BALTIMORE -- As part of the celebration of the 25th anniversary of Oriole Park at Camden Yards, there was a home run derby before the game against the Los Angeles Angels Aug. 19 featuring members of the 1992 Orioles.
Brady Anderson, now the Orioles’ vice president of baseball operations, bested Sam Horn to win the contest.
The home run derby didn’t end there, however. The Angels hit four home runs in the first four innings off Oriole starter Kevin Gausman en route to a 5-1 win before 43,929.
A night after Jeremy Hellickson allowed a career-high five home runs in 4.2 innings, Gausman, equaled his career-high with four.
All five Angels runs came on home runs. The night before, all seven Angels runs were on home runs.
“It's that time of year. Mistakes go a long way,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. “I don't think it's anything to do with ballparks or baseballs. You make good pitches, you get outs. Mistakes get magnified up here with power being so prevalent at the major league level. Mistakes go a lot farther.”
Gausman, who was 6-1 in his past 10 starts, allowed five runs in four-plus innings. The right-hander became the fourth straight Orioles starter to fail to complete five innings.
The Orioles’ only bright spot was their relief pitching. Miguel Castro, Richard Blier and Mychal Givens combined to pitch five scoreless innings, allowing one hit.
“Definitely, we’re trying to give those guys a break out there. They’ve been pitching a lot,” Gausman said of the bullpen. “Obviously, Miguel Castro has been huge for us. I don’t know how many times he’s come in and saved the bullpen. We’ve got to do a better job of giving those guys a break.”
Mike Trout and Luis Valbuena each hit a pair of home runs against Gausman.
“I didn’t think either of those Valbuena ones were going to go out,” Gausman said. “The Trout ones, I think they go out anywhere. It’s frustrating. What can we do? We’re used to pitching in small ballparks in the East.”
The Orioles’ only run came in the first inning when shortstop Tim Beckham, who doubled to lead off, scored on a wild pitch by starter JC Ramirez.
With the loss, the Orioles trail the Angels and Minnesota, who are tied for the second American League wild-card spot, by three games.
Over the final six innings, the Orioles managed three hits and had just one runner get to second base.
“It’s important to get on a roll now. The season’s coming up short now,” second baseman Jonathan Schoop said. “We’ve got to find a way to get on a roll and win as much as possible as we can. We play hard every day, but we need to find a way to win more games in a row.”
After two brief outings in the bullpen, right-hander Chris Tillman (1-7, 7.83) returns to the rotation Aug. 20.
“Chris has a really good pedigree of pitching good baseball for the Orioles and he’s done the things that we asked him to do to get back,” Showalter said. “We need him to pitch well for us to get to where we want to go. It’s got the chance to give us a shot in the arm. It may happen tomorrow, it may not happen. But he’s done his part and the two outings have been better and his work day went well.”
NOTES: First baseman Chris Davis missed his second straight game due to illness. Showalter said he hopes he will be available Aug. 20. … Catcher Welington Castillo, who missed the Aug. 18 game due to illness, was inserted into the lineup after batting practice. … Right-hander Parker Bridwell (7-1, 2.88), a former Oriole, will start for the Angels Aug. 20. … Home plate umpire Tom Hallion left the game in the second inning when the Angels’ C.J. Cron fouled a pitch off his mask. … The game was delayed 40 minutes by rain after seven innings. Sixteen delays at home have totaled 12 hours, 36 minutes.