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Trey Mancini homers twice as Orioles rally against Nationals bullpen for 9-2 victory

In a season the Orioles’ bullpen has been the definition of bad, Wednesday offered a pleasant reminder that even though other teams’ relief corps have not proved as flammable as Baltimore’s, they can be prone to fire all the same.

The Orioles rallied for eight runs against the Washington Nationals’ bullpen for a 9-2 victory to split the two-game set at Camden Yards. Nationals manager Davey Martinez pulled starter Eric Fedde after only 66 pitches through six one-run innings, calling on a bullpen whose collective ERA is only better than that of the team it faced.

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“You would love to get in the bullpen every single night," Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said. "We haven’t done that a ton. We haven’t scored a bunch of runs early over the course of this season, but it was nice to play some really good baseball offensively the last couple innings.”

Trey Mancini, who Tuesday snapped a hitless streak of 24 at-bats and whose two homers Wednesday were his first since June 23, began a seventh-inning rally with a walk off Wander Suero then moved to second on a Chance Sisco single, advanced to third on a Renato Nuñez fly out and scored the tying run on Anthony Santander’s single. Chris Davis, who earlier snapped an 0-for-14 skid with an opposite-field single, delivered another to provide the Orioles’ first lead and end Suero’s night.

Tony Sipp walked Stevie Wilkerson to load the bases for Rio Ruiz, whose line drive to center was deep enough to score Santander on a sacrifice fly.

The Orioles added five more runs in the bottom of the eighth, with Mancini hitting a high-arching, two-run home run and Ruiz, Wilkerson and Santander driving in runs, as well. Richie Martin singled the other way during the inning to end his own 0-for-24 slump.

The rally made a winner of Orioles right-hander Gabriel Ynoa for the first time since September 2017. With the bases loaded and two outs in the third, Ynoa relieved starter Aaron Brooks, who is being stretched out to serve as a more traditional starter, then got Juan Soto to fly out to leave the bases loaded with the Orioles trailing only 1-0.

Orioles outfielders, from left, Stevie Wilkerson, Keon Broxton and Anthony Santander celebrate after the Orioles defeated the Washington Nationals 9-2.
Orioles outfielders, from left, Stevie Wilkerson, Keon Broxton and Anthony Santander celebrate after the Orioles defeated the Washington Nationals 9-2. (Julio Cortez / AP)

“It was huge,” Brooks said. “Just like the last time I was out there, going pretty short for a starter is pretty tough for a bullpen. He really picked it up and brought it to those guys tonight.”

He gave up consecutive two-out doubles to Trea Turner and Adam Eaton in the fifth after Mancini’s homer tied the game a half inning earlier, but those were the only hits and the only run Ynoa allowed in 4 1/3 innings.

Paul Fry got the first two outs of the eighth before Orioles manager Brandon Hyde called on Mychal Givens to face Howie Kendrick with two on. Givens retired Kendrick with a groundout and then got three outs in the ninth to complete the four-out save in a seven-run game.

Mashing Mancini

Even after ending the longest hitless streak of his career Tuesday, Mancini entered the batter’s box in the fourth inning on the verge of having his batting average drop below .280 for the first time this season.

Instead, he delivered a game-tying home run, his 18th. He walked to begin the seventh-inning rally, then doubled the Orioles’ lead with the two-run home run, raising his average to .285. Of Mancini’s 69 career home runs, the eighth-inning shot had the highest launch angle at 43 degrees and lowest expected batting average at 6%, per Statcast. Soto nearly robbed it in left, and a crew chief review had to confirm the ball cleanly went over the fence.

“Off the bat, I didn’t think it was going out,” Mancini said. “Then it just kind of kept going up, and I thought it had a chance. But I’m glad he didn’t catch it; he was close. And then my heart kind of stopped whenever they reviewed it, too, but luckily it counted.”

It was Mancini’s sixth career multi-homer game and first of the season.

Starting pitcher Erick Fedde of the Washington Nationals throws to a Baltimore Orioles batter in the first inning at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.
Starting pitcher Erick Fedde of the Washington Nationals throws to a Baltimore Orioles batter in the first inning at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. (Rob Carr/Getty)
Running into outs

In Fedde’s six innings, the Orioles had five hits, one run and no runners left on base. That’s because beyond Mancini’s first home run, their other four hits were singles erased on the bases. Davis grounded into a double play after Santander’s second-inning single, then was the front end of Wilkerson’s double play in the sixth after singling himself.

The Orioles had two hits in the third but left no one on. Wilkerson led off with a single then was caught stealing second. With the bases empty again, Ruiz singled, then got back-picked off first base when Martin missed a bunt attempt.

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Baltimore managed to make up for it.

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