The Orioles have been waiting a long time for an offensive roll like the one they’ve been on since the All-Star break.
The Tampa Bay Rays can’t wait to get out of Baltimore.
Outfielder Joey Rickard drove in a career-high-tying five runs as the Orioles delivered a second straight double-digit scoring performance, defeating the Rays, 11-2, before an announced 21,526 on Saturday night at Camden Yards.
It was Trey Mancini’s bobblehead night and he had a pretty good time, too, hitting a home run in his first at-bat and adding three singles to a huge performance by the bottom third of the batting order.
“I was telling Gary [Thorne] and [Mike Bordick] on the postgame show that we should have maybe done this back in May and get the ball rolling then,’’ said Mancini, who came into the game hitting just .220.
Rickard followed up Mancini’s second-inning homer with one of his own and then hit a three-run double to break the game open in the fourth.
Rickard came into the series with just 10 RBIs on the season, but also had a three-run double in Friday night’s 15-5 victory. He came out of Saturday night’s game with 18 — 13 of them against the Rays.
His other five-RBI performance came against the Rays on May 2, and included a pair of home runs. Not bad for a guy who was taken from the Rays in the 2015 Rule 5 draft.
“It’s just coincidence,’’ Rickard said. “It’s been a few years, but knowing those guys, it’s good to see all those guys I came up with in the big leagues and it’s fun competing against them.”
So, what has come over the Orioles’ offense? Since the All-Star break — and since they traded their best hitter, Manny Machado, to the Los Angeles Dodgers — they have scored 51 runs in eight games. That’s an average of 6.4 runs per game, which is quite a contrast to the 3.1 runs per game the Orioles scored during the 5-17 skid that immediately preceded the break.
And what came over the lower third of the lineup for the 31-74 Orioles? Mancini, Rickard and catcher Caleb Joseph combined for 10 hits, six of them driving in runs. Mancini’s four hits were a career high.
“That was big,’’ manager Buck Showalter said. “We got a lot of production out of the bottom there. I don’t want to hear about soft hits or seeing-eye singles. It seems like it has been on the other foot all year. Joey’s ball that kicked up chalk … a couple swinging bunts. We deserved every one of them.”
Almost lost in the meteor shower was a strong seven innings by Orioles starter Kevin Gausman, who scattered nine hits, but spread them so evenly over his performance that he was never in much trouble. He improved his record to 5-8 and dropped his ERA to 4.43.
The Rays (53-52) scored a run in the second inning on a two-out RBI double by catcher Jesús Sucre and added one more when Kevin Kiermaier led off the third inning with his fourth home run of the season.
Mancini and Rickard got the Orioles started in the second with their back-to-back homers off Rays bullpen starter Ryne Stanek (1-3), who pitched only two innings before turning the game over to left-hander Jalen Beeks.
The Orioles staged a four-run rally in the fourth inning that began with one-out walk by Chris Davis. Danny Valencia and Mancini followed with singles to load the bases and Rickard poked a soft liner down toward the right-field corner that brought all three runners home. Joseph brought home the fourth run with the first of his two RBI singles.
The Orioles added another four-spot in the sixth that featured run-scoring doubles by Rickard and Adam Jones, the second RBI single by Joseph and a sacrifice fly by Mark Trumbo.
If there was a down moment in the game, it came in the eighth inning when Jonathan Schoop hit a shot to left field that would have set a major league record if Rays left fielder Joey Wendle had not gone over the fence to pull it back into the park.
Schoop had hit home runs in his previous five games, which tied the record for consecutive games with a homer by a second basemen. He would have been all alone if that fly ball had traveled another foot or two.