There’s only one kind of luck worse than bad luck — wasted luck.
The Orioles at least avoided that in their 8-2 win over the Los Angeles Angels before a sweaty announced crowd of 18,351 on Sunday at Camden Yards.
It turned on a harmless pop-up falling in the infield, with the fortune that overflowed from that moment helping the Orioles (24-59) end their losing streak at seven games.
“That sounds funny to say, but those are the types of things that have been happening to us,” manager Buck Showalter said.
It did not come from a winning position, to be sure.
Four batters in, they trailed 1-0 on a leadoff double by Kole Calhoun and a two-out, run-scoring single by Albert Pujols.
The Orioles had one hit before center fielder Adam Jones popped up the first pitch of the fourth inning, and slammed his bat in disgust while jogging to first. Only he got to stay there, as second baseman Ian Kinsler lost the ball in the sky and it dropped for a single.
Five pitches later, Manny Machado hit a 2-2 slider into the stands in left field to put the Orioles up 2-1, followed directly by Mark Trumbo’s ninth home run of the year.
“It’s been tough, but I think it was a good sign that Adam — even something like that falling, just feels like it’s kind of going your way,” Trumbo said. “That was good for the momentum, and then seeing Manny right in front of me get into one. Up to that point, they really hadn’t given up much. It kind of gave me a little more confidence that I might be able to get something to hit. That was a good sign.”
Before Jones returned to the plate as the 10th batter of the fourth, the Orioles had produced their biggest inning of the season. Chris Davis doubled and scored on a double by Steve Wilkerson. Two runs scored on a single up the middle by Tim Beckham.
“I thought one of the big keys today, the things we haven’t been doing, was the add-on runs,” Showalter said. “We get the six-spot, and we add on some more runs. And that keeps a good mentality going.”
Trumbo and Trey Mancini each hit solo home runs in the fifth inning, and Kevin Gausman kept the Angels from scoring again until the eighth inning, when Calhoun went deep to center field.
Gausman, however, struck out Mike Trout to end the eighth, giving him eight innings of two-run ball for his 10th quality start and lowering his ERA to 4.05.
The victory ended a pair of uncomfortable streaks for the Orioles, to say nothing of their overall seven-game skid. Their past three home wins are on Sunday, getaway-day wins, but this was also their first win against an American League team since May 25. They’d lost 17 straight against AL opponents while going 6-5 against the National League in June. They were also 0-15 against the AL West this season until reversing all those trends Sunday.
“We’re undefeated in July,” Showalter said. “Sometimes, you have to laugh to keep from crying, right?”