Mancini breaks slump, notes on Hart, minors award winners

Any hitter who is having a good offensive season has probably had times during the year when he minimized a cold streak at the plate and got right back to hitting well again.

Orioles rookie Trey Mancini has had to do this a few times.

From Aug. 13 through 20, Mancini went 2-for-26 (.077), and that dropped his average to .282. Since then he has gone 14-for-27 (.519) with a homer and eight RBIs. Mancini is 10-for-17 (.588) with five RBIs in his last four games.

“It takes a while when you’re kind of in a rut to get out of it,” he said. “It’s more mental than anything. It takes a lot of conversations with people around here and work in the cage. Get here early, study some film and see what I’m maybe doing. There’s a lot of factors that go into it, but I’d say for the most part, talking to people around here because everybody’s experienced streaks like that. That helps the most.”

His average is back up to .297 after last night’s three-hit game, which was his third three-hit game in his last four.

Hart-Throws-Gray-Sidebar.jpgMeanwhile, lefty reliever Donnie Hart returned to the Orioles roster again on Monday after his latest stint with Triple-A Norfolk. Hart pitched a scoreless top of the seventh on just seven pitches and got the win last night against Seattle to go 2-0 for the year.

But the Orioles will need to activate Dylan Bundy off the bereavement list to start tonight’s game, and Hart could be sent back out. At Norfolk, he has gone 1-0 with a 1.23 ERA in 12 games with the Tides this year.

He was optioned to Triple-A on Aug. 9. In his last four games with Norfolk he pitched 5 2/3 scoreless on five hits with one walk and seven strikeouts.

Hart said it went well on the farm.

“Yeah, last one went two innings. Gave up a couple of singles, but went well for the most part. Trying to keep the pitch count down and be effective. So it was good. Ramon (Martinez, special assignment pitching instructor) actually came down before we went on the road, and I actually did a lot of work with him. So that was good, and we were able to hone some things in.”

Hart has gone 2-0 with a 3.03 ERA for the Orioles. In two of his last four Norfolk games he went two innings. Being stretched out allowed him to get work in on all his pitches and be ready for any role with the Orioles.

“I think anytime you can provide length it helps. Just in general. Right now we are not in a situation where what I did last year is feasible here right now. So to try to be a piece that fits in the puzzle, you have to be able to go multiple innings,” Hart said.

Update: Hart indeed has been optioned back to Norfolk and Bundy has been activated to pitch tonight.

Minor league award winners: Single-A Delmarva Shorebirds outfielder Jake Ring has been named to the South Atlantic League postseason All-Star team as a utility outfielder, it was announced today.

The 22-year-old lefty hitter is batting .274/.329/.462 with a league-leading 36 doubles along with four triples, 14 home runs, 67 runs, 65 RBIs and 17 stolen bases. Ring’s 36 doubles on the year are tied for third-most in Delmarva single-season history. He also ranks top three in the league in extra-base hits (54) and total bases (211), and his batting average puts him in the top 20 among qualifying hitters.

Ring has come up big for the Shorebirds all season. He got off a great start and was the Orioles minor league Player of the Month for April, when he hit .359 with an OPS of 1.085. Ring opened the season on a 76-game errorless streak through July 12. He was the starting center fielder for his team in the SAL midseason All-Star Game.

The Orioles drafted Ring out of the University of Missouri in the 31st round of the 2016 First-Year Player Draft. His signing scout was Scott Thomas.

Single-A Frederick right-hander Cristian Alvarado is the Carolina League Pitcher of the Week. It marks the seventh time a Keys player has received a weekly honor in 2017.

In Game 1 of a doubleheader last Friday at Potomac, the 22-year-old Alvarado pitched a seven-inning complete-game shutout. He gave up four hits with no walks and four strikeouts. Two of those strikeouts came against major league rehabbers Trea Turner and Jayson Werth. It was the second complete-game shutout of Alvarado’s career and his third complete game of the season.

The Keys starter leads the Carolina League in complete games. While his record for the year is 7-9 with a 5.20 ERA, Alvarado is 4-2 with a 3.80 ERA in 12 second-half starts. In four August starts, his ERA is 2.19 with four walks and 19 strikeouts in 24 2/3 innings. He leads the Keys with 133 1/3 innings.

Originally signed by the Orioles as a minor league free agent in August 2011, Alvarado is from Guacara, Venezuela.

AFL note: The Orioles are sending seven players to the Arizona Fall League, which begins play Oct. 10 and runs through the Nov. 18 championship game.

The Orioles are sending pitchers Tanner Scott, Keegan Akin and Andrew Faulkner, along with infielders Ryan Mountcastle and Steve Wilkerson. The Orioles will later add two more players to this list: one outfielder and a pitcher.

The Orioles players will play on the Salt River Rafters along with players from the Rockies, Diamondbacks, Marlins and Brewers.

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