LA Angels of Anaheim (63-43) at Baltimore Orioles (60-46), 7:05 p.m. (ET)
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Baltimore Orioles shoot for a three-game sweep of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim when the two clubs close out their series Thursday from Camden Yards.
The AL East-leading Orioles posted a 4-3 win on Wednesday and received a solid start from Kevin Gausman, who allowed the three runs across seven innings. Darren O'Day tossed a scoreless eighth and Zach Britton closed the door in the ninth for his 21st save.
All-Star Adam Jones hit a two-run homer in the first inning and both David Lough and Ryan Flaherty drove in a run for Baltimore, which is 2 1/2 games ahead of surging Toronto and has won three straight and seven of nine games.
"It makes it a little more comfortable," Jones said of setting the tone early with his 21st homer. "Doesn't matter how you get across any runs, but if you are able to get some runs across early, I think it allows the starting pitcher to breathe, especially young guys that we have on our team."
Jones tied Cal Ripken, Jr. for fourth place on the home run list at Camden Yards with 85.
The Orioles were again without first baseman Chris Davis, who was sidelined on Monday due to flu-like symptoms. He is day-to-day.
Bud Norris draws the start for Baltimore Thursday and he is 8-7 with a 3.94 earned run average. Norris has lost two of three starts since winning four in a row and gave up four runs in five innings of a 4-3 defeat at Seattle on Saturday.
Norris is 4-2 in seven starts at Camden Yards and is even more stellar against the Angels, going 4-0 lifetime with a 0.52 ERA in five starts.
The Angels look to avoid the sweep and had won three in a row before this series. In last night's loss to the O's, Garrett Richards had a rare rough starts and permitted four runs in seven innings.
"I had good stuff tonight. They just had some timely hits," Richards said.
Chris Iannetta drove in two runs and Kole Calhoun had an RBI in the loss.
Anaheim will visit Tampa Bay for three games next and hopes Tyler Skaggs can right the ship when he takes the hill Thursday. Skaggs is 5-5 with a 4.49 ERA and has never faced the Orioles. He is 4-3 in eight road starts this season.
The Orioles have won nine of their last 12 versus the Angels.