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Orioles rout Phillies, 11-4, to complete another series sweep, push win streak to five games

Having stretched his bullpen twice in two games and gone back to his top relievers to hold a narrow lead the night before, Orioles manager Brandon Hyde wanted to walk away with an easy one for a change Thursday night.

Slow start aside, that wasn’t a problem for one of the most productive and surprising offenses in baseball.

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The Orioles waited until the host Phillies scored and then answered with nine straight runs of their own for a comprehensive 11-4 win and series sweep over Philadelphia.

The win gave the Orioles (10-7) their second series sweep of the season and extended their winning streak to five games, yet another sign that one of baseball’s most unexpected success stories isn’t ready to fall back to the pack just yet.

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“It’s fun to win,” said José Iglesias, who had a pair of hits as the designated hitter. “This team is doing a great job battling every day, and we’re playing a good baseball game right now.”

In a bit of turnabout, former Phillies prospect Thomas Eshelman pitched for the Orioles and former Orioles pitcher Jake Arrieta started for the Phillies. They matched zeroes early until Eshelman blinked first, allowing a two-run home run to J.T. Realmuto in the fourth inning to create an early deficit for the Orioles.

As has been the case often over this winning streak, the Orioles offense woke up quickly. Arrieta used just 48 pitches through four innings, but didn’t get through the fifth.

The Orioles loaded the bases twice and scored four runs — one on a forceout by Pat Valaika and three more on a double by Anthony Santander, who has an eight-game hitting streak and has driven in runs in seven straight games.

“For our offense to come back and score four runs after doing that, just hats off to them,” Eshelman said. “It’s what they’ve been doing this entire season. I just love being able to pitch for these guys.”

It’s becoming part of the team’s character to not give in after early struggles against top pitchers like Arrieta.

“We’re facing very good starters, so I just think that our guys are staying with the process, staying with their plan,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “The first at-bat might not go well, the second at-bat might not go well, but they’re staying positive in the dugout. ... It’s going to be tough. But they’re doing a nice job of resetting, turning the page to their next at-bat, and scoring a bunch of runs in the middle part of the game.”

Iglesias doubled to score two runs in the seventh, and Pedro Severino ambushed a first-pitch fastball for a three-run home run in the eighth. Severino’s three hits paced the Orioles, while Iglesias, Hanser Alberto, Renato Núñez and Rio Ruiz each had two hits.

Ruiz’s two-run home run in the ninth inning was his fifth of the season.

Though the pending completion of Sunday’s suspended game against the Washington Nationals, which the Orioles led 5-2 in the sixth inning and will resume Friday at 5:05 p.m., could theoretically erase their winning streak from the record books, the Orioles haven’t won five games in a row since a seven-game winning streak Aug. 25-30, 2017.

What a week

Including the statistics from that suspended game, the Orioles offense has been hitting at an incredible clip since their winning streak began Friday in Washington.

They’ve scored 47 runs on 74 hits with 11 home runs in those five-plus games, and can add to that in the completion of the suspended game Friday.

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Thomas Time

Eshelman ended up with the win, beating the club that traded him to the Orioles last summer for international signing bonus slots with five innings of two-run ball. It was his second solid start in two tries since he joined the rotation in John Means’ place.

“I’m just trying to do my role, just trying to give the team a chance to win,” Eshelman said. “No matter what role I’m in, that’s just kind of what I’m trying to do. ... I’m excited that we’re getting this thing going.

Between Realmuto’s home run in the fourth off Eshelman and his blast in the eighth inning off David Hess, Evan Phillips and Paul Fry turned in scoreless innings of relief for the Orioles.

Thursday was the Orioles’ fourth game in 18 tries this season in which they haven’t walked a batter. They did that four times in 162 games in 2019.

“That was just something that we didn’t do well last year, way too many free passes, pitched behind in the count, and quite a few games now where we haven’t walked many people,” Hyde said. “That is super key against good offensive clubs. They’ve got seven All-Stars in their lineup, and to not allow free base runners and to attack them with the stuff that you have. Tom Eshelman was fantastic.”

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