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Orioles showing ability to bounce back from tough losses, partly because they have to do it so often

Orioles manager Brandon Hyde takes pride in his inexperienced team’s ability to compete in every game. After Monday’s 5-3 victory over the Detroit Tigers featured another dramatic finish in a week that has had more than most managers would desire, he made sure to tell his players that allowing him to breathe easy would be acceptable, too.

“I told the guys, ‘It’s OK to win in the show 7-1 once in a while, too,’ ’’ Hyde said. “It’s OK to be up a few and then add on and hold on, but we seem to make every score tight and every game’s close.”

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In particular, Hyde has continually praised his team’s ability to do so when bouncing back from tough defeats, coming by either narrow or wide margins. Part of the reason his team has rallied from a rough day as often as it seemingly has is the number of chances it has had to do so.

The Orioles came off another tough loss on Sunday and took out their frustrations on the struggling Detroit Tigers.

Monday’s victory marked the first time the Orioles won a game after suffering a one-run defeat, with their previous five chances ending in four losses of at least five runs, as well as Friday’s walk-off loss to the Colorado Rockies. Of the Orioles’ 37 losses through 54 games, 21 have come by either one run or at least five. In games following a loss of five runs or more, the Orioles have gone 7-8, with five of those defeats coming by no more than three runs.

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The past couple weeks, in particular, have been challenging. Beginning May 16, the first day of the Orioles’ trip to the Cleveland Indians, they have blown a 5-1 lead that became a 14-7 loss, gotten one-hit, struck out 15 times in a shutout by a second-year starter and lost four straight games in which they sent closer Mychal Givens to the mound.

“I don’t think our guys are damaged by it,” Hyde said. “I think that our guys are irritated and mad after, and I want them to feel that way. I think that’s a good thing. I just think the way we come back after those losses has been really cool, how they’ve turned the page on it even though our clubhouse is really quiet after the game and everybody’s not happy. It’s OK to feel that way. Guys should feel that way.”

Dylan Bundy and Trey Mancini, veterans among the Orioles, both said they haven’t seen the rough defeats hamper the mindsets of their teammates getting their first tastes of the majors.

“We come in here with the same energy every day,” Bundy said. “No matter how tough the losses are, you've got to show up and play tomorrow, and I think everybody here knows that."

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Trying to get Mychal Givens back on track, Orioles manager Brandon Hyde will deploy his most experienced relief arm in lower-leverage situations.

Said Mancini: “You just go out there and try to make it happen the next day because it's not going to happen every time. You just kind of wake up in the morning and always think today's the day it can turn the corner. If you don't have that attitude, this game can be pretty tough on you."

Perhaps it helps that the Orioles are relatively inexperienced, able to shed a rough day in the big leagues in appreciation of the fact they’re even there. Or it’s part of the culture that Hyde and his players have continually referenced as being built under a new regime.

Regardless, they’re playing hard more often than not, something Hyde can take solace in while managing a team that reached the one-third point of the season on pace for 111 losses.

Orioles manager Brandon Hyde once enforced the Chicago Cubs' "no facial hair" policy with Bill Buckner, the former All-Star who died Monday at 69.

“I just feel good about how our guys are in almost every single game, and a lot of times on paper maybe out-manned or whatever it may be, but give them a lot of credit for the effort they’re putting in and how hard they’re playing,” Hyde said.

Hyde clarified calling his team “out-manned” by pointing out that his players’ major league track records were lacking compared with most of the league’s other teams. He hopes that in time, as that inexperience becomes experience, games like Monday’s will be the norm, and not because they come after disappointing losses.

“I think the positive thing is our guys are competing their butt off, and they’re trying to win these games and they’re trying to establish themselves as big-league players,” Hyde said. “Unfortunately, on a lot of nights, we’ve just been a run or two short, and hopefully, that turns around with more experience and confidence.”

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