Trumbo stayed hot today with a grand slam, Davis continued to celebrate his return with a bases-clearing double and the Orioles took care of business in regulation with a 7-5 victory over the Braves before a sellout crowd of 40,333 at SunTrust Park.
An offense that hibernated for most of the season has produced seven runs or more in four of the last six games, twice reaching double digits.
The Orioles won for the fourth time in six games and are 23-52 overall and 12-29 away from home. They sealed their third road series win of the season and also improved to 20-1 when ahead after eight innings.
A victory on Sunday would give the Orioles their first three-game sweep of any series this year, and a 4-2 road trip.
Dylan Bundy allowed two runs and seven hits in 6 1/3 innings, with two walks and eight strikeouts, and Donnie Hart was replacing him when the rain arrived and caused a 20-minute delay. Bundy owns 10 of the rotation’s 35 quality starts.
Hart didn’t retire any of the four batters he faced, including three left-handers. Nick Markakis hit a two-run double with the bases loaded and one out to reduce the lead to 7-4 and bring Mychal Givens into the game.
Givens fielded a comebacker, walked a batter to load the bases and benefitted from a terrific play by Jonathan Schoop, who ranged far to his right to glove Ryan Flaherty’s grounder and threw across his body for the out. But Givens allowed two singles and walked a batter in the eighth, and his throwing error on an attempted pickoff whittled the Orioles lead to 7-5.
Markakis took a 97 mph fastball for a called third strike to strand two runners, and Zach Britton worked the ninth for his first save since Sept. 17, 2017 in New York.
Britton made up for last night’s “hiccup,” as manager Buck Showalter called it, when the left-hander allowed four runs in the ninth inning to tie the game. Getting right back in the saddle, he issued a one-out walk before inducing two ground balls.
“Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty.” - Theodore Roosevelt
Trumbo is hitting everything hard these days. His outs can rip open holes in gloves. Line drives set off smoke detectors in the building.
In his last six games before today, Trumbo collected eight hits in 23 at-bats with two doubles and three home runs. He came to the plate in the first inning after Colby Rasmus walked, Adam Jones lined a double to left field and Manny Machado walked.
Don’t put the starting pitcher on the ropes without pummeling him.
Trumbo fell behind 0-2 on a slider and fastball, took a slider in the dirt, fouled off a fastball and unloaded on another four-seamer. It was more line drive than towering home run, causing center fielder Ender Inciarte to turn as if ready to play the ball off the fence.
A few inches lower and the ball would have knocked down the fence.
Teheran walked Trumbo with two outs and nobody on base in the third. A sound strategy, especially with Davis striking out to end the inning.
Davis was 0-for-2 as he batted in the fifth. The Orioles loaded the bases with no outs on Bundy’s first major league hit and singles by Rasmus and Jones. Teheran retired the next two batters without a run scoring - Trumbo struck out looking - but Davis got ahead 3-0 and pulled a fastball to right-center field, hitting the fence and giving the Orioles a 7-1 lead.
The throw to second beat Davis, but he dived in before the tag and now has RBIs in back-to-back games for only the second time since May 8-9.
Bundy failed to produce a shutdown inning in the bottom of the first, allowing singles to three of the first four batters. Nick Markakis drove in a run to reduce the lead to 4-1, but Bundy retired nine in a row. And no shutout inning in the fifth, with Ozzie Albies’ two-out RBI single cutting the lead to 7-2.
Bundy threw 25 pitches in the fifth to raise his total to 81. He struck out two batters, including Freddie Freeman to end the inning.
Caleb Joseph started his fifth consecutive game since the Orioles recalled him from Triple-A Norfolk. His role as No. 1 catcher has been made clear, though rookie Austin Wynns might get a shot Sunday with rookie David Hess on the mound.
Showalter downplayed the significance or meaning of Joseph’s workload before today’s game.
“He’s swinging the bat well, catching well and did all the things that we asked him to do,” Showalter said. “I don’t think anybody has hit into tougher luck than he has since he got back. He’s catching, throwing and we’d like to keep him in that mode.”
Bundy had to keep moving after his ground ball to the right side leading off the fifth inning produced his first hit. He advanced to second base on Rasmus’ single and to third on Jones’ single. Bundy was going station to station like he was riding shotgun on a road trip.
Machado lined to left field, forcing Bundy to hold, and Trumbo struck out after running the count full before Davis raised his two-day RBI total to five.
The last Orioles pitcher to collect a hit was Wade Miley on May 10, 2017 in D.C.
The Braves outhit the Orioles 12-7, but they went 4-for-16 with runners in scoring position and stranded 12.
Showalter on Trumbo/Davis combo and offense: “There’s a lot of parts to that. We have been getting some people out there, we just haven’t cashed it in. I was pretty proud of looking out there and only seeing three on that LOB. But we did some good things to set it up and jumped on a good starter early, a guy we’re not that familiar with. And Chris took advantage of a good pitch 3-0 and put a good swing on it.”
Showalter on setting up big innings: “It’s a pass-the-baton thing. In the past we’ve kind of been methodical with it and been able to pass the baton. Just kind of grind at-bats. And here lately we’ve been doing that. Like I said before, it’s not something that’s just going to happen overnight. It’s going to be a long road, but you want to see it over an extended period of time.
“It’s good to get some big hits like that. I kind of dwell as much on what set it up. I thought Manny had a great at-bat in the first inning. Second and third, you know he wants to drive those runs in, but he would not let those guys take him out of the strike zone. And that was a real mature at-bat.”
Showalter on winning four of six: “Danny (Valencia) has been sharp at third base for us. We’ve been playing more like we need to play and have played in the past. It’s just been methodical. I’m happy that they’re getting a return. The mood and the effort’s been good. It’s just how much can you take. You worry about that, because nobody in here is happy about losing.”
Showalter on Bundy throwing more changeups: “He didn’t have a feel for the curveball and then he made a big curveball strikeout with it. Dylan and Caleb are ... Caleb’s been a shot in the arm for us, coming back with a real confident presentation of the pitchers. But Dylan, most pitchers try to pitch as long as they can with the fastball early in the game before they have to break out some other things second and third time around the order, but he had to break it out in the first inning.
“I thought the game was won in a lot of ways that first inning when he got out of it 4-1. We put a four spot up there and then it looks like they were going to answer it. That was big.”
Bundy on having 4-0 lead: “Yeah, it’s great. Gives you a little bit room for error. Also, you want to attack the guys in the zone, and I tried to do that the best I could and get outs as quickly as possible.”
Bundy on more changeups: “They have a few lefties in that lineup, so the changeup came into play a little more. The slider really wasn’t there the first three or four innings, kind of spotty. Had to start throwing the changeup a little bit more, also the curveball.”
Bundy on first hit: “Felt good. I saw Freeman kind of dive and miss it. Then got excited and I saw Albies miss it, too, so I was real excited. It felt good. It felt really weird being on the bases. It was my first time out there, so I’ve got some learning to do, I heard.”
Bundy on allowing only one run in first: “Yeah, just fastballs down and away. I was trying to attack them with that lead. They were able to hit some balls in the outfield. Just trying to limit the damage there as best I could.”
Davis on whether he’s feeling better at plate: “Good, good. I feel a lot better. I feel like I’m getting there. I’m starting to get the calm and easy feel, seeing the ball a little better and putting good swings on the ball.”
Davis on pulling ball for double: “It was good. I was just trying to pick Trumb up right there. He blasted one early in the game and we understand that concept in here. It’s a team game. We have to pick each other up and I was just trying to do that.”
Davis on back-to-back productive games: “It feels really good. It feels good to contribute to two wins. I think that’s the biggest thing for me, not really looking at the selfish result, but looking at the team, what it did for the team. It was nice to pick the boys up.”
Davis on offense recently: “A really good pitching staff. I felt we’ve done a really good job of not trying to do too much, not trying to rely on the home run, a lot of things that the Braves do well. Once you get into that mentality where you just kind of pass the baton and just try to do your job, not do too much, you can do a lot of damage.”
Davis on Trumbo: “I’ve been really proud of him the way he’s battled this year and continued to grind and put in the work. His track record speaks for itself and he’s a guy that can really pick us up a lot in spots. He’s been doing that lately. I’m proud of him for that.”
Davis on Britton: “You’ve got to remember it’s still early for him. It’s been a long road back. He did such a great job of keeping his composure and controlling what he’s got to control. That’s a good test for him. Last night was a good test for him. Like I told him last night, you’ve got to take some of the positive out of it. He did that today and last night. I’m proud of him.”
Britton on what was different today besides result: “Obviously, a little bit different feeling. That atmosphere in a save situation, I think it helps you mentally, just get away from some things that I’d been focusing on too much, and just try to compete. Especially after last night, you want to come back in it and do a good job and get a win.”
Britton on what he focused on: “Jeez, nine months off and pitching in a big league game. I had that surgery. It’s hard to get out of the rehab mode and into the competing mode for what, almost a good year you were focusing on rehab stuff. That’s kind of been the challenge, so it was nice just to get into the situation where my only focus was executing pitches.”