Mike Trout home run can’t save Angels from season-opening loss to Baltimore

Angels starting pitcher Patrick Sandoval delivers against the Baltimore Orioles.
Angels starting pitcher Patrick Sandoval delivers during a 11-3 season-opening loss to the Baltimore Orioles on Thursday.
(Julia Nikhinson / Associated Press)

Corbin Burnes’ debut in Baltimore was everything his new team could have wanted.

The Orioles’ new ace was excellent — and their offense showed why they’re the reigning AL East champions.

“One bad pitch through six innings. Just awesome, awesome performance,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “That’s not easy to do. New team, opening day, a lot of jitters, probably pretty anxious, and go out and do what he just did is really impressive.”

Burnes allowed one baserunner in a dominant six innings, and Anthony Santander and Cedric Mullins both homered as the Orioles began their division defense with an 11-3 rout of the Angels on Thursday.


The Angels know it’ll be tough to overcome Shohei Ohtani’s absence, but Mike Trout is staying optimistic about the team’s playoff chances.

March 25, 2024

Mike Trout hit a first-inning home run off Burnes, but the Angels managed nary a peep against the new Baltimore ace after that. Burnes (1-0) struck out 11 in his first start after the Orioles acquired him from Milwaukee in an offseason trade.

“It’s kind of one of those days where everything lines up, that you kind of got everything working. It becomes a really fun day,” Burnes said. “You can kind of do some things that you don’t normally do when you don’t have everything working.”

Burnes joined Bob Gibson in 1967 as the only pitchers with at least 11 strikeouts, no walks and one or fewer runs allowed on opening day.

Angels star Mike Trout trots toward home plate after hitting a home run in the first inning.
Angels star Mike Trout trots toward home plate after hitting a home run in the first inning against the Baltimore Orioles on Thursday.
(Julia Nikhinson / Associated Press)

“He did exactly what a real good pitcher does,” said the Angels’ Ron Washington, back managing a big league team for the first time in a decade. “You give him a lead, they know how to take it to the finish line.”

Baltimore’s Adley Rutschman, who had five hits and a walk on opening day last year in Boston, started this season off with hits in the first and second innings, then later drew a walk. He scored three runs and Santander drove in four.

Santander hit a two-run homer in the fourth and Mullins added a three-run shot in the seventh for the Orioles, who brought back a young core that won 101 games last year. They figure to add another top prospect soon whenever infielder Jackson Holliday comes up from the minors.


Baltimore also began a new era when David Rubenstein bought control Wednesday from the Angelos family, who had owned the team since 1993.

For the Angels, the future isn’t nearly as rosy after the departure of two-way star Shohei Ohtani in the offseason. Trout still can be an MVP-caliber player if healthy, but Los Angeles wasn’t competitive in this one. Patrick Sandoval (0-1) got only five outs while making the start on opening day — a role filled by Ohtani the last two years. Sandoval allowed three earned runs and six hits.

Check out the box score from the Angels’ loss to the Baltimore Orioles.

Baltimore scored twice in the first. Then Rutschman hit a two-run single in the second and scored on Santander’s sacrifice fly to make it 5-1.

“The quality of the at-bats that we were taking early in the game was unbelievable for me,” Hyde said. “Just the way we were laying off close pitches. Sandoval’s not easy to hit.”

Injury updates

Angels: The Angels put right-handed pitcher Sam Bachman (right shoulder inflammation) on the 60-day injured list, infielder Michael Stefanic (left quad strain) on the 10-day IL and right-handed pitcher Robert Stephenson (right shoulder inflammation) on the 15-day IL. The Angels selected the contract of infielder Miguel Sanó.

Orioles: Right-handed pitcher Kyle Bradish (right UCL sprain) and left-hander John Means (left forearm strain) started the season on the 15-day IL. Baltimore also put right-hander Jacob Webb on the paternity list, recalled left-hander Nick Vespi from Triple-A Norfolk and designated outfielder Ryan McKenna and utility player Tyler Nevin for assignment.


Up next

The teams resume this three-game series Saturday. Baltimore’s Grayson Rodriguez starts against Griffin Canning.