No one could have seen this coming and there really is no rational explanation for why it happened. How could an Orioles team playing so poorly all year, one that was 4-19 in June, do this to a Cleveland Indians team that had the best June record in the league, going 16-7?
The Orioles offense had scored three runs or less in nine of its previous 13 games and 17 times in the last 26. Then they go out and score 13 on back-to-back nights.
O’s pitchers allowed seven runs or more 11 times in the last 14 games. In a two-game series Tuesday and Wednesday versus San Diego, they allowed nine homers and 18 runs. Then they shut out a hot-hitting Cleveland team in two straight games. They had one shutout all year when this series began.
There is no explanation - outside of baseball can be crazy - that the Orioles won 13-0 Friday and 13-0 Saturday.
Maybe a team that was showing signs of losing wearing on it just finally decided to flip the script. This has been an O’s club that has seemingly remained pretty upbeat and kept its energy up, even with all the losses.
Maybe it is paying off this weekend at Camden Yards.
O’s pitchers have thrown back-to-back shutouts for the first time since Sept. 2-3, 2016 at home against the Yankees. That is 18 innings this series, allowing 11 hits with three walks to 18 strikeouts.
O’s batters have produced 26 runs on 29 hits with eight doubles and six homers and have gone 14-for-26 (.538) with runners in scoring position. Chance Sisco is 4-for-9 in the series with a double, two homers and seven RBIs. Anthony Santander is 5-for-9 with a double, two homers and five RBIs. Jonathan Villar has walked five times and scored four runs in the series.
On Friday night, the Orioles scored four runs in the first two innings for the first time since Aug. 26, 1979. Last night they became the first team ever to record back-to-back shutouts and score 13 or more runs each game. This had never been done before in the majors.
So, yep, this all is crazy with no explanation.
Just enjoy it, Birdland, as the Orioles today go for a three-game sweep.
Checking the minors from Saturday: Double-A Bowie wins again and this time the Baysox trailed 7-0 after the top of the third and came back to beat Akron 8-7. Ryan McKenna hit a grand slam and Yusniel Diaz hit a solo homer, his seventh.
Bowie is 9-2 in the second half and has won five in a row, 17 of 20 and 20 of its last 25 games. Dillon Tate threw three scoreless innings to get a save as the Bowie bullpen has allowed just two runs in 24 1/3 innings over the past six games.
Triple-A Norfolk blanked Charlotte 2-0 as Dan Straily, Tayler Scott and David Hess combined on a five-hitter with 15 strikeouts. Straily threw five innings with seven strikeouts and no walks. Scott struck out the side in the sixth, touching 96 mph on the stadium radar gun. Hess got his first pro save with five strikeouts over three innings. Over his past three games, Hess has thrown nine scoreless innings out of the bullpen.
Wilmington beat Single-A Frederick 7-2 as Blaine Knight allowed four runs (one earned) over five innings to fall to 0-5 with a 5.72 ERA. Outfielder Robbie Thorburn had two hits and is batting .300 in eight games with Frederick.
Single-A Delmarva lost 2-1 at Hagerstown to snap a six-game winning streak and fall to 8-2 in the second half. Seamus Curran hit a solo homer for the Shorebirds, No. 13.
Tri-City beat short-season Single-A Aberdeen 4-3 as the IronBirds were held to two hits.