Hector Santiago screamed at the home plate umpire in the third inning Friday night. So ended his night. So ended the Angels’ chances at beating Baltimore.
The Orioles mashed four home runs in a 9-4 rout at Angel Stadium, and the Angels were angry about the ejection afterward.
“They have a team built on power, and they showed that tonight,” said Angels Manager Mike Scioscia.
Santiago sneaked the first pitch of Friday’s game, an 89-mph sinker, into the top corner of the strike zone. He tried to do the same with the second but caught too much of the plate, and Joey Rickard hit it out to left.
Santiago had an easier time in the second inning, save for his walk of the Orioles’ No. 9 hitter, journeyman Paul Janish, on four pitches. Janish had not walked in the major leagues since Aug. 18, 2013. Next up, Rickard slammed a ball 393 feet to left-center. Mike Trout ranged back and caught it perhaps six inches before it left the field of play for good.
In the third, Santiago walked Machado, and then retired Jones and Davis easily. With two outs, ex-Angel Mark Trumbo approached the plate.
Trumbo hammered a high fastball for a home run, his 13th of 2016. Three pitches into the next at-bat, Santiago’s night was done. Home plate umpire John Tumpane ejected him after he yelled, “It was right over the ... plate.”
The Angels disputed the ruling. Santiago said he was “100% surprised” that he was ejected, as he said he had already moved on, readying to make his next delivery.
“You have to do more than what Hector did to get thrown out of a ballgame,” Scioscia said. “And that’s a joke.”
Umpire crew chief Dale Scott said Santiago received two warnings precisely because he is a starting pitcher and it was early in the game.
“I know Mike was very angry, and that’s fine, I understand that,” Scott said. “Conversely, when there’s a couple warnings out in the same exchange and it continues, in all likelihood you’re probably going to be finished.”
The count was 3-0 to Matt Wieters when the call came in. Quickly, Mike Morin warmed and entered the game. It was not an ideal night for an early ejection. Because of a quirk in MLB rules, the Angels had to play Friday’s game with only 24 men on their active roster. They optioned infielder Jefry Marte to triple-A Salt Lake to add Tim Lincecum to their organization and immediately put him on optional waivers, to which he consented.
Scioscia rode the relievers he had, asking three of them to record more than three outs each. And it was all in vain, as the Angels could not muster enough offense to challenge the powerful Orioles.
They scored again in the sixth, when Trout singled, Albert Pujols walked, and Johnny Giavotella punched a ball through to right field. Ortega followed with a grounder to first, which Davis picked up and threw to second, attempting to start an inning-ending double play.
Instead, he hit Giavotella in the back, loading the bases. Perez provided a sacrifice fly for one more run before Gregorio Petit blooped a ball into short right field, scoring one more and tying the score.
The Angels never mounted another rally, and the score did not stay that way long. After Yunel Escobar threw a routine grounder away in the seventh, Davis smashed a two-out, two-run home run off Angels left-hander Jose Alvarez. In the eighth and ninth innings, A.J. Achter yielded three runs on six hits.
Follow Pedro Moura on Twitter: @pedromoura