SAN DIEGO - After a brief lull, the Orioles offense put up eight runs in yesterday’s road trip-ending win. They had scored 27 runs in the first three games in Anaheim, then were held to five runs in back-to-back losses Sunday and Monday.
The bats were back Tuesday under the San Diego sun. Richie Martin, Renato Núñez and Trey Mancini had two-run singles. Chris Davis hit a tiebreaking home run. The Orioles, who have scored 83 runs in the last 13 games, had 13 hits and went 5-for-10 with runners in scoring position.
Young players are taking some steps forward as the team has gone 8-5 the last 13 games and 14-13 since June 28. Perhaps none more than Anthony Santander, the 24-year-old Rule 5 pick from December 2016 from the Cleveland organization.
Santander continues to produce and hit balls very, very hard. He went 2-for-5 with a pair of doubles yesterday and is batting .301/.342/.503 in 46 games. Yesterday, Santander hit two balls 100 mph and another 113 mph.
His teammates are throwing props his way. Mancini did recently in a big way.
“I’ve always thought he was a beast, from the second we got him,” Mancini said. “I think it’s really showing now. He’s getting a really consistent shot up here and he’s done such a great job. Was in Triple-A for a while and put his head down and worked hard.
“He’s done an incredible job from both sides of the plate. Every at bat he has is a professional at-bat. He takes great swings and makes really hard contact consistently. That is the name of the game for him. He’s one of the most consistent guys I’ve played with in a while.
“I also think he plays extremely well in the outfield. I never really understood why some didn’t think he was solid on defense. I think he’s rock solid out there and is really showing his talent.”
Over his past 12 games, Santander is batting .379 (22-for-58) with five doubles, a triple, four homers, 15 RBIs and eight multi-hit games. He hit .321 in July.
“Tony Santander. How about those ABs that that guy takes?” manager Brandon Hyde said after yesterday’s win. “He’s taking elite ABs, hitting third in the lineup and squaring the ball up a lot, and playing plus defense in the corners and in center when I ask him to, so I think there are some good things happening. I hope the fans are grabbing onto that there is some excitement with some of our guys going forward, and that’s what this was all about, to really find players that are going to be with us when we’re winning playoff games.”
Santander could be a future fixture for the Orioles. When fans wonder which of the current group will be around for contending baseball, he might be a prime candidate.
“He could be,” Mancini said. “A young guy that is just scratching the surface of the player that he can be. He’s physically as gifted as anyone I’ve played with. I think he’s a prime candidate to be here for the long haul.”
Mancini trade talk: It should surprise no one that Mancini wants to remain an Oriole past today’s 4 p.m. trade deadline. He admitted in a clubhouse interview yesterday that the final hours can be unsettling as he’s been the subject of rumors.
“I don’t really anticipate anything happening, but I’m preparing myself for both sides because it’s definitely something you need to mentally prepare for. Your whole life can change in an instant,” he said Tuesday morning.
“Every year, you see names pop up and nothing comes to fruition. I hope I’m still here Thursday. And I think I will be. You have to look at it that it’s an honor that other organizations see you as being a good player and being able to help their team. That’s definitely something to be proud of.”