Two months into their time together, Monday represented perhaps one of the biggest early tests for Brandon Hyde's Orioles and the "just roll with it" attitude the manager is trying to instill in his young team, with a three-game sweep at the hands of the New York Yankees — punctuated by a 15-3 loss — testing the positive outlook he's fostered.
Monday night's 12-4 win over the Oakland Athletics, in his mind, was the proper response, one in which the Orioles defended well, ran like mad and collected 15 hits to pull back to .500 at 5-5.
"I think the sign of a good team is you didn't even realize yesterday happened, having a tough loss like that," Hyde said. "You didn't notice in our clubhouse, you didn't notice pregame, it was just like it was another day and we turned the page. These guys did a great job of that."
That's all Hyde has asked for all spring — for an Orioles team unburdened by not only the long-term past, but apparently the recent past, too. They'd lost badly plenty last season, and that carryover did exist at times.
Before Monday's game, outfielder Joey Rickard said the players knew that Hyde would be trying to see how they carried it.
"Our first tough weekend, a tough series," Rickard said. "I think he's just going to see how we respond. The next couple of games is a big way for us to really show who we're made of and see if we can bounce back."
He stopped short of saying that it felt very different upon arrival at the ballpark after a three-game sweep, but did say that no one was treating it as anything but a regular game.
"I just think we've all played before," Rickard said. "We've all gone through what happened this weekend. It's nothing that's too unfamiliar, nothing we can't overcome. Everybody is sticking together and continuing to have each other's back. I think we'll be OK."
Veteran starter Andrew Cashner said the fact that only Sunday's game was by a wide margin made things a little calmer. On both Thursday and Saturday, the Orioles had leads that their bullpen couldn't hold on, and the bases were loaded full of Jimmy Yacabonis' runners in a 7-4 game with one out in the eighth inning Monday for Mychal Givens, potentially setting that up to repeat itself.
But Givens got a strikeout and a groundout to end the inning, the Orioles hung five runs on reliever Ryan Buchter and Cashner was made a winner for the second time this season.
"I think there's a lot of fight in this room," Cashner said. "I think there's a lot of guys who might surprise some people with years they might have this year. I think we've got a lot of speed, which I think changes the game. The biggest thing is defense. Defense wins games, for sure."