Gunnar Henderson broke open a tight game with a three-run homer in the seventh inning Monday as the Baltimore Orioles opened a three-game series against the Los Angeles Angels with a 6-3 victory in Anaheim, Calif.
The Orioles (86-51), who have won 12 of their past 16 games, picked up a game in the American League East standings over the Tampa Bay Rays, who lost 7-3 to the Boston Red Sox earlier in the day. Baltimore now leads the Rays (83-55) by 3 1/2 games.
Henderson, Ryan Mountcastle and Jordan Westburg each had two hits for Baltimore. Grayson Rodriguez (5-3) tossed six innings of two-run ball, and Yennier Cano pitched a 1-2-3 ninth for his sixth save.
Randal Grichuk and Brandon Drury homered for Los Angeles, which took its fourth loss in a row. The big news from the Angels came pregame when Shohei Ohtani was scratched due to right oblique tightness after an awkward swing in batting practice.
The Angels (64-74) got on the scoreboard first in the second inning when Michael Stefanic drew a one-out walk from Rodriguez and scored from first base on Mickey Moniak’s double to the wall in right-center field.
Baltimore went ahead 3-1 in the third by piecing together five hits off Angels left-hander Kenny Rosenberg. Austin Hays provided an RBI double, Mountcastle had a run-scoring single with one out, and Aaron Hicks contributed a two-out, run-scoring single.
Grichuk turned on a 97 mph fastball from Rodriguez in the fourth and launched a solo shot, his 13th homer of the season.
Rodriguez finished strong in his 90-pitch effort, striking out the side in the fifth and pitching a scoreless sixth. He yielded seven hits and two walks while fanning seven.
In the seventh, Henderson provided the telling blow against Angels reliever Gerardo Reyes after Anthony Santander singled with two outs and Mountcastle drew a walk. Henderson crushed a 1-1 sinker from Reyes 382 feet over the right field wall to put the Orioles up 6-2. It was Henderson’s 23rd homer of the season.
Drury, filling in for Ohtani at designated hitter, ripped a solo homer, his 20th, off Baltimore reliever DL Hall to tighten things up at 6-3.
Rosenberg (0-1), making only his second major league start, worked six innings on 87 pitches. He allowed three runs on seven hits and two walks against four strikeouts.
–Field Level Media