After a demoralizing four-game sweep at the hands of the New York Yankees, the Orioles took their frustration out on the Atlanta Braves.
The Orioles hit four home runs en route to a 14-1 victory against the Braves Sept. 14 in the opener of a three-game set at Camden Yards. It was the most runs the Orioles have scored this season and more runs than they had scored in their previous five games combined — nine since Sept. 9.
The 13-run margin of victory was also their highest of the season.
“I thought our guys just took really good at-bats,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “I thought we did a nice job of getting in hitters’ counts, waiting him out a little bit. Put some really good swings on balls and driving them.”
Outfielder DJ Stewart continued his resurgence with a three-run home run in the third inning. He is batting .371 (13-for-35) with one double, seven home runs, 11 runs, 12 RBIs and five walks since being recalled from the alternate training site at Double-A Bowie Sept. 1 (11 games). Stewart leads the American League in home runs, slugging, and OPS, and ranked second in OBP during that span.
Rookie Ryan Mountcastle continued to flash, and he slugged his fifth homer of the season. Mountcastle has reached base in 17 of his first 22 games and has hit safely in 14 of his first 21 starts.
Shortstop José Iglesias managed to hit his first home run of the season with a three-run shot in the third inning He also tied his career-high with four hits. Iglesias is slashing .370/.387/.504 with 19 RBIs in 31 games (124 plate appearances).
Infielder Pat Valaika continued to make a case for his future with the club and closed out the scoring when he led off the seventh with his seventh home run of the season. He is batting .300 (12-for-40) with five extra-base hits (three doubles and two home run) during 13 games in September.
Jorge López also provided some hope for the future by picking up his second win of the season. He allowed one run on five hits, one home run, with two walks and three strikeouts during a season-high seven innings — the longest start by an Orioles pitcher this year.
It was a much-needed win after the previous series after the Yankees likely ended the rebuilding Orioles’ surprising playoff aspirations.
“We had a tough series in New York, but we were able leave it in the past,” López said. “There’s nothing we can do about it right now. We just turn the page and be competitive and tonight the team showed great energy all around and we got the W.”
Orioles first baseman Chris Davis is back on the injured list with a knee injury. Davis is slashing .115/.164/.173 with one RBI in 16 games (55 plate appearances).
“His knee kind of flared up after that game in New York and so we gave it some time, trying to see how he responded and ultimately we put him on the IL,” Hyde said.
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