BALTIMORE—The Orioles have won six straight games, mostly with outstanding starting pitching. On Sunday, their latest win came with another strong pitching performance, but with little offense.
Adam Frazier scampered home on a wild pitch by Mason Englert in the 10th inning, and the Orioles escaped with a 2-1 win over the Detroit Tigers before an announced crowd of 36,975 at Camden Yards.
Frazier, who drove home the winning run on a ninth-inning fielder’s choice on Friday night, was the automatic runner to begin the 10th. He ran for Ramón Urías. Terrin Vavra bunted Frazier to third and he scored on the wild pitch with Jorge Mateo at the plate.
“I’d like to be involved in more,” Frazier said. “That means we’re winning and doing something productive. Those kind of wins at the end of the season, they add up. That’s how you make the playoffs. A lot of good teams can win series, but [to] sweep series, that’s hard to do. You’ve got to do a lot of things right, and you’ve got to have a couple of things fall your way.”
The Orioles have allowed just three runs in the past 54 innings but had just three hits in their win. They were dominated by Eduardo Rodriguez, who retired the first 20 batters to face him before Ryan Mountcastle singled to left with two outs in the seventh.
“There wasn’t a lot [of offense] for a long time,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “Not much hard contact. We had trouble with him.”
Grayson Rodriguez pitched five scoreless innings in his fourth start.
“I had no idea there was a perfect game until I came out of the ballgame,” Rodriguez said. “Obviously, I’m rooting for our guys to get a hit.”
Cionel Pérez, who recorded the third out of the seventh inning, allowed singles to Matt Vierling and Eric Haase to start the eighth.
Zach McKinstry bunted both runners ahead, and Austin Voth relieved Pérez. Spencer Torkelson hit a fly ball to right field. Ryan McKenna’s throw home was not in time, and Vierling scored to give Detroit (7-13) at 1-0 lead.
Mateo, who reached on an infield single with one out against Chasen Shreve, scored on Anthony Santander’s pinch-hit, two out double. Third base coach Tony Mansolino waved Mateo home after he rounded second base, and it was 1-1.
“It was a great send,” Hyde said. “Mateo gets on you so fast as a third base coach because he’s moving and such an exciting player. So fun to watch him on the bases.”
Keegan Akin (1-1) retired Nick Maton after Hyde ordered two intentional walks in the top of the 10th inning. It was his first appearance since April 12th. He spent last weekend on the paternity list attending to his newborn son, Karson.
“He was rested. Keegan was pretty much it for us today,” Hyde said. “I put him in a really tough spot there, loading the bases. He’s got to throw strikes, and he did it. First win as a father.”
Rodriguez threw 92 pitches, allowing five hits, striking out six and walking three before Bryan Baker relieved him for the sixth.
“Hats off to the defense for keeping me in it,” Rodriguez said. “Things got tight there a few times. They were always behind me to make a good play.”
Before Mountcastle’s hit, there was only one moderately close call. To start the sixth, Gunnar Henderson hit a hard smash to second base that Detroit’s Jonathan Schoop fielded backhanded and threw on his knees to get Henderson at first. Ryan McKenna attempted to bunt for a hit but he weakly bunted back to Rodriguez.
“Everybody’s together. Everybody wants to win,” Frazier said. “Everybody’s rooting for each other. It’s like a one-through-nine approach, not really relying on one person every night. One through nine, you can impact a game. The biggest thing is we’re a team. It’s a common goal every night between 26 guys like today.
“Out pitching did really well. We didn’t hit the ball, and we came out on top. That’s what it is, a group effort, and that’s how you win games.”
Notes: The Orioles’ 14-7 start is their third-best 21-game start, trailing only 1966 (16-5) and 1968 (15-6). They also started 14-7 in 2017. … The Boston Red Sox visit for three games beginning Monday night. Dean Kremer (1-0, 6.16) will face Chris Sale (1-1, 8.00) at 6:35 p.m.
Tate ready for rehab: Relief pitcher Dillon Tate, who has been on the 15-day injured list with a right elbow injury, was in the Orioles’ clubhouse for the first time during the regular season He’s scheduled to throw for High-A Aberdeen on Tuesday night.
Tate, who didn’t pitch during Grapefruit League games, said he was “right on time, right where I need to be. It’s tedious. It’s a lot of work. It’s a lot of similar things each day. The work just builds up slowly over time. I’m here now. I’m ready to go.”
Tate can remain on a rehab assignment for up to 30 days but won’t put a timetable on the number of days or appearances he’ll require.
“Five or six will get me where I need to be,” he said. “I will do a back-to-back just as a final test, see where things stack up, and after that, I’ll be ready to go.”
He’s been closely following the team while he’s been in Sarasota.
“It’s been great. It’s encouraging to see because I’m still a part of this team, and I want this team to do well,” Tate said. “With or without me, the wheels are going to continue to turn. Once it’s time for me to come back, I just want to be an addition to what the guys have already done and what they’re continuing to do.”
Minor league update: Cole Irvin (2-0) allowed five runs on 10 hits in five-plus innings in Triple-A Norfolk’s 17-7 win over Rochester.
Designated hitter Josh Lester hit a grand slam, his eighth home run of the season. Rightfielder Kyle Stowers hit his second home run, and catcher Mark Koloszvary hit a three-run home run.
Designated hitter Zach Watson drove in three runs, and shortstop César Prieto had three hits, raising his average to .397, in Double-A Bowie’s 5-4 loss to Altoona.
Kade Strowd (1-1) allowed the winning run in the bottom of the ninth.
Third baseman Max Wagner and centerfielder Jud Fabian each hit two-run home runs in High-A Aberdeen’s 8-5 loss to Jersey Shore.
Centerfielder Stivin Acevedo hit a two-run home run and first baseman Samuel Basallo drove in two runs as Single-A Delmarva beat Fredericksburg, 8-5.
Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB