Steve Pearce spent another night having a big game and another night talking about his recent hot hitting when it was over.
“I’m just feeling comfortable in the batter’s box. Hitting is contagious. We are all hitting and we’ll just ride it,” Pearce said.
“It feels really good, especially with the win for a sweep. Some close games. Definitely means more when we win.”
Pearce went 4-for-5 tonight with two doubles, two stolen bases and two RBIs. He drove in four runs in the series. Over his last five games, he is 9-for-20 with three doubles, three homers and nine RBIs.
The Orioles are 4-0 since Manny Machado got suspended. Is the club rallying around their third baseman while he has to sit out?
“Looks like we are,” Pearce said. “We’re relying on some people and people are stepping up. We’re pitching, we’re hitting, we’re having timely hitting. We’re finding ways to get it done.”
Pearce is now batting .378 in 23 games since June 1 and is batting .338 for the season. He’s having about as much fun as he’s ever had on the diamond, he said. And his team moved into a first-place tie with Toronto’s loss tonight.
“Definitely, especially being where we are in the division. We are fighting and winning. It’s definitely meaningful. Toronto is a good team, it’s a tough division,” Pearce said. “So we’re sitting at the top of it and if we’re getting ready to play our best baseball, we’re sitting in a good spot.”
Wei-Yin Chen gave up two runs and six hits over six innings to get the win and is 8-3 with a 4.12 ERA.
“I think I did OK out there,” he said through his interpreter. “Tonight, we got a win because our offense did a pretty good job, and our defense played really well behind me, so I have to thank my catcher and my teammates. This win is teamwork.”
“I knew it was going to be (rain) delayed from the start, so I just go through my routines and wait for the notice for when the game is going to start, so it wasn’t that difficult.”
Chen improved to 4-0 with an ERA of 1.60 in four starts in his career against Texas and to 4-2 with a 3.84 ERA at home this season.
“I think that six innings is a baseline for a starter, so I feel content, but I do hope I can get a little deeper in the game,” he said.
This was the Orioles’ first four-game sweep since Aug. 22-25, 2011 at Minnesota and their first four-game home sweep since April 4-7, 2008 against Seattle.
The O’s set a season high with four stolen bases and stole four in one game for the first time since April 4, 2013 at Tampa Bay.
Tonight was the club’s first win without hitting a homer since April 26 against Kansas City. According to STATS, the O’s had lost their last 11 games when not hitting a homer.