Fujinami’s Second Save for Orioles Beat Angels 5-4; Angels without Ohtani for the Second Consecutive Game

AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill
Baltimore Orioles relief pitcher Shintaro Fujinami throws to the plate during the 10th inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels Tuesday, Sept. 5, 2023, in Anaheim, Calif.
Westburg drives in go-ahead run, Orioles outlast Angels 5-4 in 10 innings By DOUG PADILLA Associated Press

ANAHEM, Calif. (AP) — Jordan Westburg brought home the go ahead run on a ground out in the 10th inning and the Baltimore Orioles beat the Los Angeles Angels 5-4 on Tuesday night for their fourth straight victory.

Ryan O’Hearn and Ryan Mountcastle each had RBI singles in the ninth inning to give the AL-leading Orioles a brief lead, while Adley Rutschman also drove in a run.

“I honestly think we don’t look too far ahead,” Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said after the team stayed 3 1/2 games ahead of the Tampa Bay Rays in the American League East. “We’re really staying in the moment. … There are not a lot of guys in there with playoff experience, but they’re getting a great taste of what September baseball is like.”

Mickey Moniak tied it for the Angels at 4 in the ninth inning with a two-out RBI single. Jose Soriano (0-2) took the loss.

Right-hander Dean Kremer lasted just 4 2/3 innings despite not allowing a run, leaving with the bases loaded in the fifth. Right-hander Joey Krehbiel (1-0) got one out in the ninth for the victory and Shintaro Fujinami worked the 10th for his second save.

AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill
Baltimore Orioles relief pitcher Shintaro Fujinami, right, and catcher Adley Rutschman after the Orioles defeated the Los Angeles Angels in a baseball game Tuesday, Sept. 5, 2023, in Anaheim, Calif. The Orioles won 5-4 in ten innings.

Baltimore improved to 87-51 with its sixth consecutive series victory.

The Orioles are two victories away from matching the regular-season win total of the 2016 club, which was the last Baltimore team to make the playoffs when it advanced to the AL wild-card game.

“We care a lot and we want to win, we want to win the division, we want to continue to just win every game we get a chance to play,” O’Hearn said when asked about the team’s resiliency. “Obviously, we love each other, we play for each other, we trust each other.”

The Angels played without designated hitter Shohei Ohtani for the second consecutive game because of oblique tightness that manager Phil Nevin called “a tiny bit of inflammation.”

Ohtani also has a ligament tear in his right elbow that will prevent him from pitching again this season. He told the club he was could pinch hit late in Tuesday’s game but was not used.

“I felt he needed another day,” Nevin said. “We’ll see how he is tomorrow when he comes in. We’ll have a conversation but I think we dodged a bullet there as far as injury goes. It’s something that is more like a day-to-day thing.”

AP Photo/Jeff Chiu
Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani walks toward the dugout before a baseball game against the Oakland Athletics in Oakland, Calif., Saturday, Sept. 2, 2023.

The Angels also were without star slugger Mike Trout, who has played just one game since July 4 because of a broken bone in his hand. They struggled to find early offense, ultimately losing their fifth consecutive game and falling for the eighth time in their last nine games.

The Orioles took a 2-0 lead in the third inning against Angels left-hander Reid Detmers. Jorge Mateo singled with one out and stole second base. Rutschman singled to left to score Mateo and advanced to second on the throw home. Mountcastle followed with a single, with Rutschman scoring on an error by left fielder Randal Grichuk.

The Angels finally broke through in the seventh inning when rookie Nolan Schanuel singled with one out and scored on a double to left-center by Brandon Drury. Mike Moustakas added a two-out RBI single to tie it at 2.

Schanuel went 2 for 4 and has reached base in all 14 games he has played since making his major league debut Aug. 18.

The Orioles had a chance to take the lead in the eighth inning after Anthony Santander’s leadoff double, but Austin Hays and Gunnar Henderson struck out, while Westburg grounded out against left-hander Aaron Loup.