It was just a few hours before game time Friday and Orioles manager Brandon Hyde was hoping out loud that starter Dan Straily would pick up where Andrew Cashner left off Wednesday night.
Cashner dueled Boston Red Sox starter Chris Sale to a draw in an extra-inning loss and became the third O’s starter in four games to pitch through the seventh inning. Instead of joining that parade, Straily failed to get out of the fifth inning for the third straight time and the Los Angeles Angels hammered the Orioles, 8-3, in a rain-interrupted game at Camden Yards.
The evening had started with such promise. Straily retired the Angels in order in the first inning and Trey Mancini greeted Angels starter Trevor Cahill with a one-out home run to center field that traveled 438 feet and safely out of reach of center fielder Mike Trout.
Mancini was still smarting from the spectacular catch by Boston’s Jackie Bradley Jr. on Wednesday that cost him a walk-off home run, so he left absolutely no doubt about it this time. Trout also has done that sort of thing around here, making a similarly acrobatic catch to rob J.J. Hardy way back during his rookie season in 2012.
If the Angels’ two-time American League MVP couldn’t frustrate the Orioles with his glove, he ruined their night with his bat, delivering a tie-breaking two-run homer in the third inning and a run-scoring double to spark a five-run fifth inning that broke open the game.
Straily (1-3) set himself up for that fall by walking the leadoff hitter in the fifth, then hit a batter before Trout’s line drive one-hopped the fence in left center. Right-hander Evan Philips came on and allowed three straight run-scoring hits with two outs, which pretty much sealed the deal.
“I thought he (Straily) battled,’’ manager Brandon Hyde said. “Pitched into the fifth inning. A couple of mistakes to a guy if you make mistakes to is going to hurt you. He moved the ball around a little bit. Just a tough time getting through the third time through the order.”
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Trout seems to like Oriole Park. In 26 games here, he has nine home runs and 18 RBIs. He also likes hitting against the Orioles at Angels Stadium, where he has also played a total of 26 games and has nine homers and 17 RBIs.
“You’ve got to make really good pitches to Mike Trout,’’ Hyde said. “When you’re full count and leave balls in the middle of the plate, he’s going to let you know. A couple times in big spots, he hurt us tonight. That’s why he’s a great, great player."
Chris Davis hit the only other home run in the game, coming up in the seventh inning against reliever Justin Anderson and driving a towering fly ball into the center field seats for his fourth homer of the year.
Cahill (2-3) settled right down after Mancini’s home run and retired 10 of the next 11 batters while Trout was building him a lead. He finally blinked again when Stevie Wilkerson lined a two-out double to right in the fourth inning and Davis lofted a soft fly ball into left center to score the Orioles’ second run.
The game started under the threat of rain after showers dampened the field about two hours before game time. The skies cleared long enough to make it an official game before opening up in earnest at the end of the sixth inning.
The steady downpour quickly morphed into something resembling a monsoon, with the probability of lightning prompting an order for the fans to take cover. But the game did resume after a one hour and 49 minute delay.
It could be that kind of weekend, since rain is predicted for both Saturday afternoon and throughout the day on Sunday.