OAKLAND, Calif. - The Orioles’ Trey Mancini went through a six-game stretch heading into last night’s game where he went 3-for-23. His average dipped from .302 to .291. But that average got a jolt last night when Mancini had a huge game in the Orioles 7-2 win in the series opener.
Mancini doubled to left in the second inning in his first at-bat. Then he was involved in back-to-back homers each of his next two times to bat. So he started the night 3-for-3 with three extra-base hits before he struck out in the seventh inning. He raised his average back to .296 with the first three-extra base hit game of his career. It was his fourth career two-homer game.
Last night, Mancini hit homers Nos. 19 and 20. He is the seventh O’s rookie to hit 20 or more. The record holder is Cal Ripken with 28 in 1982, when he was named American League Rookie of the Year.
Mancini, as manager Buck Showalter noted last night, doesn’t let his slumps ever linger too long.
“He just has a real concentration, never gives in,” Showalter said. “It’s tough. Some qualities that you have as a rookie, it os tough to maintain those over a long period of time. I’m not talking about a season, I’m talking about a potential career. It’s hard. But the same things that make him successful are also things that can kind of get in your way sometimes. But he’s done a good job. He’s very coachable. Holds himself to high standards. He doesn’t pay attention to the hoopla that people bring up. He realizes how fleeting it is and has a very quiet self confidence.”
Ubaldo the strikeout king: Through the first three innings tonight, O’s starter Ubaldo Jiménez fanned eight Oakland A’s batters. He struck out two in the first and three each in the second and third innings. He is at 54 pitches and has already recorded a season-high 11 swings and misses, including on seven of the 12 split-finger fastballs he’s thrown.
The Orioles lead 2-0 on an Adam Jones solo homer to left in the second and another run scored when Jones bounced into a double play in the fourth. The homer was his 22nd of the year.
Schoop with new career-high: Jiménez fanned two more batters but gave up three runs in the fourth as Oakland took a 3-2 lead on Khris Davis’ RBI double and a Matt Olson two-run homer. Jiménez’s 10 strikeouts are a season high. It is the 18th time in his carer he has struck out 10 or more.
But the Orioles got the lead back in the fifth on Jonathan Schoop’s two-run double to center for the 4-3 lead. Schoop has a new career-high 84 RBIs and has driven in 30 since the All-Star break to lead the AL.
Jimenez leaves game: A Chad Pinder hard grounder off his right leg knocked Jiménez from this game. He seemed okay in the dugout after the play but we’ll know more later. He went 5 1/3 allowing six hits and three runs with one walk and 11 strikeouts on 99 pitches. That is his most strikeouts as an Oriole and two off his career-high.
Mychal Givens replaced Jiménez and the Orioles took the 4-3 lead to the eighth inning.