The Baltimore Orioles finally broke out of their offensive struggles against the Los Angeles Angels, and more opportunities might arise against Matt Shoemaker.
The Orioles can win the series against the struggling right-hander on Saturday night when they go for their fourth win in the last six games against the host Angels.
Baltimore (25-15) took Friday's opener 9-4 after totaling seven runs in its previous three games. The Orioles combined for 23 hits while losing three of four but busted out for 14 on Friday, including home runs from Joey Rickard, Manny Machado, Chris Davis and Mark Trumbo – who spent the first four years of his career with the Angels.
Matt Wieters and Jonathan Schoop each went 3 for 5 as the Orioles retained first place in the AL East. Baltimore improved to 8-7 on the road after playing just two away from home since April 28 before opening a nine-game West Coast trip in Anaheim.
Shoemaker (2-5, 8.49 ERA) ended a horrible rut with a good performance on Monday, giving up six hits and three runs in five innings of a 7-6 win at the Los Angeles Dodgers – his first victory since April 13.
The right-hander had surrendered 22 hits and 18 runs – 17 earned – in 9 1/3 innings over his previous three starts.
Los Angeles' starting rotation, decimated by injuries, recently went through a 14-game stretch in which a starting pitcher completed six innings just once.
However, Shoemaker's start was the only one in a span of five that didn't reach seven innings.
“That's what we need to do: Feed off each other like that in the rotation,” Shoemaker told MLB's official website. “You go out there and you're like, 'Look what Hector (Santiago) did yesterday.' Stuff like that. As a rotation you need that, because then you're like, 'I'm going to go out and do that. I'm going to give this team a chance to win.'”
Shoemaker has faced Baltimore just twice, and he held the Orioles to three hits and a run in seven innings of the Angels' 6-1 win last May 16.
Adam Jones homered twice off Shoemaker in a 2014 start, though the other seven current Orioles to face him are a combined 1 for 22 with nine strikeouts.
Baltimore will counter with Kevin Gausman (0-1, 3.00 ERA), who is still searching for his first win despite his quality ERA and a 1.07 WHIP through his first five starts. Both numbers jumped a bit in his latest outing when he gave up 10 hits and four runs in five innings of Sunday's 6-5 loss to Detroit.
The Angels shelled the right-hander for nine hits and six runs in 5 2/3 innings of an 8-4 loss on Aug. 7, moving Gausman's career ERA in two starts against them to 6.39.
Yunel Escobar is 6 for 10 with a double against Gausman, and Mike Trout is 2 for 5 with a home run in the matchup.
Baltimore manager Buck Showalter spoke about Los Angeles' situation, playing with 10 players on the disabled list, including ace pitcher Garrett Richards, closer Huston Street and shortstop Andrelton Simmons.
“With some of the challenges they have had with the injuries, sometimes it creates a new mindset with everybody,” Showalter told MLB's official website. “It's how you play in those stretches. In some ways, it allows people to play a little more free and easy sometimes. They let it rip. Sometimes when you have the nothing-to-lose mentality, it creates for a good situation on the field. They have talent. They're a good club.”