PHILADELPHIA - The Orioles are three games above .500 for the first time this season after tonight’s 6-4 win over the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park.
The roll continues. The Orioles have won nine of their last 10 games and 11 of 13. The Phillies have dropped 19 of 22.
Keep a bad team down, something the Orioles failed to do last month on their trip to Miami.
“Winning a major league game is hard,” said manager Buck Showalter. “Last night, obviously, is a break from the norm. You get one or two of those a year from both sides, where you’re taking it or giving it. There’s power all through the lineup. You see (Freddy) Galvis’ home run got them back in the game and you can never relax.”
Ubaldo Jimenez exited after 6 2/3 innings, and relievers Chaz Roe, Brian Matusz and Zach Britton combined to blank the Phillies. Britton recorded his 18th save after Ryan Flaherty started a 4-3 double play.
“We got a good outing,” Showalter said. “Ubaldo probably deserved a little better fate there. He might have run out of gas, but Chaz and Brian and Zach did the job. Good play by Flaherty. It was solid. We did what it took.”
“I thought the big hit tonight was David Lough,” Showalter said. “Looked like they were going to wiggle off there. That’s kind of a morale booster and a morale breaker because it looks like you’re going to wiggle off of it. And on the flip side of that, what Ubaldo did with second and third and nobody out. Those two situations probably are the ones you’ll reach back for, even though there were a lot of other things that went on.”
Jimenez struck out the side in the fourth after the Phillies put two men in scoring position.
“It was big for us,” Showalter said. “That’s what we needed. You don’t want to let them back into it as much as possible. They have a lot of power throughout their lineup, so you know they’re going to make a run at you. It’s just a matter of if you’ve got enough runs and if you can withstand the run they’re going to make at you.”
Jimenez didn’t issue a walk for the second time this season. He walked at least one batter in every start in 2014.
“When he gave up a hit, he got right back in the strike zone,” Showalter said. “I thought him and Matt (Wieters) were on the same page. Both stolen bases we were a little slow to the plate and Matty got off really good enough throws. It’s been something that’s been a real focus of his and he’s got a live fastball that moves a lot and he’s just got to trust it. Sometimes, it’s tough to play the fade.”
Travis Snider hit his first home run since April 12, as the Orioles continue to get contributions throughout the roster.
“We’re slowly getting back into who we try to be,” Showalter said. “Just a sum of the parts. And if one has to take a blow, then there’s another one to step in there. Unfortunately, we got about 35 of them and it’s going to be hard to hold them all, but we’ll see.”
Does momentum build as the wins pile up?
“April, May, it’s like fighters in the first few rounds kind of feeling their way around, trying not to get knocked out and trying to figure out what the other guy’s got and what they have,” Showalter said. “And then sooner or later you’ve got to start throwing punches.”
The Phillies are taking a beating.
“It’s just a matter of time,” Showalter said. “We all know that. Somebody’s going to catch them when they get it going. Our goal is to try to make it one more day.”
Here’s a selection of quotes from inside the clubhouse, which featured music that sounded like it came from a piano recital. Not what you normally hear after another victory:
Jimenez on striking out the side: “I was able to execute pitches out there. Wieters was calling a great game out there, especially when we got the first runner on base. He called the right things, and I just executed. It’s not easy to get that situation, but I was able to locate the fastball and throw the breaking ball for strikes.”
Jimenez on his RBI infield single: “That’s one of the things you’re going to see once in a lifetime, probably. That was a fluke. I was able to run as hard as I could and get the RBI. It was fun, but at the same time you get really tired. Every you have to run that fast to first base, you have to step on the mound and breathe because it’s really hard to recover, but it’s fun.”
Jimenez on the Orioles being on a roll: “This is a good team. This is a great team. We have a good lineup. We have good pitching. We have great defense. It’s a matter of putting everything together, and we’ve been able to do that over the last week or so. The guys are swinging, and as pitchers you’re happy because all you have to do is go out there and get outs, and we’re probably going to win the game.
Jimenez on winning three straight from the Phillies: “Every time you’re going against a team that’s struggling, you have to keep pressing the pedal, the gas pedal, and we don’t want to let it (up). You have to go out there with everything you have. We’ve been there. We know what it is to be struggling. It’s hard to get out of that situation. As an opposing team, you have to go with everything you have and don’t give them a chance.”
Jimenez on not walking a batter: “That’s everything. That’s what I’m trying to do every time out there is commanding the fastball. I made the hitters earn it instead of walking guys and getting bad counts. That’s what I want to do out there.”
Jimenez on Galvis’ home run: “It was supposed to be a backdoor slider. I fooled him a little bit. It wasn’t a bad pitch, but he just came down and in and he swung hard. He just put the barrel head on the ball.”
Snider on his home run: “It felt better to get a win. On a personal note, it’s nice to get a little bit of flak from the boys in the dugout. It’s been a couple of years since I finally hit one out. It was good offensive production all the way through. Ubaldo gave us his best tonight out there, and the bullpen came in, and it was huge.”
Snider on the challenge of beating the same team in back-to-back series: “I think you guys think about it more than we do. We show up at the ballpark ready to win. We understand what we’ve got to do to win ballgames, and that’s where the focus is, to do so instead of worrying about who we’re playing, and what’s been going on in their season. We control what we control and we go out there and compete.”
Snider on the offense: “I think as an offense we’ve been doing a great job. We went through a little bit of a lull, and I think it’s a matter of coming around and getting good pitches to hit and being disciplined and understand that we have good swings all through this lineup. Guys are going to step up like we did tonight. That’s why this is a great team to play for because you know somebody’s going to pick you up if it’s not your night.”
Snider on the home run barrage: “It’s one of those things where you’re going to have balls flying out of the ballpark, and you’re going to have, one, two, three-run games. For us, it’s just a matter of trying to build off the progress we’ve made the last couple of weeks and take it one game at a time.”
Lough on dominating Kevin Correia: “I faced him quite a bit while I was with Kansas City and he was with Minnesota. But I was just looking for a good pitch and was able to come through with two outs and the bases loaded. Nice hit to left-center.”
Lough on replacing Adam Jones: “I was telling him I’ll hold it down for him while he’s gone and resting up. I go out and try to produce for the team and do things to help us win games. I was able to come through with a big hit tonight and play the best defense as I possibly can.”
Lough on how the team is heating up as it did at this time last season: “Earlier, I was talking to people, it’s like, ‘Hey, it’s still early, it’s still early.’ So now that we’ve got things going, I think everything is clicking for us. And like I said, you have to have that good team chemistry. We hang in there. Adam keeps us up in the clubhouse when we lose games so you’ve got to have that and he is a good leader and leads us.”
Lough on Parmelee’s hot start with Orioles: “Hey, we get it, all right? We get it. No, he’s a great player. He’s up here to prove he belongs. You know he’s been in the big leagues before. I played against him quite a bit, he’s a great guy and I’m glad he’s having success.”
Parmelee on his home runs: “I’m seeing the ball well right now. Just trying to keep it simple. Trying to keep it simple up there and kind of ride the wave as long as you can. There’s ups and downs in the game and you do your best to try and keep it as level as possible.”
Parmelee on how nice it’s been to join a hot team: “It feels really good. We’ve got a great group of guys here in the clubhouse. They’re fun to play for. And they lighten things up. Like I said, it’s a blast playing so far.”
Parmelee on whether it’s easier to join a new team that’s winning: “You always have to go out there every day and prove yourself. Even if you’ve got 10 years in the game or you’ve got one year, you’ve still got to go out and compete and do your job.”