A day after a metal gaffe cost the Baltimore Orioles a run in a 10-2 loss to the Oakland A’s, Adam Jones redeemed himself in a big way on Monday night in Anaheim. Baltimore’s All-Star CF blasted a pair of two-run homers as the Birds beat the L.A. Angels 4-2 in the first game of a three-game series.
Jones, who in my opinion is the best all-around center fielder in club history, used his power against L.A. righty Matt Shoemaker to help the Orioles beat a team that is very tough in their home park. The Angels were sporting a 34-16 home mark going into Monday’s game. That record is tops in all of baseball.
RHP Bud Norris was the beneficiary of the Jones power surge as he went 6.2 innings to earn his eighth victory. Norris struck out eight as he picked up his fifth win in his last six starts.
With the victory, the Orioles extended their lead in the AL East to four games over the New York Yankees and Toronto Blue Jays.
We all knew this was gong to be a tough road trip for the Birds right out of the All-Star break. The A’s have the best record in the majors while the Angels currently have the second-best. After leaving Anaheim, the team will head to Seattle to face a Mariners team that would qualify for the playoffs if the postseason started today.
Is this road trip a litmus test for manager Buck Showalter’s team? Absolutely. A make-or-break trip? Absolutely not.
You want to prove that you can play with the best, for sure. But we all know there is still a lot of baseball left to go. Even if the orioles go 7-3 on the trip it doesn’t guarantee that they will win the division.
It will show, however, that they are definitely a force to be reckoned with in the American League.
Heading into Tuesday night’s game against the Angels, Baltimore is 2-2 on the trip.
RHP Miguel Gonzalez will try and give the Orioles the upper hand. Hopefully, he will be up the challenge.
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