Orioles get their first sweep under Hyde; Milone's solid start sets up bullpen in 5-1 win over Rays - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Rich Dubroff

Orioles get their first sweep under Hyde; Milone’s solid start sets up bullpen in 5-1 win over Rays

Photo Credit: Joy R. Absalon

BALTIMORE—It’s been nearly two years since the Orioles recorded a sweep. On Sunday, manager Brandon Hyde, who went through the 2019 season without even a two-game sweep, got to enjoy a three-game one.

The Orioles’ 5-1 win over the Tampa Bay Rays moved their record to 5-3 ahead of a day off on Monday and a rescheduled four-game series with the Miami Marlins, beginning Tuesday.

A three-run seventh inning broke a 1-1 tie and gave the Orioles three straight wins over the Rays. Their last sweep was also a three-game one against Toronto on August 27-29, 2018.

“It definitely escaped us last year,” Hyde said in a video conference call. “It’s still really early in this season. We beat a good club.”

The Orioles’ first eight games came against the American League East. They won two of three to open the season in Boston before dropping two at home to the Yankees, the second a demoralizing 8-6 loss — their 18th in a row to New York — after they overcame a 5-1 deficit to take a 6-5 lead in the bottom of the eighth.

But, as the Orioles did after an Opening Game 13-2 loss to Boston, they didn’t allow the Yankees’ setback to carry over to their series against the Rays.

“I just want to continue to keep it going and have our guys to feel what this feels like,” Hyde said. “Playing tight games, playing with the lead, being able to come in and throw strikes out of the bullpen with a lead.”

Cedric Mullins began the seventh with a bunt base hit against Jalen Beeks. He stole second, and Hanser Alberto doubled against Chaz Roe to score Mullins. Renato Nunez, who hit his second home run in as many games in the third inning, singled to score Alberto.

Nunez, who took second on the throw home, scored on a double by shortstop José Iglesias, and the Orioles led, 4-1.

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Pat Valaika, whose single won Saturday night’s 11-inning game, homered to center, his first as an Oriole, leading off the eighth.

Evan Phillips, who pitched a spotless seventh, recorded his first major league win.

Miguel Castro retired all three batters he faced in the sixth, and Cole Sulser retired six straight Tampa Bay hitters in the eighth and ninth for his third save.

“We’re throwing strikes, and we’re letting our defense play,” Hyde said. “Our starting pitching, for the most part, has given us a chance, at least getting to the middle part of the game. That was a question mark because we didn’t know with the quick summer camp …how our starters were going to do and how long we go with them, and how sharp they would be.

“We’ve had some really pretty good starts and our bullpen guys have come in the game and filled up the strike zone. That’s been the key for us, and that’s something we really struggled with last year.”

Milone’s day: Tommy Milone, who hadn’t pitched since starting opening night in Boston on July 24, got through five innings without allowing a run. He allowed five hits, striking out eight and didn’t walk a batter.

“I was able to navigate,” Milone said. “Knock some rust off. The last few innings, I started feeling a little bit better, better command.”

With Castro warming in the bullpen, Brandon Lowe homered to begin the sixth inning, and Milone was done.

Injury report: Rio Ruiz was scratched with shoulder inflammation before the game. Valaika replaced him at third base.

Chris Davis remains out with knee soreness. It was the second straight game Davis missed, but Hyde said he was available to pinch-hit.

José Iglesias, who hasn’t started since Wednesday because of a left quad injury, pinch-hit for the second straight game. Iglesias hit for Chance Sisco, who was the designated hitter, in the fifth.

Interesting stats: Oriole pitchers struck out 10 Rays hitters. It was the fifth straight game in which they struck out 10 or more, a club record.

Sisco was hit by a pitch in the first and singled in the third. He’s batting .333 (2-for-6) but has a .636 on-base percentage. In 11 plate appearances, Sisco has two hits, four walks and the hit-by-pitch.

DJ Stewart was 0-for-1 and is hitless in 12 at-bats this season. Centerfielder Austin Hays, who is in a 0-for-15 slide, didn’t start. He hit for Stewart in the sixth, and was hitless in two at-bats.

“I’m just giving Austin a little bit of a breather,” Hyde said. “He’s been taking good at-bats, but he’s grinding a little bit right now. I feel like it’s a good day to rest, especially before an offday to give him a couple of days off.”

Andrew Velázquez had his first hit as an Oriole in the second.

Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB

12 Comments

12 Comments

  1. CalsPals

    August 2, 2020 at 5:32 pm

    In limited AB’s Sisco has shown more discipline than in the past, still think the kid should be in more than what he has been…hopefully we don’t see much of Bleier this week…go O’s…

  2. Boog Robinson Robinson

    August 2, 2020 at 5:34 pm

    Fun times at the yard. Other than game one, and unlike last year, it’s been great to watch the O’s without them giving up double digits in runs by the 5th every night.

    Nice to see Mullins do his thing for a change. Remember kids, speed kills. It hasn’t worked every time, but like the aggressive base running they’ve been displaying. Finally Hyde had Sisco playing DH. I guess I can’t argue with the results when Hyde pulled Sisco and went to Iglesias, but I wish he would let Chance get his ABs against a few lefties.

    Castro continues to impress and Milone rebounded very nicely. If he and LeBlanc can keep these kinds of performances up, who knows how this thing is going to end?

    Fun game today.

  3. Orial

    August 2, 2020 at 8:52 pm

    Very impressive. Love the Alberto,Nunez,Santander tri-fecta. Throw in a blossoming Ruiz and a healthy Iglesias. I for once have nothing negative to say. Just wonder if the empty stadiums and Covid worries affect some teams more psychologically than others. These highly rated Rays looked awfully flat.

    • ClayDal

      August 2, 2020 at 9:12 pm

      The Rays should be used to empty stadiums

  4. TxBirdFan

    August 3, 2020 at 1:46 am

    Have to hand out a little credit today. Kudo’s to the pitchers for limiting the # of walks. That has really hurt us the past couple of years, but not so this year. Kudo’s as well to Hyde who made a couple of different substitutions that were timely and successful. Not just in pinch hits, but how about that Mullins double play on Saturday? It’s fun to see managerial strategy play out – I hope they keep 30 players which gives Hyde room to maneuver. Finally, no disrespect to Means, but I thought Alberto should have been our All Star rep last year. He’s been our best player again this year so far – too bad he can’t be an All Star this year.

  5. Bhoffman1

    August 3, 2020 at 7:09 am

    More Cardinals test positive. Who knows if this season will finish but if it does and Elias wants to be brave bring up Mountcastle, Diaz and two young starting pitchers and we can fight for a playoff spot.

    • Boog Robinson Robinson

      August 3, 2020 at 9:58 am

      I’ll 2nd that.

    • Bhoffman1

      August 3, 2020 at 10:51 am

      Thank you for secondly that . How can I get the games in Miami my cable subscription carries the Rays and Marlins and I have major league network too. I saw some spring training games in person and there is enough talent to compete if Elias really wants to take some chances and bring up the players I mentioned. My inner gut is that his focus is not on that and he’s still playing for draft picks and next year . Problem if Mountcastle, Diaz , kremer, Bauman to name a few don’t play this year next year he will say they need more experience at Norfolk so we could be looking at 2022 until we see them . Milone and LeBlanc looked great but you know against the Yankees those softballs will wind up on Eutaw street if that’s the right name

      • Boog Robinson Robinson

        August 3, 2020 at 11:35 am

        Goto MLB.TV. You’ll need a smart TV or something like Roku. Cost was $49 for all 60 O’s games. $50 for ALL major league games.

  6. willmiranda

    August 3, 2020 at 11:15 am

    Orioles’ hot start a sign that they used their off-season time well, at least compared to their opposition so far. I really like Alberto, but I’m surprised a guy without a single defensive position who doesn’t take bases on balls isn’t with the minor leaguers for more seasoning.

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