Return to Camden Yards allows Orioles to have short memory of road trip

The Baltimore Sun

Maybe just a night sleeping in their own beds was all the Orioles needed for their bats to wake up following a weekend of Chicago slumber at Wrigley Field.

"The hits, the runs, all of it,” shortstop J.J. Hardy said. “Slumped a little bit there in Chicago, but it's nice to come out first game this homestand and score some runs."

The Orioles blasted Tampa Bay Rays pitching with five homers in their 9-1 win Monday night in the first of 11 straight games at Camden Yards.

They went 74 games between three-game losing streaks this season, which might be why being swept by the Cubs this weekend was so startling. But this Orioles team has done a good job of successfully turning the page and stopping the bleeding.

“It's three games,” Jones said of the sweep. “Hip hip hooray. It's not the end of the world. People around here thinking it's the end of the world because you lose three games.

"I know we ain't done it since [May], but ... it's not the end of the world. It's three losses. I mean, the game still goes on. But I guess people thought the offense was struggling. It's a game, man, you run into stuff like that.

“The strength of this team is the ability to forget. Something happens, forget it, move on. That's the strength of this team.”

Said right fielder Nick Markakis: “It’s only one series. It’s not like we lost eight in a row on that trip. We had a tough stretch there to end it, but it’s definitely a good way to come back and bounce back, especially against a team like that.”

This team has definitely turned the page on Wrigley Field, where they were crammed like sardines through a rain delay of more than three hours Saturday without access to any hitting or pitching facilities.

"It's good because it seemed like y'all went in panic mode when we got swept in Chicago,” said left fielder Delmon Young, who had three hits Monday. “We weren't scoring many runs, but it happens, and then we're back in our division at home facing a guy we've seen before, a team we play, we know their tendencies and everything. And we've got better facilities here than Wrigley."

Other notes:

* Steve Pearce continues to flourish in the No. 2 spot. After going 2-for-5 on Monday, Pearce is hitting .343/.343/.829 with nine extra base hits (five doubles, four homers) over an eight-game hitting streak. He has homered in back-to-back games for the third time this season.

* Young’s three hits tied his season high for the fifth time, and he’s now riding a six-game hitting streak. He’s batting .360/.407/.560 over that span.

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