado called back to all of his bare-handed, charging plays at third base by making one on a dribbler behind the mound. Third baseman Paul Janish made a diving play and threw quickly enough to get Angels center fielder Mike Trout at first base in the seventh inning, and Schoop made a bare-handed pick-and-throw of his own.
"Defensively was probably the difference in the game for us," Showalter said. "Jon made a great play coming in, Chris made two or three. The throw to the play early on in that game was big. Janish put on a clinic at third like he has done throughout his career wherever you put him."