ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Gunnar Henderson hit a three-run homer and fellow rookie Grayson Rodriguez pitched six solid innings in the Baltimore Orioles' 12th victory in 16 games, 6-3 over the Los Angeles Angels on Monday night.
Shohei Ohtani missed only his third game of the season for the Angels, who scratched the two-way superstar about an hour before first pitch after he strained his right oblique muscles in batting practice.
“We're going to run some tests in the morning and see where he's at,” Angels manager Phil Nevin said. “I don't want to speculate anything right now. ... Pretty sore today, though.”
About an hour before Ohtani was scratched, agent Nez Balelo made the first public comments by the slugger's camp about his torn elbow ligament, confirming Ohtani is determined to continue his career as both a pitcher and hitter.
Rodriguez was disappointed when Ohtani came out of the Angels’ lineup.
“Yeah, that was somebody I was looking forward to (facing),” he said. ”Hopefully everything is all right with him. I definitely was looking forward to it."
Rodriguez and Henderson are the Orioles’ two youngest players, but both stepped up for a surging team with no collective experience in a pennant race.
“This is definitely a testament to the whole team,” said Henderson, whose 23rd homer capped a two-out rally in the seventh. “I felt like we all bought in together in spring training and just kept working hard together.”
Rodriguez (5-3) struck out seven and allowed seven hits while improving to 3-0 in his last five starts, going at least six innings every time.
“We have really talented young players, and you saw a few of them tonight,” Baltimore manager Brandon Hyde said.
Austin Hays, Ryan Mountcastle and Aaron Hicks drove in runs in the third inning for the AL-leading Orioles, who have won three of four to open their nine-game trip.
Kenny Rosenberg (0-1) pitched six innings of seven-hit ball in his second major league start for the Angels, who have lost four straight and 23 of 31 since they were five games above .500 at the trade deadline.
Randal Grichuk and Brandon Drury homered and Mickey Moniak had an RBI double as the Halos returned from getting swept by the majors’ worst team in Oakland to continue playing out the string. Los Angeles acknowledged the inevitability of its ninth consecutive non-playoff season last week by giving away five veterans on waivers.
Michael Stefanic put the Angels ahead in the second by scoring from first on Moniak's double. Hays tied it with a run-scoring double and scored on Mountcastle's single before Hicks drove home Mountcastle.
Rosenberg was solid after that Baltimore rally, striking out four. The Cal State Northridge product is in the majors to fill the rotation spots vacated by the injured Ohtani and jettisoned Lucas Giolito, who landed in Cleveland.
“I thought he was great,” Nevin said of Rosenberg. “Did everything we asked. For him to go out and give us six like that ... I thought we pitched very well against a good lineup.”
Grichuk hit his 13th homer in the fourth, his second since the Angels also put him on waivers Aug. 29. The veteran outfielder went unclaimed.
Drury got his 20th homer in the eighth.
Yennier Cano pitched the ninth for his sixth save. He got help from second baseman Jordan Westburg, who sprinted deep into center field and made a stunning catch on Logan O'Hoppe's popup with his back to the plate.
Angels rookie Nolan Schanuel reached base in his 13th consecutive game to begin his major league career when the 2023 draftee drew a leadoff walk.
Angels: Recent tests revealed OF Mike Trout's hand has no structural damage, Nevin said. The three-time AL MVP has played in one game since July 3, but the Halos are still hoping he can play again this season, with Nevin saying pain tolerance is the biggest obstacle. ... Rookie SS Zach Neto will start a rehab assignment with Triple-A Salt Lake on Tuesday after missing a month with a back injury.
Dean Kremer (12-5, 4.20 ERA) takes the mound for Baltimore against Reid Detmers (3-10, 5.01), who pitched six scoreless innings at Camden Yards last year in his most recent start against the Orioles.
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