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Adam Jones took a big swing Minkah Fitzpatrick Color Rush Jersey , and the result was a popup. He slammed his bat to the ground in disgust and dutifully jogged to first base.
Somehow, that seemingly routine out became the catalyst for a six-run inning that carried the Baltimore Orioles past the Los Angeles Angels 8-2 on Sunday.
Manny Machado and Mark Trumbo hit consecutive homers after the Angels lost the popup in the sun, and the Orioles got a strong pitching performance from Kevin Gausman in snapping a seven-game losing streak.
Los Angeles was up 1-0 when Jones led off the fourth against Deck McGuire (0-1) by hitting a ball high in the air. Second baseman Ian Kinsler couldn’t catch sight of it, and the ball landed on the dirt between second and first for a gift single.
”Sounds funny to say, but those are the types of things that have been happening to us,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. ”Kinsler’s as good a second baseman as there is.”
Machado followed with his 21st home run , Trumbo connected , and Steve Wilkerson singled in a run before Tim Beckham capped the surge with a two-run single.
The home runs were lamentable, but the popup was especially galling to the Angels.
”Obviously it’s unexpected. It happens,” manager Mike Scioscia said. ”He thought he had a bead on it and all of a sudden it disappeared in the sun.”
Jones got credit for a hit, but it sure didn’t feel that way.
”Sure, it’s just like an error,” Scioscia said. ”I don’t think (McGuire) was affected by it, but obviously it adds fuel to the fire and starts a rally for them.”
Trumbo homered again in the fifth and Trey Mancini also connected to help Baltimore secure its only victory during a seven-game homestand that began with four straight losses to Seattle.
Gausman (4-6) weathered temperatures in the upper 90s to go eight innings Mike Hughes Color Rush Jersey , allowing two runs and six hits to end a run of eight straight winless starts.
The Orioles improved to 1-15 against the AL West and won at home for only the second time in 19 games since May 13.
Baltimore still owns the worst record in the majors, but there were plenty of smiles to go around on this day.
”We’re undefeated in July,” Showalter said with a grin. ”Sometimes, you have to laugh to keep from crying, right? We have good people. It just hasn’t happened for us, but we have half the season left. That’s the approach we’re taking.”
Kole Calhoun homered and Albert Pujols drove in a run for the Angels, who were seeking the first season sweep of Baltimore in franchise history. They settled for going 5-1, their fewest losses against the Orioles in one year.
THIS AND THAT
LA reliever Eduardo Parades has allowed five HRs in 16 1/3 innings. … Gausman did not allow a walk for the fifth time this season. … Wilkerson recorded his first career double, but Showalter said the rookie left with an apparent oblique injury. … Angels star Mike Trout did not reach base for only the 12th time in 85 games this year.
Angels: DH/RHP Shohei Ohtani (elbow) was scheduled to take live batting practice in California. Asked if the two-way star could be activated for this week’s series against Seattle, Scioscia replied, ”Let’s get by today, see how he does.” … RHP Garrett Richards (hamstring) could be ready to come off the DL on Wednesday to start against Seattle.
Orioles: OF Colby Rasmus was held out with an illness. … RHP Darren O’Day said he opted for season-ending surgery on his hamstring because there was no guarantee he would be healthy by September. ”I need to functionally get it fixed so it just doesn’t happen again,” he said. … RHP Chris Tillman (back) will need at least one more rehabilitative start after allowing five runs and eight hits in 3 2/3 innings for Triple-A Norfolk on Saturday night.
Angels: After taking Monday off, LA faces Seattle on the road to launch a three-game series. Andrew Heaney (4-5 Marcus Davenport Color Rush Jersey , 3.95 ERA) is 0-3 with a 6.14 ERA in seven road starts.
Orioles: Following a day off Monday, Baltimore sends Alex Cobb (2-9, 6.75) to the mound in the opener of a two-game interleague series in Philadelphia.
Todd Haley’s contract as the offensive coordinator for the Pittsburgh Steelers is up.
And coach Mike Tomlin doesn’t sound as if he’s in a rush to decide whether Haley will be back next season.
Tomlin sidestepped several attempts to endorse Haley’s return on Tuesday as the AFC North champions continued to dissect what went wrong in an upset home playoff loss to Jacksonville . Asked if he anticipated any changes to his staff, Tomlin demurred.
”I don’t know where these roads are going to lead,” Tomlin said. ”Some contracts are up. Some aren’t. I’m not ready to discuss that.”
Haley just finished his sixth season with the Steelers and has helped design one of the NFL’s most dynamic offenses.
Led by quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, All-Pro running back Le’Veon Bell and All-Pro wide receiver Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh (13-3) has finished in the top three in total yards in three of the past four years.
Though Haley and Roethlisberger have found a level of detente following a somewhat bumpy start to their relationship, Haley’s occasionally fiery approach has made him a touchstone when things don’t go well.
While the Steelers piled up more than 500 yards against the NFL’s top-ranked defense on Sunday, they also made a couple of curious play calls on fourth down that halted their momentum.
Bell was stuffed for a loss on a toss play when Pittsburgh needed just 1 yard in the first quarter and Roethlisberger threw incomplete to rookie JuJu Smith-Schuster on fourth down in the fourth quarter when advancing the ball a matter of inches would have extended the drive.
The Steelers, however, have gone away from using the quarterback sneak in recent years to help Roethlisberger avoid the contact.
Tomlin brushed off the notion that the sneak is no longer a part of the playbook, saying ”to suggest there’s a resistance to it in concept, I’m not ready to say that.”
Tomlin also isn’t ready to say much about his staff.
Offensive line coach Mike Munchak has interviewed for the open head coaching job in Arizona and wide receivers coach Richard Mann is retiring.
Hines Ward, a two-time Super Bowl winner who is also the leading receiver in franchise history Saquon Barkley Color Rush Jersey , spent time with the team during the season as a volunteer assistant, though Tomlin declined to get into any specifics about any sort of future role for Ward or anybody else for that matter.
”I’m not going to have a lot of definitive answers (right now),” Tomlin said. ”I don’t want to provide you misinformation.”
Tomlin called his 11th season a ”wild and challenging and fun ride.”
One with more than its fair share of bumps created from within.
From the ”botched” decision to stay out of sight during the national anthem in Chicago in September to wide receiver Martavis Bryant’s trade demand to Tomlin openly talking about having to face New England twice – hinting he expected the Steelers to face the Patriots in the AFC championship game more than a month before it would become a reality – hardly a week passed with the attention focused somewhere other than the field.
”We realize oftentimes it may create a storm around us, but that’s not us,” Tomlin said. ”We don’t care. We can’t care. We can’t control it anyway.”
Outside of linebacker Ryan Shazier’s life-altering spinal injury, the Steelers created most of the noise that surrounded them.
While Tomlin said it’s on him to help his players learn to use the attention directed at them and their own social media agendas ”for good” he’s also aware that none of it matters so long as his team wins.
For a franchise where success is only measured in Lombardi Trophies, 2017 ended in disappointment, one the Steelers will have a longer than expected offseason to process.
”It ended the way it ended and looking back at it, there’s nothing we can do about that other than learn from the experience,” Tomlin said. ”Hopefully that strengthens us for our next journey.”
One the Steelers are starting earlier than expected.