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BALTIMORE—The Orioles had lost the first two games of their series against the Texas Rangers and needed a win on Sunday to prevent them being swept for the first time this season.
Thanks to Austin Hays’ third hit of the day, an eighth-inning RBI single, the Orioles came away with a 3-2 win over the Rangers before an announced crowd of 25,124 at Camden Yards.
Cedric Mullins walked against Cole Ragans (2-2), Adley Rutschman singled him to third, and he scored on Hays’ single up the middle.
The Orioles (34-19) remained four games behind Tampa Bay in the American League East standings and secured their third consecutive winning month.
“We feel like we have a chance to win every game. We’re never out of it,” Hays said. “We know at any point we can chip away and really get a rally going, so it’s no different today. We knew we had a shot the whole game.”
Danny Coulombe (2-1) recorded the final out of the eighth, and Félix Bautista registered his 13th save by striking out all three Texas (33-19) hitters in the ninth.
The Orioles’ first two runs came quickly in the first. Mullins popped to shortstop Corey Seager, who lost the ball in the sun for a single. Rutschman singled and Hays’ single scored Mullins. After Anthony Santander walked against Cody Bradford to load the bases, Ryan Mountcastle’s sacrifice fly to right scored Rutschman for a 2-0 lead.
“I thought our offensive approach in the first inning was outstanding, unbelievable the way we hit the ball the other way,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “Two really good at-bats, and then we went silent. When you do that against teams like that, it’s really, really hard to do. They’re eventually going to score and they’re going to get back in the game more than likely.”
Ramón Urías hit into a double play to end the first, and Bradford gave up two more hits, a third-inning triple by Hays, and a fifth-inning single by Jorge Mateo.
Bradford was starting because the scheduled starter, Dane Dunning, was placed on the paternity list.
Oriole starter Kyle Bradish allowed a run on four hits in 6 2/3 innings, equaling his season high. After Josh Jung walked in the second, Bradish retired 11 stright until Robbie Grossman singled to lead off the sixth. Grossman scored on Marcus Semien’s double.
Bradish got two outs in the seventh and after Jung singled, Yennier Cano allowed a double to Jonah Heim but struck out Travis Jankowski to end the seventh.
Cano allowed his third run in 27 2/3 innings on a leadoff single by Grossman in the eighth and a two-out RBI double by Seager to tie the score at 2.
“I was trusting a guy that has hardly given up a run,” Hyde said. “I was hoping with a bunch of changeups down we were going to get a rollover or a walk … When things don’t work out, I beat myself up.”
The Orioles beat Texas in two of three games last month at Globe Life Field.
“They’re one of the best teams, offensively and defensively,” Bradish said of the Rangers. “Being able to split the overall series with them is good. Two really good teams, and hopefully we see them come October.”
Managing to avoid a sweep has kept the Orioles from having more than one three-game losing streak.
“I love the fact that we don’t feel like we’re ever out of a game when we’re down, and the next day you can’t tell if we won or we lost in our clubhouse,” Hyde said. “I think that’s a great attribute.”
They concluded their 22-game stretch against teams with winning records with a 13-9 record.
“We played really well against tough competition,” Hays said. “It just proves to ourselves, if we didn’t already know it, we can play with anybody in this league and we have a chance to win. We show up to the ballpark night-in and night-out and it can only build more confidence going through that part of the schedule playing well.”
Notes: The Orioles open a three-game series with Cleveland on Monday at 1:05 p.m. Tyler Wells (3-1, 3.47) will face Logan Allen (1-2, 3.31). … The BARCS Adopt a Pet wagon will return for Monday’s game. Located at Maryland Plaza near Gate A, fans can adopt pets, watch the game and pick up their new pets after the game. … The first 15,000 fans 15-and-over will receive an Orioles Ocean City T-Shirt. … High-A Aberdeen had just two hits in its 3-1 loss to Jersey Shore. … Deivy Cruz allowed one hit in five scoreless innings in Single-A Delmarva’s 2-1 loss to Lynchburg. The Shorebirds had just four hits.
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