O's Wright outduels Richards in MLB debut

O's Wright outduels Richards in MLB debut

BALTIMORE -- Mike Wright shut down the Angels in his Major League debut, leading the Orioles to a 3-0 victory on Sunday afternoon at Camden Yards. Baltimore claimed the finale of the three-game set, winning for only the fourth time in 12 games and snapping the Angels' season-high five-game winning streak.

Wright got the call with Bud Norris (bronchitis) and Chris Tillman (lower back stiffness) both unavailable. The 25-year-old right-hander, who had a 2.64 ERA in six starts for Triple-A Norfolk, didn't allow a baserunner until Kole Calhoun's leadoff single in the fourth inning. He struck out six without a walk over 7 1/3 scoreless innings, holding the Angels to four hits.

"At times, I had everything working," Wright said. "Sometimes my slider wasn't there, but I felt good altogether. I felt amazing."

Wright outdueled Los Angeles starter Garrett Richards, who got no support while giving up only two runs on five hits over 7 2/3 innings, with one walk and seven strikeouts. But in the fourth inning, the Orioles squeezed out a run. With one out, Adam Jones legged out an infield single, raced to third on a single by Delmon Young and scored on a wild pitch.

Jones gave the Orioles some breathing room in the eighth, smacking a two-run double into the left-center gap off reliever Mike Morin. One of those runs was charged to Richards, who left after Manny Machado's two-out, bases-empty single.

Jones' RBI double

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Dazzling debut: The 6-foot-6 Wright showed no jitters in his first big league appearance, striking out Angels slugger Mike Trout in the first inning and never looking back. Wright reached 98 mph on the radar gun and was perfect through three innings before allowing two hits in the fourth. He worked his way out of trouble in the fourth and retired nine out of the next 10 batters he faced before an eighth-inning single by Matt Joyce ended his day. Wright walked off to a standing ovation when he was replaced by Brad Brach.

Wright's impressive first game

"It's everything that you dream of going into it, and it was really fun," Wright said. More >

Richards' wild side: Wild pitches have been an issue for Richards, who entered Sunday with 41 over 430 1/3 career innings. Over 26 starts last year, he uncorked 22, four more than any other Major League pitcher. With runners on first and third and two outs in the fourth, he spiked a slider to Steve Pearce that bounced away from catcher Carlos Perez. That brought Jones home and gave Richards six wild pitches in his first six starts of 2015.

Orioles score on wild pitch

"Carlos blocked probably eight of them today, and one got by with a guy on third," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "But Garrett's breaking ball is just so late and sharp, and when it's down, it really kicks in another direction, so you have to battle. He's not an easy guy to catch. Carlos did a good job on just about every one, and one got away." More >

Rundown done right: The Orioles snuffed out an Angels threat in the fourth inning thanks to some solid fundamental baseball. With runners on second and third, the Angels' Erick Aybar hit a grounder to third baseman Machado. The speedy Calhoun took off on contact, but Machado made a perfect throw to catcher Caleb Joseph, putting Calhoun in a rundown. Joseph ran Calhoun back toward third, and with another runner already occupying the base, Joseph was able to make the tag and pick up a big out. More >

Orioles catch Calhoun at home

"You never know what can happen on a play like that," Joseph said. "There's all kinds of moving parts and to execute the small things, we have to do that to be competitive in this league."

SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
The Angels now have gone 22 straight games, since April 23, without scoring or allowing seven runs or more. That's the longest such streak in franchise history, passing a 21-game stretch from April 23-May 16, 1967.

WHAT'S NEXT
Angels: The Angels will continue their 10-game road trip at 10:07 a.m. PT on Monday, beginning a four-game series against the Blue Jays at Rogers Centre. Left-hander C.J. Wilson will get the ball as the Halos look to win for the 13th time in their last 16 matchups against the Jays.

Orioles: The Birds open a three-game series against Seattle on Tuesday at 7:05 p.m. ET and look to continue the recent success they have had at home against the Mariners. Since 2011, Baltimore is 9-3 against Seattle at Camden Yards, including sweeps in '11 and '12. Last year, the Orioles went 2-1 against the Mariners at home.

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Andrew Simon is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AndrewSimonMLB. Elliott Smith is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.