Jones' three RBIs help O's get past Angels, rain
Club scores go-ahead runs in sixth, then holds on after lengthy delay
BALTIMORE -- The Orioles beat the Angels, 4-3, after waiting out a rain delay of two hours and 14 minutes on Monday night at Camden Yards. Play was suspended with two outs in the bottom of the sixth inning and resumed at 11 p.m. ET.
The lengthy delay knocked both starting pitchers out of the game, but Freddy Garcia outpitched Jered Weaver and earned the win. It was a battle of the bullpens after the break.
The game was tied after the top of the sixth inning, and it looked as though the game could be called at any moment, given how hard it was raining.
Play continued though, and Baltimore tacked on two sixth-inning runs to take a 4-2 lead before play was suspended at 8:46 p.m.
Orioles left fielder Nate McLouth said that by the time he reached base in the sixth inning, the field was "unplayable." And concern for player safety became a major factor in delaying the game.
"It wasn't raining too hard to play when we stopped," crew chief Joe West said. "The field was getting unplayable. And that's why we stopped. We knew that big burst was coming, we just didn't know when."
Orioles manager Buck Showalter lauded the grounds crew for their work to get the field back in playable shape following the delay, but he said he too was concerned with player safety at times.
"Sure, everybody is," Showalter said. "And you know who's concerned about it the most is the umpiring crew. It got to the point where it wasn't playable, and we stopped it. The mound was in pretty good shape. That was a good thing."
The two runs the Orioles scored in the sixth inning were pivotal, and they came just in time off Weaver before West halted play.
The pouring rain seemed to have a direct effect on the action.
Garcia got out of the sixth inning with the score tied at 2. But just before it was Baltimore's turn to bat in the sixth, it rained progressively harder. At least eight grounds crew members worked frantically to dump buckets of diamond dust on the infield to absorb the standing water and prepare for the next half-inning.
McLouth bunted for a hit to second base to open the frame. It was a good bunt, but second baseman Howie Kendrick had little chance to make the play with the wet grass and soaked ball.
Then McLouth stole second -- his Major League-leading 19th consecutive successful swipe -- and scored on a Manny Machado bloop. Machado's ball dropped in front of Josh Hamilton, who then misplayed it on the soggy grass in right field. McLouth, who had slowed to stop at third base, instead rounded for home as Machado loped into second.
It seemed like the conditions -- the wet grass, the constant rain -- played into the manufactured run, but Angels manager Mike Scioscia said he didn't think so.
"McLouth put down a perfect bunt, got a good jump and stole the base," Scioscia said. "Those guys got some good situational hitting going to get a couple runs in the sixth. But the grass part was really no different than [when] we started."
Then Nick Markakis singled to left and Adam Jones hit a sacrifice fly, driving in Machado to give the Orioles a 4-2 lead. Chris Davis grounded into a fielder's choice for the second out of the inning before play was mercifully suspended.
The Angels cut the deficit to one run in the seventh off Orioles reliever Tommy Hunter, but they couldn't tie it.
Hunter came on after the delay but got himself into trouble by walking a pair and giving up a single with one out.
His defense didn't do him any favors with Hamilton at the plate. He grounded softly to Davis at first base, who tried to force out the speedy Mike Trout at second. Trout made it in well ahead of the throw and a run scored.
But Hunter wiggled out of the one-out jam with a strikeout of Albert Pujols and a groundout by Mark Trumbo to second.
Darren O'Day pitched a scoreless eighth inning, and Jim Johnson closed the game to preserve the win. By that point, it appeared fewer than 1,500 of the announced 15,514 fans were left.
Trout opened the scoring, well before the field and the fans were soaked through. He gave the Angels a 1-0 lead on the first pitch of his third-inning at-bat, driving a sinker over the right-field wall for his 11th home run of the season.
The Orioles responded in the fourth, when Markakis drew a one-out walk and Jones followed with a home run to left field to put the Orioles on top, 2-1. Weaver left an 0-1 changeup chest high and over the middle of the plate, and Jones turned it into his 13th homer of the season.
It was raining pretty consistently at that point, so grip may have been a factor for Weaver. In fact, Jones dried his bat with his jersey under his armpit moments before the homer.
Hamilton tied it up with a home run to right field in the top of the sixth inning before the Orioles reclaimed the lead for good in the bottom half of the frame.
Jones shrugged off the inclement conditions postgame.
"It's just rain," Jones said. "Just annoying because it was coming down at a good pace, but hey, we finished the game and got the 'W.' That's pretty much all I care about."