Schoop's slam epitomizes O's quick-strike offense

May 15th, 2016

BALTIMORE -- Jonathan Schoop can sense the confidence up and down the Orioles' lineup.

"This team is capable of doing anything," Schoop said after the O's beat the Tigers, 9-3, to match their season-long winning streak of seven games.

"No matter if we're losing by seven, six or five runs, we believe we can score the same amount of runs that they've got," Schoop said. "We believe that we have the team to do it."

On Saturday, the Orioles were only down two runs when their bats came to life with three in the sixth inning, one in the seventh and five in the eighth. Schoop led the way with a solo home run in the seventh and a grand slam in the eighth to turn an otherwise tight game into a rout. It was Schoop's second career grand slam and his seventh homer of the season.

"It was pretty close," said Schoop, who had his second career multi-homer game (April 15 at Texas) and finished with a career-high five RBIs.

"Mike Wright pitched really good, [Anibal] Sanchez pitched really good, too, and then we put some good at-bats together and then we scored some runs," Schoop said.

Wright gave the Orioles their sixth quality start over the course of their seven-game winning streak, and Baltimore's bullpen continues to own the best ERA in the Majors. Yet it's the Orioles' explosive offense that may be the biggest reason behind the club's 23-12 start.

Baltimore leads the Majors with 54 homers, including 18 in its last seven games. That's why, Wright said, he wasn't surprised that a 2-0 deficit in the sixth inning ended up a 9-3 win.

"I mean, have you looked at our lineup?" Wright said. "[Detroit's Miguel Cabrera] hit one home run [462 feet], but we hit a bunch, so that's exciting. That's really nice to see -- your offense clicking like it's clicking right now."

The Orioles have won 12 of their last 16 games, with Schoop hitting .322/.344/.593 (19-for-59) over that stretch, with two doubles, a triple, four homers and 12 RBIs. Schoop also impressed in the field Saturday, with a strong defensive play to end the top of the third.

With one out and the bases loaded in a scoreless game, Cabrera hit a line drive toward Schoop at second base. Rather than catch the ball for the out, Schoop took a few steps back to allow the ball to drop in front of him. This gave the Orioles the opportunity to quickly turn an inning-ending 4-6-3 double play.

"John played that very maturely," said O's manager Buck Showalter. "A lot of guys would catch that ball in the air and you only get one. ... John doesn't like to disappoint. He's very in-tune with the competition."