BALTIMORE—After a 14-game losing streak and 21 losses in 23 games, the Orioles’ bats have come alive. In their last two games against Cleveland and the New York Mets, the team has scored 28 runs, the fourth most in a two-game span in club history. The last time the Orioles scored in double figures in three straight games was July 27-29, 2018; they scored 18 against the Indians on Sunday, and 10 against the Mets on Tuesday.
During the 14-game losing streak, the Orioles scored 23 runs in their last nine games.
Entering Wednesday night’s game, the Orioles are hitting .243, sixth in the American League.
“I think our at-bats are so much more competitive,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “I think our guys, up and down the order, are doing a nice job from the pitch-selection standpoint. We’re not chasing as much out of the zone. We’re situational hitting fairly well right now, driving guys in from third. Our at-bats have really improved these past five or six days, and it’s not just a couple of guys. It’s all the way down the order. We have multiple guys taking really good at-bats.”
Centerfielder Cedric Mullins has raised his average from .295 to .325. First baseman/designated hitter Ryan Mountcastle has moved up from .226 to 252 since the streak started. Rightfielder Anthony Santander’s average has gone up from .260 to .276. On Tuesday night, nine of the Orioles’ 16 hits went for extra bases.
“The last [seven] days, we’ve had numerous guys take good at-bats,” Hyde said.
Some of the reasons for the uptick include “a lot of clubhouse conversation, a lot of coaching happening. I think a lot of guys talking to each other in the cage. You see guys talking through things in the dugout. I’m just really with the adjustments guys are making.
“There are ebbs and flows of the seasons. We’re not going to score 10 runs a game for the next hundred. We’re going to have struggles offensively. We’re going to have tough weeks offensively. Those types of things happen, but I’m encouraged by these guys sticking together, having some success, and seeing that the more quality at-bats you take up and down the order, how much easier it is on everyone else.”
Sceroler returns: Right-hander Mac Sceroler spent five weeks on the 10-day injured list before he was activated on Tuesday. He didn’t pitch in the game. Sceroler pitched in two games before he landed on the injured list on April 12th.
Sceroler was sidelined by a strained right shoulder. It started bothering him in spring training.
“I didn’t say anything,” he said. “I thought it was general soreness that would work its way out. As I kept throwing each day and time went on, it kept getting worse to the point where it was doing me no good.”
As a Rule 5 player, Sceroler must accumulate 90 days on the active roster to erase that status. He’ll have to be active for nearly the entire season to achieve that.
The Orioles’ other Rule 5 pitcher, Tyler Wells, has nearly reached the 90-day status, and Sceroler is impressed by what he’s seen.
“From the time I left in April until now, he’s a totally different pitcher,” Sceroler said. “He has a lot more confidence out there.”
Weekend pitching undecided: Hyde has listed Keegan Akin (0-0, 3.60 ERA) as the Orioles’ starter on Friday night at Tampa Bay. He doesn’t have starters for Saturday and Sunday. The Rays haven’t announced any starters.
After Thursday’s offday, the Orioles play 20 straight games and don’t have another day off until July 1st.
With John Means on the 10-day injured list because of a strained left shoulder, they’ll need another starter. Dean Kremer pitched Tuesday night at Triple-A Norfolk, and he could be recalled as the fifth starter.
Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB
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