While Andrew Cashner provided a reminder today of what the Orioles lost in their rotation as he chatted with teammates behind the batting cage, they remained confident that Dylan Bundy will rejoin it next week on the West Coast.
The experimenting and auditioning will only cover two-thirds of the group, with John Means remaining in his role as unlikely ace.
Santander hit a three-run homer off David Price in the first inning, Richie Martin tripled in the second and came all the way around on right fielder’s J.D. Martinez’s error, Broxton contributed a two-run shot in the fourth and the veteran left-hander lost for the first time at Camden Yards. Price was 8-0 with a 2.72 ERA and 1.132 WHIP in 12 starts.
The Orioles have won two straight and are 30-66 overall and 14-35 at home. They’ve scored 20 runs in the last two games after totaling 12 in the first five following the All-Star break.
Hanser Alberto singled with one out in the first - his .397 average versus left-handers led the majors - and Trey Mancini walked. Santander drove a fastball 415 feet over the fence in right-center field for his second career home run batting from the right side.
Sam Travis hit a two-run shot in the second after a leadoff walk to Christian Vazquez, but Means retired the next nine batters.
Travis began the day with a .206 average, .464 OPS and one career home run. Means has surrendered five homers in his last three games to raise his season total to 13.
The next four innings were scoreless and Means left after 102 pitches with his ERA at 2.95. He allowed four hits, walked two and struck out only one.
Bundy held a bat in his hands today while talking to the media at his locker. His threw a light bullpen session on Wednesday without any discomfort in his right knee and will try it again on Saturday.
The avoidance of a setback will line up Bundy to pitch Tuesday in Arizona when he’s eligible to be activated from the injured list.
“Feeling great,” he said. “Should be ready to go for my start.”
The cortisone injections provided the remedy for his tendinitis.
“I felt great the next day after both of those shots,” he said. “Hopefully that did the trick and I won’t have to deal with it the rest of the season.”
Bundy pushed himself during the bullpen session to make certain that the soreness was gone.
“I didn’t feel one thing,” he said. “That was the main goal the whole day was long toss and bullpen without feeling anything. We accomplished that and tomorrow I expect more of the same.”
Bundy was excited to participate in a bunting drill as Orioles pitchers prepare to hit in the National League. He suffered a sprained ankle last June in Atlanta while running the bases, but is looking forward to trying it again.
“Got to get ready to (bunt), too,” he said. “Might run the bases, too, this year, get some practice in on that.”
Means’ next start falls on Wednesday, also against the Diamondbacks. Tonight marked his sixth quality start of the season and was a nice rebound from the six runs he allowed in Game 2 of Saturday’s doubleheader.
In four starts against the Red Sox this season, Means has allowed only six runs in 23 innings for a 2.35 ERA.
Martin was 0-for-24 before singling in his last at-bat Wednesday night. He tripled off the out-of-town scoreboard tonight and kept motoring after Martinez failed to pick up the ball on the first attempt - with a nice send by third base coach José Flores.
Martin reached on a bunt single in the fourth for his first multi-hit game since June 25.
Broxton’s slumps stretched to 3-for-31 and 10-for-74, and he hadn’t homered since June 14, but he took a changeup for a ride after Stevie Wilkerson singled and received a splash of cold water to the face from Dwight Smith Jr. while showing off some dance moves in the dugout.
An infield hit off Ryan Weber in the seventh gave Broxton his first multi-hit game since June 14.
Price allowed six runs combined in his last five starts against the Orioles. The total was matched through the fourth inning and he didn’t return for the fifth.
Renato Núñez and Santander greeted Colten Brewer with back-to-back singles and Chance Sisco was hit by a pitch. Wilkerson lined to center field to score Núñez, Broxton walked to reload the bases and bring Weber into the game, and Martin reached on a force play to give the Orioles an 8-2 lead.
The Orioles loaded the bases off Weber in the seventh and Jonathan Villar delivered a two-run single with two outs. An error on second baseman Michael Chavis allowed Broxton to score for an 11-2 lead.
Hyde on Martin and Broxton: “Great to see those guys both swing the bat really well. Obviously, Broxton with the homer and the knock and a nice walk and Richie, that was an exciting triple and an error. We just took good at-bats up and down the lineup. That was for me one of our better games of the year from all standpoints. We pitched outstanding, we played really good defense, ran the bases well and everybody contributed in the lineup. So it was just a fantastic game for us.”
Hyde on success versus Price: “We took really good at-bats off him. Tony with the three-run homer in the first. We weren’t swinging at balls, we got his pitch count up high early in the game and battled. We really competed tonight and it was fun to watch.”
Hyde on Means: “To go six innings and give up two runs to the Boston Red Sox. Really the only mistake was the homer, a changeup that he kind of cut a little bit into the middle part of the plate. He did what John Means has done all year, keep guys off balance. I love that he flashed more breaking balls tonight, threw some really nice breaking balls to (Rafael) Devers and located his fastball and gave up six great innings.”
Hyde on Martin’s all-around play: “I thought Richie, it was one of his better games. He’s been working hard with our hitting guys, getting in a little better position to hit, and I think it’s starting to pay off where he’s taking some really nice swings. That base hit a couple days ago the other way and then the triple in right field, he really drove that ball. And Richie’s been playing great defense all year. He’s a special defender, he’s unbelievably athletic and like I’ve said a lot, so impressive the way he doesn’t take his offense to his defense and continues to really contribute defensively every game he’s in there. It’s hopefully a game to build on.”
Hyde on no runs from Richard Bleier, Jimmy Yacaobonis and Miguel Castro: “All three of those guys showed really good stuff. You don’t see poor swings from those guys very often and all three of the guys had a lot of movement on their fastballs. Richard gave up an against-the-shift hit but pitched out of a jam, showing great stuff, and Castro and Yacaobonis with 10-pitch innings, which is huge. Their stuff plays in the strike zone and they just did a great job attacking hitters.
“That was the best Miguel Castro has thrown for me all year, where it was 99 with sink and on the plate, even elevated one time. But you could see from the dugout the action that it had and the swings they were taking. A 10-pitch inning from those guys, that’s great and hopefully they can build on that.”
Means on how he did after the home run: “I was pounding the zone pretty well. I was throwing it kind of where I wanted. There’s still some things that I’m working on as far as emotion standpoint and getting more swings and misses, but I did feel like I was locating pretty well.”
Means on getting early lead: “Our hitters did a great job today battling deep in counts and obviously doing some damage along with it. It’s what our hitters do best. When we start going, we score a lot of runs. And when you see the early runs come you know there are more coming after.”
Means on reaction to Martin speeding around bases: “You try not to miss him running because he’s just blazing fast. That was awesome for him.”
Means on Martin in the field: “That kid is just so athletic and so fast and he’s just a freak athlete and seeing him play defense is something special.”
Means on getting win over Price: “A guy like that who’s been established in this league for so long, it’s cool to see him across the other side and to watch him pitch against you, you kind of take some pointers.”
Means on success versus Red Sox: “I honestly have no idea. I felt pretty good against them every time and I felt like our game plan has been good.”
Martin on his mindset rounding the bases: “I wasn’t thinking inside the park, to be honest. When I was rounding second and I was getting ready to slide into third, I saw Flo back up a little. He started wheeling and I was fortunately able to make it into home.”
Martin on dugout reaction: “Everyone was pretty hyped up. I think that’s what’s great about this team. No matter how you’re doing, whether you’re doing well, poorly, everyone’s got your back and they’re happy for your success.”
Martin on whether it was his most complete game: “I don’t know, man. I don’t really look at it like that. I’m just going out and competing, just playing as hard as I can every day. I leave that up to you guys to decide.”