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Trumbo, Mancini homer, but O's drop finale

MLB.com

ATLANTA -- Before Sunday afternoon's finale at SunTrust Park in which the O's lost to the Braves, 7-3, Baltimore manager Buck Showalter had decided to give Mark Trumbo the day off. But when you have a guy as hot as Trumbo, it's rather difficult to keep him out of the batter's box for long.

Trumbo extended his hitting streak to eight games after he launched a pinch-hit two-run homer in the fifth inning to help the O's pull within 5-3. It was his fifth home run in a week, and second in as many games after his grand slam in Saturday's win.

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ATLANTA -- Before Sunday afternoon's finale at SunTrust Park in which the O's lost to the Braves, 7-3, Baltimore manager Buck Showalter had decided to give Mark Trumbo the day off. But when you have a guy as hot as Trumbo, it's rather difficult to keep him out of the batter's box for long.

Trumbo extended his hitting streak to eight games after he launched a pinch-hit two-run homer in the fifth inning to help the O's pull within 5-3. It was his fifth home run in a week, and second in as many games after his grand slam in Saturday's win.

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"That's been Mark," Showalter said. "He's a guy that we know is capable of it."

Since last Sunday, Trumbo has pushed 11 runs across with his power surge. And with Trumbo's success also comes Baltimore's success, as the club has won four out of its last seven games.

But in order for the Orioles to continue this positive trend moving forward, Showalter said there has to be more contribution on a consistent basis from more guys on the team.

"Trumbo is kind of in a good place, he's had a good approach and he is consistent with it," Showalter said. "Adam [Jones] has been that way all year and [Manny Machado's] been that way, too, but you need a lot more than that core to put together and sustain good offense."

A quality addition to that core could be Trey Mancini, who made his mark in his return to the lineup after taking a few days off to nurse a sore neck. The O's left fielder launched his 10th home run of the season deep to left field on a 3-2 curveball Brandon McCarthy left tailing over the plate to lead off the third inning. Mancini finished the day 2-for-2 with a walk and said he felt better Sunday than he has in a long time this season.

"I was kind of set back slightly with the neck over the past few days, but the silver lining in that was I guess I got a few days off," Mancini said. "... But it's a long process. You aren't going to go out there every day and feel great, but you kind of have to commit to your approach and believe you can put some good at-bats together."

Video: BAL@ATL: Mancini belts his 10th homer of the year

The Braves, however, didn't wait long to put some quality at-bats together when Freddie Freeman hit a two-run single in the first inning. A two-out double by Charlie Culberson in the third tacked on two more runs to make it 5-1 Braves before Trumbo's homer in the fifth.

The Braves added a pair of runs on Dansby Swanson's pinch-hit homer in the eighth off Brad Brach.

Video: BAL@ATL: Swanson slugs a pinch-hit homer in the 8th

O's starter David Hess lasted only four innings after giving up five runs on seven hits. Showalter said Hess' recent struggles on the mound come down to him being "wild in the strike zone."

"Mistakes really get magnified at this level," Showalter said. "He's shown what he is capable of doing and shown the other side of what happens when you don't command the baseball. It's not just throwing a strike, it's about throwing a quality strike."

Video: BAL@ATL: Culberson cracks a 2-run double in the 3rd

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
The one bright spot for the Orioles on the mound was Mike Wright Jr., who relieved Hess after the fourth inning. Wright was able to get plenty of soft contact from the Braves' batters he faced in three scoreless frames, striking out three and permitting two hits. He gave the O's a chance to come back in the later innings by keeping the deficit at two.

"I didn't think [Hess] hit a lot of pitches in a short period of time, but Mike was great," Showalter said. "That really helped our bullpen."

Video: BAL@ATL: Wright Jr. forces inning-ending groundout

SOUND SMART
The loss snapped a seven-game streak for the O's over the Braves, dating back to June 15, 2012.

HESS' STRUGGLES CONTINUE
Sunday marked the third straight start Hess has given up a career-high five runs.

"I think the initial awe of everything wears off and you still have to work and have to do everything that you did to get you to this point," Hess said. "I think whenever you come up initially, you have that adrenaline rush and that sometimes can last for a while. But I think it's about getting back to what worked to begin with."

Video: BAL@ATL: Hess strikes out McCarthy in the 4th

HE SAID IT
"It's unfortunate that we couldn't get a win today, but this series down here kind of felt like us again."
-- Mancini, on the silver lining of the series in Atlanta

UP NEXT
The Orioles head back to Baltimore for the first of a four-game series with the Mariners at Oriole Park at Camden Yards beginning at 7:05 p.m. ET on Monday. Andrew Cashner, who should be well rested after tossing four scoreless innings against the Nationals last Wednesday, will get the start for the O's. The Mariners will send Felix Hernandez to the mound. The veteran right-hander has a career-high ERA of 5.24.

Tori McElhaney is a reporter for MLB.com based in Atlanta.

Baltimore Orioles, Trey Mancini, Mark Trumbo