ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — The Baltimore Orioles refuse to budge at the top of the American League East, getting four hits and four RBIs from Austin Hays in a 10-3 victory to finish off a three-game sweep of the Los Angeles Angels on Wednesday night.
Hays and Anthony Santander hit back-to-back home runs in the eighth inning, and Santander and Ramon Urias each had three hits. Right-hander Kyle Gibson (14-8) gave up three runs on six hits over six innings as the Orioles won their fifth straight.
Baltimore maintained a 3 1/2-game lead in the division over Tampa Bay with a visit to Boston up next for a three-game series starting Friday. The Orioles are 5-1 on their nine-game trip to face Arizona, Los Angeles and Boston.
“We came here with the goal of winning the series and we did that in the first two games so coming out today and scoring 10 runs, that was huge for us,” Hays said. “We got a great start from Gibby, so to to be able to complete the sweep was good. It’s good to rest up on this cross-country flight and we’ll keep this thing rolling in Boston.”
Luis Rengifo had a two-run home run for the Angels, who lost their sixth consecutive game and fell for the ninth time in their last 10. The Angels played their third consecutive game without Shohei Ohtani (oblique) in the lineup.
“Through us talking today, he kind of said he might need another (day off),” Angels manager Phil Nevin said. “Just the same thing tomorrow when he comes in. We’ll evaluate it, and if we feel like he can go, he’ll play.”
Baltimore took a 1-0 lead in the second on Urias’ RBI single and took control with a four-run third.
Baltimore loaded the bases with one out in the third on an error and a pair of walks from left-hander Patrick Sandoval before Hays singled to left field to score two runs. An infield single by Urias loaded the bases again in the inning before Aaron Hicks delivered a two-run single to left to make it 5-0.
The Angels got two runs back in their half of the third when Rengifo hit a two-run home run to right field, his 16th. He extended his career-best hitting streak to 14 games.
Baltimore took a 6-2 lead in the sixth inning on Santander’s slow dribbler down the third-base line with the bases loaded for an infield hit and RBI against right-hander Jaime Barria. Hays followed with a sacrifice fly to make it 7-2.
“(Hays) is just driving the baseball, getting huge hits for us, playing Gold Glove defense in left field,” Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said. “He had an outstanding game offensively. He shows up at the plate every day and set the tone offensively.”
Sandoval (7-12) gave up seven runs (four earned) on seven hits in five innings with four walks and three strikeouts.
The Angels added a run in the sixth inning on Mike Moustakas’ sacrifice fly.
Santander hit his 27th home run with one out in the eighth, a two-run shot, and Hays followed with his 14th, just over the short wall in left.
“I think this team, for as young as we are, it’s a pretty mature, pretty developed, pretty wise team” said Gibson, who rebounded after giving up seven runs to the Chicago White Sox in a start last week.
Nolan Schanuel went 1 for 4 and tied an Angels record by reaching base in each of his first 15 games played since making his major league debut Aug. 18. Darin Erstad reached base in his first 15 games in 1996.
Schanuel was the Angels’ first-round draft pick this year out of Florida Atlantic.
Orioles: Left-hander John Means (elbow, back) is close to rejoining the roster with his rehab assignment set to end Friday. With Triple-A Norfolk on Wednesday, Means gave up three runs on six hits in five innings against Jacksonville.
Angels: Ohtani missed all three games of the series against the Orioles with right oblique tightness. He did take swings in the batting cage before Wednesday’s game.
Orioles: Manager Brandon Hyde altered his rotation to have right-hander Kyle Bradish (10-6, 3.03 ERA) pitch in the series opener Friday at Boston, while left-hander Cole Irvin is set to work out of the bullpen.
Angels: Right-hander Chase Silseth continues to recover from a concussion, with a bullpen game scheduled for Thursday at home game against Cleveland. No specific starter has been named.