Birthday bash: Wieters celebrates with HR

May 22nd, 2016

ANAHEIM -- Matt Wieters played the hero role for the Orioles on his 30th birthday Saturday night.

Wieters slugged a three-run home run off Angels closer Joe Smith with two outs in the ninth inning to propel the O's to a comeback win, 3-1, at Angel Stadium.

"I think I will remember this one," Weiters said. "It's good to get a win tonight. It's a tough win, but a good win."

Wieters' go-ahead homer made a winner of reliever Brad Brach and prevented starter Kevin Gausman from having a tough-luck loss. Gausman pitched 6 2/3 innings of one-run ball, striking out six and scattering eight hits.

"Gaus threw the ball great tonight," Wieters said. "To be able to at least take him off the hook for the loss, he threw the ball too well to get a loss."

The Orioles' powerful offense was quiet for most of Saturday, with Angels starter Matt Shoemaker limiting them to three hits in 7 1/3 innings. Shoemaker racked up a 12 strikeouts, tying his career-high.

With a lineup that leads the Major Leagues with 62 homers this season, the O's never feel like they can't rally late in games. Baltimore leads MLB with 14 comeback wins.

"With our offense, we always feel like we're in the game, especially when you can get to be within a swing," Wieters said. "Everybody in our lineup one through nine can drive a ball out, so we never feel like we're out of a game."

Chris Davis started the ninth-inning rally with a two-out single and Mark Trumbo followed with a walk to set the stage for Wieters' clutch homer. He got a 1-0 sinker from Smith up in the zone and punched it over the left-field fence. The ball traveled 394 feet and left the bat at 101 mph, according to Statcast™.

"Certain guys you are trying to hit the ball the other way and get a ball up," said Wieters, who has five career go-ahead homers in the ninth inning or later. "I think he was trying to come in a little bit and one leaked out over the middle and was just able to put the barrel on it."

Wieters also had the Orioles' first hit off Shoemaker, a double with two outs in the fifth. He has a modest four-game hit streak. Over his last seven games, Wieters is 13-for-27 (.481) with three doubles, three homers, eight RBIs and five runs scored.

"I feel good, I'm seeing the ball good and I'm able find some barrels," Wieters said. "We'll try to keep it as long as we can."