The Orioles can only hope that they don’t need to wait until Labor Day for their next home win.
A couple of streaks came to a merciful end today as Jace Peterson drove in four runs, Dylan Bundy continued his daytime mastery through the fifth inning, the bullpen created and disarmed a base-loaded jam and the Orioles defeated the Marlins 10-4 before an announced crowd of 21,421 at Camden Yards to avoid an embarrassing sweep.
They had dropped nine games in a row. They lost 11 straight at home, tying the club record, with their last victory arriving on Mother’s Day back on May 13.
Today’s Father’s Day lineup provided Bundy with a two-run lead in the second inning and a four-run lead in the third, and the Orioles finally reached the 20-win mark in their 70th game.
The Orioles hadn’t scored more than five runs since a 9-3 win over the White Sox on May 24 in Chicago, a span of 20 games. Adam Jones’ two-run double in the fourth expanded their lead to 6-1 and removed Marlins rookie starter Trevor Richards.
Manny Machado’s two-out RBI single in the eighth gave the Orioles their 10th run and 14th hit, their highest totals since a 17-1 win over the Rays on May 13 that included 19 hits. He went to right field again, adhering to one of the pregame drills over the weekend.
There had to be some drama, of course. Miguel Castro loaded the bases with no outs in the seventh after replacing Bundy, but Mychal Givens recorded a strikeout and fly ball that held the runners and Tanner Scott got a called third strike on Justin Bour, who homered twice off Bundy.
Mark Trumbo led off the bottom half with a home run and came within a triple of the cycle. The Marlins were burned twice in the inning.
Bour’s three-run shot in the sixth reduced the lead to 8-4 and caused the bullpen to stir. Bundy had retired 11 of 12 batters before the inning, which began with Derek Dietrich’s single and continued with a walk and Bour’s blast to right field.
Bundy hadn’t allowed a run in his last 20 innings before Bour’s solo shot with one out in the fourth. The four runs today over six innings are the most he’s surrendered since May 19 in Boston, which he followed with four consecutive quality starts by definition.
A holiday and a day game seemed to be a nice combination for Bundy. He possessed a 1.08 ERA in six early starts this season, with five earned runs in 41 2/3 innings. And he was cruising at 64 pitches until the sixth, needing 28 to get back into the dugout while Castro kept warming.
A leadoff walk in the first inning didn’t hurt Bundy. Cameron Maybin singled with one out in the second, advanced on a balk and stole third base, but Yadiel Rivera struck out.
Peterson had a two-run double in the second inning and a two-run homer off reliever Merandy Gonzalez in the fifth that gave the Orioles an 8-1 lead. The four RBIs tied his career high that he set on May 16, 2015 against the Marlins while playing for the Braves.
Richards retired the side in order in the first inning, but fell into immediate trouble in the second. Trumbo led off with a single, Jonathan Schoop doubled and both runners scored on Peterson’s automatic double to right-center field. Peterson had been 4-for-23 with runners in scoring position.
Schoop homered yesterday and doubled and walked twice today, giving him free passes in three straight games and four of the last five. Signs perhaps that his slump is loosening its chokehold.
Trey Mancini was still gasping for air. He struck out before Peterson’s double, failing to check his swing on a pitch up and out of the strike zone. But he grounded a single up the middle with two outs in the third following Trumbo’s RBI double to increase the lead to 4-0.
Mancini is 5-for-51 with runners in scoring position. His dubious streak grew to 0-for-21 before the third inning.
“Like I told Trey yesterday, my message to him is trust yourself, see it and hit it,” manager Buck Showalter said before the game. “He’s got so many people talking to him. College coaches, high school coaches, teammates, coaches, staff. Then all of a sudden the water parts and the game slows down, the ball looks like a beach ball for about two weeks. And if we knew that magic trick ...”
Trumbo’s run-scoring double in the third came after Machado singled with two outs to start the rally. The ball should have been caught, but Derek Dietrich let it glance off his glove after racing to the track in left-center and Trumbo coasted into second base.
The Orioles collected hits with runners in scoring position in three consecutive innings. To say they were overdue would be a gross understatement, considering how they were 3-for-58 in these situations before last night.
Update: Showalter said catcher Chance Sisco was scratched from the lineup due to an illness.
“Just, I’m afraid he’s coming down with ... He hasn’t slept in two or three days,” Showalter said. “A lot of our guys. And just talking to him before the game, his energy level. He was ready to go, just didn’t think it was in his best interest, with the off-day tomorrow. But we’ll see. A lot of factors. That was the principal one. He just hadn’t slept any. Hard enough to play this game when you have.”
Update II: The Orioles announced that Sisco was optioned to Triple-A Norfolk.
Showalter on guys going opposite field beginning a trend: “I hope so. A lot of times the home runs and the damage hits, the damage hits sometimes are a single, but they come when you’re not trying to. I’ve never been at that skill level like I could hit a home run when I wanted to, with one exception, but I had a corked bat. But I think that’s a good sign. I hope. It’s going to take a long period of offensive success for us to kind of feel good as a group.
“Can’t ask for a better day than Father’s Day and Brooks Robinson here. It doesn’t get any better than that. I got to see him before the game. He looks great. I wish he would come by more. He was very uplifting. He’s got to come back now, doesn’t he? He looked great, though.”
Showalter on Bundy: “Pitching with that lead and as few as we’ve had, I don’t know how to say it, but there’s some pressure involved there. You’re scoring some runs and I thought he got a little tired and started elevating the ball a little bit. He got a changeup where he didn’t want to get it to Bour. How do you pronounce his name? Does that sound right? I wouldn’t call anybody a ‘bore.’ He wasn’t today.
“No, I was happy for Dylan to get a W out of that game because he’s pitched so well for us this year and to get a little return for that. I thought Mychal had a big outing and Tanner came in a tough spot. Good to get Zach (Britton) back out there again and see some ground balls.”
Showalter on Bundy allowing 18 home runs this season: “Usually, they’re solo and for the most part he’s always seemed to be a pitch away. It’s been a challenge for all of our starters it seems like.”
Showalter on Givens and Scott: “You come in there and it’s probably hard for people to imagine that pressure with the struggles we’ve had. But when you get a chance to win the game and you have bases loaded and nobody out ... I’m disappointed Miguel went out there with a two-strike breaking ball in the middle of the plate and walked a guy. But it reminds you he’s 23 years old. Hopefully, he’ll learn from it. Hopefully, Tanner had a nice growing experience. That’s a tough spot.”
Showalter on Mancini RBI: “You get to know the guys pretty well and know that their faces are telling you a story. This is the first time he’s gone through something like this. You’re trying to be real supportive with not only him, but everybody. We have three or four conversations a day. We’re going to keep trying to create some positive vibes. I’m hoping it turns for a long time.”