Mark Trumbo provided most of the Orioles offense Wednesday afternoon against the Los Angeles Dodgers. And after the slugger sent a pair of balls into the Dodger Stadium outfield bleachers, reclaiming the major league home run lead in the process, the Orioles offense went quiet.
The Orioles' lengthiest game since 2013 ensued with some deep offensive gaps, before they ended a 5-hour, 26-minute marathon with a 6-4 win over the Dodgers in 14 innings in front of an announced crowd of 40,899.
When second baseman Jonathan Schoop looped a two-out, two-run double just out of the reach of diving Dodgers center fielder Trayce Thompson in the 14th, the Orioles dugout roared and the chants of “Let’s go, O’s” filled a mostly empty Dodger Stadium.
Schoop’s game-winning hit, which came off Dodgers reliever Chris Hatcher, came after back-to-back one-out singles by Manny Machado and Chris Davis, marking the first time the Orioles put together consecutive hits since the third inning.
Two batters later, Schoop stroked a 1-0 pitch into shallow left-center field that Thompson failed to catch on a dive. As the ball ricocheted off Thompson’s glove, both base runners circled the bases, beating the throw home easily.
“You reach that point in the game, and everybody’s obviously tired,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. “Everybody got three or four hours sleep last night. … We tee them up. We play. We got a lot of solid innings out of our bullpen.”
The Orioles bullpen held a dangerous Dodgers lineup scoreless for nine innings in relief of starter Kevin Gausman. Orioles pitchers racked up a season-high 18 strikeouts, including 12 by the Orioles bullpen. Orioles relievers also stranded the bases loaded in the seventh and eighth innings on the way to extra innings.
Orioles closer Zach Britton brought the winning run to the plate three times with one out in the bottom of the 14th, but survived a scoreless inning to convert his 25th save in as many opportunities.
With runners at first and third with two outs, Britton intentionally walked Yasmani Grandal to load the bases – and put the tying run in scoring position – to face Hatcher, who was forced to hit because the Dodgers had no position players available. Hatcher grounded out to Britton weakly in front of the mound to end the game.
“You want them to always be perfect innings, but those guys are paid of a lot of money to get guys in,” Britton said. “The job of the bullpen is pretty much to strand runners in all honestly, especially when you get in jams. It’s not always easy, but we found a way to do it and give our offense a chance. It was kind of a mental grind, sitting down there the whole game, that is a tough thing to do, especially for the younger guys that don’t have a ton of experience.”
The Orioles (49-35) won the final two games of their three-game interleague series against the Dodgers in their first trip to Dodger Stadium since 2004, and finished their nine-game West Coast road trip with a 4-5 record.
Wednesday’s game was the Orioles’ longest since an 18-inning loss to the Tampa Bay Rays on Sept. 20, 2013 at Tropicana Field, the longest game in franchise history in terms of time at 6:54.
The Orioles went more than two hours between hits, going hitless in 21 official at-bats with 12 strikeouts over that span between Ryan Flaherty’s sixth-inning single and Joey Rickard’s pinch-hit single in the 13th. Rickard almost gave the Orioles the lead in the 13th, but was thrown out at home plate by Yasiel Puig on Adam Jones’ two-out single to right.
The teams combined for 36 strikeouts – a new Dodger Stadium record – including 18 by Orioles hitters. The bullpens combined to allow just three runs over 18 innings.
Right-hander Mychal Givens (6-1), the Orioles’ sixth pitcher of the day, earned the win after a scoreless 13th inning.
Odrisamer Despaigne put the potential game-winning run on base with a leadoff walk in the 10th, but induced a double-play ball from pinch hitter Chris Taylor to eliminate the base runner. Vance Worley put the winning run on second base in a two-on, one-out jam in the 11th by getting a 4-6-3 double-play ball from Adrian Gonzalez.
“It’s incredible,” Trumbo said of the Orioles bullpen. “They had some opportunities, too. But we shut them down. We’ve seen it all year. It’s a testament to these guys. They are nasty. We’ve seen it all year. A lot of big strikeouts in situations, too. Really proud of those guys.”
After hitting two homers on the day, Trumbo now has 26 on the season as he nears the end of the best first half of a season in his career. Trumbo has accounted for five of the Orioles’ 13 multihomer games this season. He has hit three homers over his past four games and following a three-hit day Wednesday, he is 8-for-21 over his past five contests.
He opened the fourth inning by taking an 0-2 sinker from former Oriole Bud Norris deep into the right-center-field seats, a blast that gave the Orioles a 3-2 lead. The blast traveled an estimated 396 feet at an exit velocity of 104 mph.
That opened a 29-pitch fourth inning for Norris, who was acquired by the Dodgers on June 30.
Trumbo’s second homer tied the game at 4 in the sixth, a solo blast off right-hander Casey Fien on a 1-0 pitch that landed in the left-field stands.
Gausman allowed four runs on eight hits over five innings, striking out six and walking one. He fell behind 2-0 three batters into the first inning after allowing a two-run homer to former Oriole Justin Turner and he took a lead into the fifth inning before losing it on Gonzalez’s two-run single.
Flaherty -- filling in for J.J. Hardy, who had the afternoon off -- drove in the Orioles’ other run with a one-out RBI double in the second, scoring Trumbo, who was credited with a double on a ball that shortstop Corey Seager lost in the sun and allowed to drop.
Bundy performs escape act in seventh
Right-handed reliever Dylan Bundy, pitching for the first time since June 30, stranded the bases loaded in the seventh, striking out the side to keep the game tied.
Bundy allowed two hits off changeups to start the inning – a single by Chase Utley and a double by Seager – and after striking out Turner, he issued an intentional walk to Gonzalez to load the bases.
Bundy, whose fastball was hitting 97 mph regularly, struck out Thompson on three pitches and then got Howie Kendrick looking.
Brach has escape act of his own
Reliever Brad Brach stranded a potential go-ahead run that would have been charged to Bundy in the eighth, leaving the bases loaded.
Brach – who has stranded 18 of 19 inherited runners this season – entered the game after Bundy issued a one-out walk to A.J. Ellis. Brach struck out Puig, making him chase a slider after feeding him nothing but fastballs. He then allowed a double to Utley (six hits) into the right-field corner to put runners at second and third.
Brach intentionally walked Seager with first base open to load the bases, and then induced an inning-ending pop-up from Turner.
Gausman does his part to shorten Norris’ outing
Gausman was hitless in five major league plate appearances – striking out four times – before he worked Norris for an 11-pitch walk that all but ended the Dodgers starter's afternoon after five innings.
Norris struck out Gausman on five pitches in his first at-bat, but the left-handed-hitting Gausman worked one of the Orioles’ deepest at-bats of the afternoon his second time up. He fouled off six pitches before taking a low-and-inside 93-mph fastball for ball four.
Norris escaped the inning. But with his pitch count up to 91 and being due up the next inning, he was pulled when Will Venable pinch hit for him in the bottom of the fifth.
After holding the Colorado Rockies scoreless for six innings in his first L.A. start, Norris allowed three runs on six hits over five innings, striking out five and walking two.