Orioles outscore Seattle and sweep series (quotes added)

One big inning by Seattle and a short start by right-hander Ubaldo Jiménez put the Orioles in a big hole today. But a relentless offense that hit four more homers helped them dig out.

Down by 6-2 in the third inning, the Orioles rallied to beat Seattle 8-7 this afternoon at Oriole Park. With a season-high seventh straight win, the Orioles improved to 68-65.

Jiménez allowed six runs and six hits in just 2 2/3 innings, the last two scoring after he left the game. His ERA is now 6.85 and over his past three starts he has yielded 17 runs in 12 innings.

Trey-Mancini-high-fives-white-sidebar.jpgBut that was not a big enough deficit to end that winning streak on a beautiful afternoon at Camden Yards. Trey Mancini, Welington Castillo, Craig Gentry and Jonathan Schoop homered. The Orioles have hit four or more homers in a game four times in the last nine games and eight times in 23 games. They've hit 28 home runs their last 12 games overall.

The Orioles start this 10-game homestand with their first three-game home sweep of Seattle since Aug. 6-8, 2012, and are now 41-26 at home.

The Orioles were headed, they hoped, to a 7-6 win, but Mitch Haniger's solo homer off Brad Brach in the eighth tied it 7-7. But the Orioles reclaimed the lead in the last of the eighth.

Castillo led off with his fourth hit of the night and advanced to second on a sac bunt. Caleb Joseph pinch-ran for him and came around on Schoop's two-out single to center for the 8-7 lead. It came on his 99th RBI. Zach Britton pitched the ninth to close out the win.

Earlier, Mancini's 429-foot blast to center in the second was his 23rd and gave the O's a 1-0 lead in the second. Castillo's RBI double made it 2-0. Then Seattle batted around to score six in the third and knock out Jiménez in taking the 6-2 lead.

Back-to-back homers in the fourth off former O's minor leaguer Ariel Miranda brought Baltimore within 6-5. Castillo hit a two-run shot, his 16th, and Gentry added a solo blast to left for his second of the year.

An inning later, Schoop's 387-foot shot to left-center tied it 6-6. Schoop hit No. 30 on the first pitch. He now has 99 RBIs.

They battled to get even and then went ahead in the bottom of the 6th. The Orioles loaded the bases as Castillo singled for his third hit, Gentry walked and Tim Beckham singled off reliever David Phelps to load the bases. Manny Machado followed with a line drive to right. It went for a sac fly, his 88th RBI, and a 7-6 lead. Machado has 35 RBIs in 28 games this month.

Castillo had a 4-for-4 day and has homered in back-to-back games. In the three-game series, he went 8-for-11 with two homers and six RBIs. The Orioles offense has produced 52 runs the last seven games and 95 in the past 15. They began the day leading the American League with 252 runs scored in the second-half.

The Orioles will welcome the Toronto Blue Jays to Camden Yards Thursday night for the start of a four-game series.

Postgame quotes

Schoop on being confident they'd pull out the win when tied 7-7: "Yeah, of course. We've got a really good team and we know if we're down we're going to comeback and try to score runs back. We know we can do it. We just have to keep it up. We're not surprised because we're a good team. We just have to just keep winning series, keep winning series and we're going to be right there."

Schoop on Castillo and the offense as a whole: "It's amazing. This lineup from one to nine can do damage. We score at the top, in the middle and in the bottom. So, you know, that's why we are really dangerous because everybody can do damage."

Castillo on the win streak: "That's the team that I've seen before, when I wasn't here, play. Everything is working out now. The pitchers are pitching better. We're hitting better. We're playing defense better. Everything [is] starting to get better for us. That's the kind of team [that] I've seen playing before."

Castillo on splitting time as a catcher and if it's helped keep him fresh: "It is. At the end of the day, me or him want to play every day, but that's not our decision. We just come every day here to play, prepared to play, but the decision has to be made by the skipper. There's no one [else] to make that decision. If you ask that question to [Caleb], he's going to tell you the same thing. He's prepared to play every day. Me, too. That's the [only] way every player can think about it."

Jiménez on what changed in the third inning after two scoreless to start his day: "I felt good. I don't think anything changed. They were able to get a couple of soft hits and then, unfortunately for me and the team, I got a groundball for a possible double play, but it hit the base. It went their way. The only pitch I probably would like to get back is the 0-2 pitch (that Mitch Haniger hit for a two-run double)."

Jiménez on the quick hook today: "Of course, as a starting pitcher, any pitcher you are going to ask that question, of course. They don't want to come out of that game at 40-some pitches. But it's not up to me."

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