Big swings from Mark Trumbo and Trey Mancini, combined with a pitching effort that held an opponent below five runs for the first time in just over three weeks,
Big swings from Mark Trumbo and Trey Mancini, combined with a pitching effort that held an opponent below five runs for the first time in just over three weeks, helped the Orioles to an 8-3 win Saturday at Tropicana Field.
The Orioles (36-38) ended their losing streak at three, and improved to 12-24 on the road, winning away from home for just the third time in 20 tries.
With the score tied at 3 in the seventh inning, Trumbo lined a two-run double to center field to put the Orioles ahead, and scored on the next pitch when Mancini hit his 13th home run of the season to create a bit of cushion.
"I don't think anyone hits a prettier hard line drive over the infield than Mark," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "It's fun to watch when he squares it up. He was a little frustrated from his previous at-bat [when he stranded two in scoring position], but these guys, they don't dwell on it. You've got to move on in this game. I thought that was a big knock. A big knock, and some add on runs [from Trey]."
Trumbo finished with two hits, while Mancini had two hits and reached base four times.
The pitching effort, led by seven strong innings from Dylan Bundy (8-6) and supplemented with two combined relief innings from Donnie Hart and Mychal Givens, ended the Orioles' 20-game streak of allowing at least five runs. A 21st such game would've broken a major league record set in 1924 by the Philadelphia Phillies.
"It's a great game all-around," Bundy said. "We were hitting the ball for homers, sacrifice flies, good bunts, then defense played great behind me, double-play balls and running down the fly balls."
Bundy better: Bundy wasn't himself Monday in Baltimore, but returned to form with his 12th quality start in 16 tries Saturday.
He matched his season high with eight strikeouts, and though he walked four, Bundy scattered just five hits.
More importantly for the Orioles, he had a firmer fastball than he has in recent starts. He hit 94 mph in the fourth inning and maintained 92-93 mph on his fastball for most of the day.
"I think he had more weapons at his disposal," Showalter said. "One pitch I don't think he had much feel for, but he made them think about it. His command was a lot better."
Bundy's own positivity was tempered, even in victory.
"I'd lose it a little bit later in the count when trying to be too fine with some of my off-speed pitches and run myself into a 3-2 count and not make a quality pitch on a 3-2 count," Bundy said. "I'll work on it in my next bullpen."
Early lead: Catcher Welington Castillo opened a big day of home runs for both sides with a two-run blast to left field in the second inning that sprung the Orioles out to a 2-0 advantage.
"It was big, just to give a little bit of confidence to the pitcher to go out there and throw strikes," Castillo said.
Center fielder Adam Jones, batting cleanup for the first time this season, extended his hitting streak to seven games in the third inning with a towering solo home run to center field that didn't look like it had the distance to get out. But it hit the top of the center-field wall and bounced over.
A quick reversal: Bundy had his only real hiccups in an otherwise uncomplicated day in the third inning, when he briefly lost his delivery and issued three walks while allowing two home runs.
Designated hitter Corey Dickerson hit a two-run home run after Bundy walked center fielder Mallex Smith, and third baseman Evan Longoria sent the next pitch out to tie the game at 3.
Four bunts: The Orioles aren't exactly a small-ball team, but they went that way often Saturday. Shortstop Paul Janish had the team's league-low fifth sacrifice bunt in the second inning, but it proved fruitless.
The real business went down in the later innings.
In the pivotal four-run seventh inning, Manny Machado bunted for a hit to put two on, and eventually scored on Trumbo's go-ahead double. Left fielder Joey Rickard and Janish each bunted for hits in the eighth inning, and Rickard scored on a sacrifice fly to center field by Machado.
"There's always something good happening from something like that," Showalter said. "Good things seem to follow. I thought that was a big part of the inning. Just the atmosphere of the inning seemed to kind of lean our way."