BALTIMORE—Five days and a dry field later, the Orioles have a six-game winning streak. They also have their second straight three-game road series sweep, even though the final innings of Friday evening’s suspended game against the Washington Nationals was at Camden Yards.
Last Sunday, when the Nationals’ grounds crew couldn’t unravel the tarp in time to prevent the field from getting soaked during a storm, the umpires declared the field unplayable and suspended the game, with the Orioles leading, 5-2, in the top of the sixth.
Since the Orioles and Nationals were scheduled for a three-game series this weekend, it was determined that the suspended game would be completed before Friday night’s game.
The Orioles scored another run in the top of the sixth and won, 6-2, to improve their record to 11-7. Almost fittingly, the regularly scheduled game was delayed by a rain — the Baltimore grounds crew putting the tarp on the field between games.
The Orioles have a six-game winning streak and, since the suspended game began at Nationals Park on Sunday, it was considered a road win. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Orioles have recorded back-to-back road sweeps for the first time since they won three in Toronto and two in Boston from April 22-26, 2005.
Their last road sweep of at least six games came in July 1987 when they won seven straight in Kansas City and Chicago.
Although the Orioles held a 5-2 lead when play resumed, Orioles manager Brandon Hyde didn’t assume anything.
“Never a real comfortable feeling,” Hyde said. “I’d rather have a 5-2 lead than be down 5-2.”
The Orioles scored five runs in the fifth last Sunday against the Nationals’ Stephen Strasburg, who was making his season debut. Bryan Holaday drove in a run with a bases-loaded single, Hanser Alberto doubled home to more, and Anthony Santander’s two-run single chased Strasburg, who took the loss.
Strasburg, who is slated to start the regularly scheduled game, allowed five runs on seven hits in 4 1/3 innings.
Starlin Castro’s two-run home run against Shawn Armstrong in the bottom of the fifth cut the Orioles lead to 5-2.
Sam Freeman, who has since gone on the injured list, walked Dwight Smith Jr. and Chance Sisco, and Kyle Finnegan entered with one out. Holaday’s infield single scored Smith for the Orioles’ final run.
Paul Fry, who recorded the last out of the fifth inning on Sunday, returned for the sixth five days later and recorded three outs. Miguel Castro, Tanner Scott and Mychal Givens finished the game.
Travis Lakins, who recorded the third out of the fourth inning on Sunday, was the winner.
“The bullpen guys have pitched quite a bit, and I was hoping we could extend the lead,” Hyde said. “We’re playing good baseball. We’re playing tight games. We’re playing winning baseball.”
Roster moves: The Orioles purchased the contract of right-handed pitcher Chandler Shepherd from their alternate site in Bowie and optioned David Hess to Bowie … Right-hander Cody Carroll is the 29th man for the regularly scheduled game … Sunday’s starter is still undecided but Hyde said that it could be John Means, who hasn’t pitched since the death of his father on August 4th. Means went on the injured list when he returned and isn’t on the active roster.
Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB
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