On a night when the Orioles and Los Angeles Angels combined for 10 home runs, Manny Machado would simply not be denied.
He homered in the third inning to chip away at an early five-run Angels lead, and homered again in the fifth to keep the Orioles moving in the right direction. So, what exactly did you expect when he came up with a the Orioles down two and the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth?
He hammered a one-out grand slam for his third home run of the night and the Orioles escaped with a 9-7 victory Friday night before 26,185 at Camden Yards.
"It's always good when you get into a situation where you can put your team on top," Machado said. "It was a good day. Our ballclub, we kept fighting to the end. That's what we do. We fight till the last out is made, and we're not going to stop fighting."
It was Machado's second career three-homer game, with his first being Aug. 7, 2016. It was his third grand slam in the past 11 games and it was a huge blow for the Orioles (60-62), who were on the verge of falling four games behind in the crowded race for the second American League wild-card slot. Instead, they pulled within two games of the Angels (62-60) and Minnesota Twins for the second wild card.
"It was like a [basketball] game where everybody's dunking," manager Buck Showalter said. "What was it, 10 home runs? It was like, 'No shots tonight from the field, everybody dunk.' I wish I could claim that. Richie Bancells said it. It was just like a dunk contest."
What a way to finish a game that certainly didn't start well.
New Orioles starter Jeremy Hellickson had given up as many as three home runs in a game just once this season and had never given up more, but the Angels apparently failed to read the game notes Friday night.
They homered four times before Hellickson could get his fifth out of the evening and he allowed one more before leaving the game in the fifth inning.
The win "will make my night a little better," Hellickson said, "but it would have been nice to have done my part. The guys shouldn't have been in that position."
Albert Pujols started the barrage in the first inning with a line drive into the left-field seats that was his 609th career home run. The two-run shot tied him with Sammy Sosa for the most home runs all time by a foreign-born major leaguer and eighth place overall.
The way the ball was flying out of Oriole Park, it didn't look like Sosa's share of that distinction would last the night.
Right fielder Kole Calhoun followed immediately with a shot to center field for his 15th homer of the season, and Hellickson would give up solo homers to C.J. Cron and Kaleb Cowart before the second out of the second inning.
Things were looking pretty grim until the Orioles also discovered that the 6-o'clock cloudburst that delayed the start of the game for 42 minutes also turned Camden Yards into a giant pinball machine.
Mark Trumbo got the Orioles on the board with a towering solo shot in the bottom of the second — his 19th homer of the year. Caleb Joseph led off the Orioles third with his eighth homer of the season before Machado made it a one-run game with a two-run moonshot to center. By the end of the evening, Machado would be tied for the club lead with 26 homers and closer to team leader Jonathan Schoop with 81 RBIs after driving in seven Friday.
Hellickson seemed to regain his footing after the fourth Angels homer and retired the next nine batters in order to allow his teammates to creep back into the game, but Mike Trout cranked a two-run shot in the fifth inning for a 7-4 lead.
"It's frustrating," Hellickson said. "After that second inning, I told myself to just keep it at five and get through six. The kind of offense we've got, we weren't out of it after being down 5-0, so I wanted to keep it there and did that until I gave up that home run. That's a little frustrating, but it's nice to have that offense we've got."
The Orioles right-hander allowed seven runs on eight hits over 4 2/3 innings before being replaced by reliever Miguel Castro. Richard Bleier pitched two-thirds of an inning and Darren O'Day (2-3) finished up with 1 1/3 scoreless innings to earn the win.
Santander's debut: Rule 5 draft pick Anthony Santander was a surprise addition to the Orioles lineup Friday night and he made a good first impression in right field.
He ranged far to his left to make a diving catch and rob Trout of a hit in the second inning. It wasn't quite a work of art, however, since he bounced back up and immediately lost his footing and belly-flopped on the wet grass a second time.
Santander went down weakly in his first three at-bats, but got his first major league hit to lead off the bottom of the ninth.
Terrestrial meteor shower: Through the first three innings, eight balls were hit with an exit velocity of at least 101 mph, according to Statcast.