BALTIMORE – Manny Machado knew it. As soon as he hit Cory Rasmus’ pitch, Machado could watch it and enjoy what was to come.
"It was a blast. Once I hit it, I knew it was out. At that point, it was just excitement running through my body,” Machado said. “I got chills rounding the bases.”
Machado’s home run ended the Orioles’ seventh straight extra-innings win. Their 7-6 victory over the Los Angeles Angels in 12 innings before 36,882 at Oriole Park was two games in one.
The starting pitchers, Jered Weaver and Chris Tillman allowed 11 runs, and after the Angels (63-42) tied the game in the seventh, runs and even hits were hard to come by.
“Both starting pitchers weren't what they usually are,” manager Buck Showalter said.
Ryan Webb (3-1), the Orioles’ seventh pitcher of the game, pitched a scoreless 12th for the win. The Orioles (59-46) maintain a 2 ½ game lead over Toronto in the AL East and are a season-high 13 games over .500.
The Orioles are now 12-3 in extra innings.
“To do that, you've got to have a good effort out of your bullpen and we did tonight,” Showalter said.
Tommy Hunter, Zach Britton, Darren O’Day and Webb allowed just three hits in 5 1/3 innings. Webb gave up a two-out single to Josh Hamilton and a double to Erick Aybar, but got Howie Kendrick on a soft liner to first.
“Our bullpen came up big for me and the team, and it's huge,” Tillman said.
Leading off the 12th, Machado hit his 11th home run when Rasmus threw one.
"I just wanted to get on base, fell behind quick, so at that point I was just trying to make some contact and get on base. Made two [great] pitches, and then hung one. That was the ball game,” Machado said.
Tillman, who allowed no more than three runs in his previous nine starts, allowed five, two scored as unearned because of his throwing error.
With Kendrick on third in the second, David Freese bounced a ball back to Tillman. He threw past Nick Hundley, and Kendrick scored, and two batters later, Kole Calhoun had a RBI double, and Los Angeles had a 3-2 lead.
“I don't know what I was thinking. I should have taken my time a little bit more, pulled it a little bit. But I shouldn't have even been in that situation. Those guys shouldn't have been there. I made a bad pitch, got away, but you know what? I'm better than that,” Tillman said.
The Orioles had a 6-4 lead going into the fifth, but Tillman allowed Josh Hamilton’s sixth home run of the year, and he left the game after five with a 6-5 lead.
In the seventh, Brad Brach got the first two outs, but hit Mike Trout with a pitch. Albert Pujols singled, and Josh Hamilton beat out an infield single against Brian Matusz. J.J. Hardy wanted to throw to second for the force, saw that Ryan Flaherty wasn’t there and by the time he threw to first, it was too late and the score was tied at 6.
The Orioles scored two runs in the first on Adam Jones’ 20th home run and an RBI single by Hardy. Machado’s RBI double in the second tied the score at 3, and after Los Angeles took a 4-3 lead in the fourth, Nick Markakis’ three-run home run gave the Orioles a 6-4 lead.
Markakis’ home run, which hit the foul pole, was his eighth of the season, and his first since June 28.
Then, the drought began.
In the next seven innings, the Orioles had just three hits, and then Machado hit his homer.
Fans have been comparing this team with the one that made the postseason in 2012.
“We have good chemistry in the clubhouse like we did back then and obviously we have a good bullpen as well. We have kind of the same guys coming back. I think this is a better team. I think we can be a little more focused. We’ve got our minds right where we need to go and where we need to get to,” Machado said.
NOTES: Ubaldo Jimenez allowed one unearned run in 4 2/3 innings in his first rehab start for Aberdeen against Tri-City. He threw 75 pitches, allowed five hits, walked three and struck out three.
Showalter said that Jimenez, who hadn’t pitched since July 5 due to a sprained right ankle, could have another rehab start, this time at Norfolk, before he is activated.
-Dylan Bundy allowed two runs on five hits in 4 1/3 innings for Frederick. He walked five and struck out one against Winston-Salem.
-Kevin Gausman (4-3, 3.67) faces Garrett Richards (11-3, 2.62) on Wednesday night.