O’s start Septem­ber right

Bundy, bullpen al­low Yan­kees just two hits; re­ju­ve­nated lineup slugs four home runs

Baltimore Sun - - SPORTS - By Ed­uardo A. Encina

Go­ing back to the first days of spring train­ing, Ori­oles slug­gers were asked about the ca­pa­bil­i­ties of their power-packed lineup. Since then, they’ve put up his­toric home run numbers, but a team built to out­slug its op­po­nents went into the sea­son’s fi­nal full month cling­ing to a play­off spot.

The Ori­oles en­tered their first game of Septem­ber on Fri­day night against the New York Yan­kees go­ing in the wrong di­rec­tion. They had been wildly in­con­sis­tent, four games un­der .500 since the All-Star break, losers of 11 of their past 15 games against divi­sion op­po­nents, head­ing into the se­ries.

A team seem­ingly in need of a life raft, the Ori­oles set sail into Septem­ber by putting to­gether the kind of vic­tory that’s been rare in the sec­ond half. They com­bined their de­struc­tive power with strong pitch­ing in an 8-0 shel­lack­ing of the new-look Yan­kees for one of their most com­plete wins this sea­son.

They hit four homers, in­clud­ing three in a four-bat­ter span in a sixth-run sec­ond in­ning.

“I’ve got a re­ally good seat, and I don’t ever take it for granted, the things that they do against the best pitch­ers in the world,” Ori­oles starter pitcher Dy­lan Bundy al­lowed two hits in 52⁄ in­nings. He struck out five and walked four in throw­ing 97 pitches. Tonight, 7:05 TV: MASN Ra­dio: 105.7 FM IN­SIDE

Thoughts about the Ori­oles’ de­cline in at­ten­dance dur­ing the past two sea­sons

New ad­di­tions Bourn, Stubbs primed for play­off push

Till­man likely to start Sept. 11 WILD-CARD STAND­INGS Team W-L x-Bos­ton 74-59 Ori­oles 73-61 Detroit 73-61 Hous­ton 71-63 New York 69-64 Kansas City 69-65 x-Seat­tle 68-65

Ori­oles man­ager Buck Showal­ter said. “It’s not like they’re sneak­ing up on any­body, ei­ther. So it’s just been a con­sis­tent threat we’ve had all year. It’s who we are, and that’s OK. We’ll score enough runs.”

In re­cent days, that hasn’t been the case. The Ori­oles’ out­put Fri­day was their high­est scor­ing in their past eight games. The dif­fer­ence was hold­ing the Yan­kees to two hits, the fewest the Ori­oles have al­lowed all sea­son. And as the Ori­oles con­tin­ued to draw a blue­print for right-han­der Dy­lan Bundy — who has shown signs of fa­tigue over his pre­vi­ous three starts — the 23-year-old pro­vided his team with 52⁄ score­less in­nings. Three re­liev­ers fol­lowed with 31⁄ in­nings of hit­less ball.

“You’re not go­ing to be work­ing on all cylin­ders at all times,” said des­ig­nated hit­ter Pe­dro Alvarez, whose sec­ond-in­ning homer was the Ori­oles’ first of the night and gave the club six 20-homer hit­ters this sea­son. “The teams that have the most suc­cess are the teams that can do that more of­ten through­out the year. That’s what we try to do ev­ery time we go out there. We know it’s not go­ing to be a hun­dred per­cent of the time, but any­time you can get the ball rolling on all ends, that’s usu­ally the recipe for a ‘W’ at the end of the day. Ob­vi­ously, a day like to­day is a lot of fun, and we hope to have a lot more com­ing up.”

A Yan­kees team sud­denly in the wild-card race that outscored the Ori­oles by 13 runs in three games at Yan­kee Sta­dium last week­end was on the other end of a rout Fri­day night. All six runs in the sec­ond in­ning scored with two outs in the in­ning, and three scored af­ter Yan­kees starter Chad Green left with right el­bow pain.

Cen­ter fielder Adam Jones — who hadn’t played in a week be­cause of a ham­string in­jury — served as the cat­a­lyst, hit­ting a two-out bloop sin­gle to cen­ter off Green that brought in the game’s first run and set the stage for what was to fol­low.

“It’s just the pres­ence of him run­ning out to cen­ter field to start the game,” Showal­ter said. “He comes in with a lot of time off and whacks a break­ing ball into cen­ter field for a base hit [in the first in­ning]. It’s kind of like ‘Adam’s back.’ ... We’re try­ing like heck to get a chance to roll the dice in

PATRICK SMITH/GETTY IM­AGES

PATRICK SMITH/GETTY IM­AGES

The Ori­oles cel­e­brate af­ter de­feat­ing the Yan­kees, 8-0, and nar­row­ing their deficit in the AL East to three games be­hind the Blue Jays.

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