Angels have Opening Day spoiled by Orioles in blowout

Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports
The Angels suffer a blowout loss at the hands of Corbin Burnes and the Orioles on Opening Day in Baltimore.

BALTIMORE — Much of the optimism about the 2024 Angels season faded when the Orioles crushed the Angels 11-3 on Opening Day Thursday at Camden Yards.

The Angels have lost on Opening Day in 10 of the past 11 seasons.

Star center fielder Mike Trout opened the season on a high note with a 402-foot home run to center field in the first inning to give the Angels a 1-0 lead.

That was all the Angels could muster against Orioles ace and 2021 National League Cy Young winner Corbin Burnes.

Burnes was fantastic and allowed just one run in six innings with one hit, zero walks and 11 strikeouts. He didn’t allow a baserunner after the Trout home run and retired 16 consecutive Angels hitters at one point. Burnes was the first pitcher since Bob Gibson in 1967 to have an Opening Day start with 11 or more strikeouts, no walks and one or fewer runs allowed.

The Angels lead was squandered away in the bottom of the first inning by Angels starting pitcher Patrick Sandoval. Sandoval, who was making his first career Opening Day start, walked two of the first three hitters of the game and allowed two runs in the first inning.

Anthony Santander drove in a run on a groundout for the Orioles and Jordan Westburg drove in a run with a single.

Sandoval continued to struggle in the second inning and the Angels defense didn’t do him any favors. Anthony Rendon bobbled a slow grounder from Ramon Urias for the first error of the season. Jorge Mateo followed with a double down the left field line to put two runners in scoring position with no outs.

Adley Rutschman and Ryan Mountcastle hit run-scoring singles and Santander hit a sacrifice fly to give the Orioles a 5-1 lead before Ron Washington lifted Sandoval in just the second inning.

Sandoval finished with a less than stellar stat line of 1.2 innings pitched, six hits, five runs, three earned with two walks.

Things didn’t get any better when the Angels turned to the bullpen. Jose Suarez allowed three runs including a 2-run, 431 foot home run to Santander.

Jose Cisnero failed to complete a full inning and allowed two hits, two walks and a 3-run home run to Cedric Mullins to give the Orioles an 11-1 lead.

The Angels did put a pair of runs on the board in the eighth inning against Orioles reliever Dillon Tate, who missed all of 2023 with an elbow injury.

Luis Rengifo pinch hit for Brandon Drury and hit a double, the only hit for the Angels Thursday aside from the Trout home run. Nolan Schanuel extended his on-base streak to 30 games with a walk.

With the bases loaded, Zach Neto grounded into what could have been a double play, but Mateo made a throwing error to first base which allowed an extra run to score and cut the Orioles lead to 11-3.

The teams have an off day Friday before resuming the series Saturday at 12:30 p.m. Pacific time. Griffin Canning will start for the Angels against Grayson Rodriguez for the Orioles.

Canning is 0-3 in his career against the Orioles with an 11.05 ERA.