Angels rally for dramatic victory to split series against Orioles

BALTIMORE — The Angels pulled out just the type of roller-coaster victory that makes a cross-country flight much more pleasant.

Shortly after they blew their second lead of the game, the Angels scored two runs in the top of the eighth inning to take the final lead in a thrilling 6-5 victory over the Baltimore Orioles on Thursday afternoon.

Right fielder Hunter Renfroe made a spectacular throw to nail Adam Frazier trying to stretch a single into a double in the ninth. Closer Carlos Estévez struck out Ryan Mountcastle with two runners on to end it.

The Angels (23-22) split the four-game series against the Orioles, who have the second-best record in the American League.

This one took a little bit of everything, with Shohei Ohtani driving in the first run with a first-inning homer and the last with a tie-breaking infield hit with two outs in the eighth.

Mike Trout hit his second homer in two games, showing signs of emerging from his slump.

Luis Rengifo had three hits and a walk, starting the Angels’ go-ahead rallies in the sixth and eighth innings.

The bottom three spots in the Angels order accounted for six hits and three walks.

Relievers Matt Moore and Estévez worked two scoreless innings to finish the game, after Chris Devenski gave up a two-run homer to Adley Rutschman that put the Orioles on top in the seventh.

Devenski ended up with a victory, thanks to a rally that began with the Rengifo’s one-out single in the eighth. Zach Neto followed with a walk. Gio Urshela then singled, tying the game.

Taylor Ward struck out and Trout was hit by a pitch, loading the bases for Ohtani. He yanked a sharp grounder to the right side. Mountcastle made a diving stop, but couldn’t beat Ohtani to the first-base bag.

Moore and Estévez then took care of the rest, with Renfroe’s help.

Frazier lined a one-out hit off the right-field fence, but Renfroe played it perfectly off the wall and threw it on a hop to Neto, nailing Frazier. It proved to be a game-saving play because Cedric Mullins then doubled. The Angels intentionally walked Rutschman and Estévez struck out Mountcastle for his 10th save.

It should not have been so dramatic after the Angels took a 3-0 lead on Ohtani’s first-inning homer and Trout’s third-inning homer.

Angels starter Tyler Anderson escaped a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the first inning and stranded two runners in the second before slipping into cruise control with a pair of perfect innings.

Just when it seemed he might be on his way to one of his best outings of the season, he hit a speed bump in the fifth inning. After allowing a bloop single and a double off the fence, Anderson got a couple flyouts. He then left a cutter over the inner half of the plate that Anthony Santander drilled for a game-tying two-run homer.

More to come on this story.

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