Castillo’s power surge lifts O’s again

The Washington Post Sunday - - BASEBALL - BY JON MEOLI


bal­ti­more — For the sec­ond straight night, Wel­ing­ton Castillo made win­ners out of the Bal­ti­more Ori­oles.

The ir­re­press­ible back­stop home­red again to give the hosts a 7-5 win over the Toronto Blue Jays on Satur­day night be­fore a sel­l­out crowd of 45,416 at Cam­den Yards. This time, it was a three-run home run in the sev­enth in­ning that erased the pos­si­bil­ity of an­other bullpen-gen­er­ated loss.

Castillo’s home run was his fourth on the sea­son and his third in the past two games. On Fri­day night, he hit one in the sixth in­ning to tie the game at three and an­other in the 10th in­ning to end it.

This one scored first base­man Chris Davis, who sin­gled against the shift to snap an 0-for-10 skid, and des­ig­nated hit­ter Mark Trumbo, who turned an 0-2 count into a full count be­fore sting­ing a sin­gle up the mid­dle.

It also erased a 5-4 deficit that came about af­ter starter Kevin Gaus­man left with a 4-2 lead af­ter six in­nings. Left-han­der Richard Bleier had a run­ner reach on an error by short­stop J.J. Hardy and an­other on a walk, and righthander My­chal Givens, who re­lieved him, al­lowed a three-run home run to Toronto slug­ger Jose Bautista.

Badly need­ing a good out­ing to turn his sea­son around, Gaus­man got just that to stem some of the con­cern about his early-sea­son strug­gles.

He al­lowed 10 hits but only the last two — a sixth-in­ning home run by first base­man Justin Smoak and a dou­ble to the fol­low­ing bat­ter, sec­ond base­man Devon Travis — went for ex­tra bases. Com­bine that with just one walk, and Gaus­man gave up two runs with five strike­outs, low­er­ing his ERA from 7.19 to 6.65.

Third base­man Manny Machado gave Gaus­man and the Ori­oles a spec­tac­u­lar lift at the plate and in the field.

Af­ter a first-in­ning sin­gle through the left side, Machado un­loaded on a cut­ter from Blue Jays starter Mike Bolsinger for his 10th home run of the year, a long drive to left field. In the fol­low­ing half-in­ning, with a man on first and one out, he skid­ded on his knees to snare a hard grounder down the third base line, then spun to start a dou­ble play at sec­ond base.

Dar­ren O’Day worked a clean eighth in­ning for the Ori­oles, and deputy closer Brad Brach earned his ninth save in 12 op­por­tu­ni­ties.


Wel­ing­ton Castillo, left, re­turns to the dugout af­ter belt­ing a three­run homer in the sev­enth in­ning to put Bal­ti­more ahead for good.

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