The Baltimore Orioles are hoping they turned their season around in Tampa Bay.
Now, they’ll look to build off the momentum they built there when they open a four-game series with the Los Angeles Angels on Friday at Camden Yards.
Melvin Mora hit a go-ahead two-run homer in the Orioles’ three-run ninth inning as Baltimore beat Tampa Bay 6-5 on Thursday.
The Orioles (5-5) entered the series on a four-game losing streak and were coming off a three-game sweep against Boston, but took three of four against the Devil Rays.
“That’s a good sign for a team to battle late in the game like that,” Baltimore manager Sam Perlozzo said. “That’s a big win for us. It’s a real positive for this ballclub to be able to do things like that and get us going again.”
Baltimore scored 24 runs against the Devil Rays after managing just 10 during its four-game slide. Mora hit two homers in the series, and Miguel Tejada, who went 2-for-5 with two RBIs Thursday in his fifth multihit game of the season, drove in five runs.
Jay Gibbons singled in the eighth inning Thursday to extend his hitting streak to nine games.
“A big difference, to finish off with a win like that,” Perlozzo said. “There was more emotion in the dugout the last two innings than I’ve seen the entire game.”
Rodrigo Lopez will look to keep Baltimore’s momentum going in the series opener. Lopez has allowed at least four earned runs in each of his first two starts and is 1-1 with a 6.39 ERA.
The right-hander allowed four runs and eight hits in 5 2-3 innings of Sunday’s 4-1 loss to the Boston Red Sox, walking four and striking out two.
Lopez has had plenty of success in the past against the Angels, going 5-1 with a 1.70 ERA in seven career starts. The ERA is his lowest against any American League team.
Los Angeles (5-4) will counter with Ervin Santana, who looked strong in his season debut on Saturday. The 23-year-old right-hander gave up one earned run— on a solo homer from Derek Jeter—and two hits in 5 2-3 innings of a 3-2 win over the New York Yankees.
Santana made his only career start against the Orioles on Aug. 4, allowing four runs—two earned—and four hits in seven innings of a 4-1 loss. Lopez started for Baltimore, giving up just one earned run and two hits in five innings and earning the win.
The Angels took two of three from Texas, but lost 11-3 in the series finale on Wednesday. Orlando Cabrera drove in his eighth run of the season for Los Angeles, which has won four of six overall.
Vladimir Guerrero left the game after striking out in the fifth inning because of a stomach flu.
The Angels are opening a 10-game road trip.
“It seems like we’ve been on the road for two months, with spring training and a game in San Francisco and opening the season in Seattle,” manager Mike Scioscia said. “We’re not focused on the schedule. We’re looking at the game at hand.”