The 10 runs the Orioles scored Sunday afternoon were more than they scored in the first five games of this week’s homestand combined, which might be all you need to know about where the team’s offense is right now.
One big outburst won’t cure this team’s offensive problems, but the 10-4 win over the Miami Marlins was enough to end the team’s season-long nine-game losing streak in front of an announced Father’s Day crowd of 21,421.
The 10 runs and 14 hits were the Orioles’ most in more than a month, since a 19-hit outburst in their 17-1 win over the Tampa Bay Rays on Mother’s Day on May 13. That game was also the Orioles’ last home win before Sunday, which ended an 11-game losing streak at Camden Yards.
With those two losing streaks over, the Orioles went into Monday’s day off on a positive note before opening a three-game interleague series against the regional rival Washington Nationals at Nationals Park.
“It was difficult for everyone,” starting pitcher Dylan Bundy said of the losses piling up. “We know what we are capable of, and we’re not doing it right now. It was one of those days where we performed the way we should.”
After playing ugly baseball for the first five games of the homestand against the Boston Red Sox and Miami, being shut out twice and outscored 20-9, the Orioles put together their most complete game of the homestand.
“We’re doing what we can, constantly trying to get better,” said designated hitter Mark Trumbo, who had three hits, including his fourth homer of the season. “It doesn’t always show up, but that has to be the goal going forward. It’s going to be a long road for the team, but you want to see improvement in some areas. I think if you can target those and actually do it, we’ll be that much better because of that.”
In avoiding a three-game sweep Sunday, the Orioles (20-50) finally put some crooked letters on an Oriole Park scoreboard that had shown nothing but zeros and occasional ones for the home team.
Six of the Orioles’ 14 hits were for extra bases, which have been hard to come by in recent weeks.
Third baseman Jace Peterson — who entered the day hitting just .172, the lowest in a Sunday lineup filled with underwhelming batting averages — matched his career high with four RBIs. He hit a two-run homer in the fifth off Marlins reliever Merandy González, his first in 36 games with the Orioles, and a two-run double in the second that got the offense going.
Trumbo’s homer in the seventh was an opposite-field solo shot over the right-field scoreboard. He also had a two-out RBI double in the third off starter Trevor Richards.
In that same inning, Trey Mancini ended an 0-for-21 stretch with runners in scoring position with an RBI single up the middle.
Before Sunday’s game, the Orioles had scored four runs or fewer in 18 of their past 19 games.
“It’s been a struggle,” Trumbo said. “Usually when the team’s struggling as a whole, the pitchers get a little more comfortable on the other side, and they cruise through some of those innings. It’s important to try and kind of peck away. I’d like to see a whole lot more games that look like this going forward. I think everybody would.”
All four runs off Orioles starter Dylan Bundy came off a pair of homers by Justin Bour. Bour hit a solo blast in the fourth and a three-run shot in the sixth.
Despite taking an 8-1 lead, the Orioles faced the tying run at the plate three times in the seventh inning.
After Bour’s second homer off Bundy cut the lead to 8-4, reliever Miguel Castro loaded the bases to open the seventh, allowing consecutive singles and a walk. Michael Givens retired the next two batters — striking out Brian Anderson and inducing a flyout from J.T. Realmuto that was too shallow to score a run.
Rookie left-hander Tanner Scott then entered to face Bour for a lefty-vs.-lefty matchup, and after Bour fouled off a 97-mph fastball, Scott caught him looking at an 89-mph slider to get out of the inning.
“You come in there and it’s probably hard for people to imagine that pressure with the struggles we’ve had,” Showalter said. But when you get a chance to win the game and you have bases loaded and nobody out … I’m disappointed Miguel went out there with a two-strike breaking ball in the middle of the plate and walked a guy. But it reminds you he is 23 years old. Hopefully, he’ll learn from it. Hopefully, Tanner had a nice growing experience. That’s a tough spot.”