BALTIMORE -- Maybe it was the presence of Hall of Famer Brooks Robinson, whose unveiling -- as the club's new special adviser -- caused quite the ovation at Camden Yards. The last-place O's didn't quite throw it back to their World Series glory days, but they did overcome a major
BALTIMORE -- Maybe it was the presence of Hall of Famer Brooks Robinson, whose unveiling -- as the club's new special adviser -- caused quite the ovation at Camden Yards. The last-place O's didn't quite throw it back to their World Series glory days, but they did overcome a major obstacle Saturday night: finally coming up with the big hit.
Inspired by a solid outing from Yefry Ramirez, Baltimore won for just the fourth time in 21 games thanks to Jonathan Schoop's sixth-inning sacrifice fly. The 1-0 victory over the Rangers -- which saw the largest cheers of the night reserved for No. 5 -- comes as the club gets ready to bid adieu to some of its premium players in advance of the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline.
"It certainly did," Showalter said of Saturday's win -- in front of a crowd of 38,328 -- having a particularly nice feel to it.
"It's been a tough season so far for our fans. Getting a chance to see Brooks, that's a highlight of any day or any season, really. You sit there and you see him and you think about … everything about him comes back and why people loved him so much. The smile, the engagement, the people around him. He's a great lesson to a lot of players about the way you're supposed to carry that mantle of notoriety, so to speak."
Schoop broke the scoreless tie by lifting Martin Perez's 0-1 fastball into center field. The Orioles had second and third and a chance to break it open after that, but Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus made a terrific leaping catch to save two runs and rob center fielder Adam Jones.
Jones did some robbing in his own right, making a diving grab on Ronald Guzman to open the top of the seventh inning and help reliever Donnie Hart navigate a scoreless frame. Oriole closer Zach Britton, a prime trade candidate, recorded his third save of the season as the lefty continues to look like he's regained his old form. After a rocky start to the season off the disabled list, Britton has tossed six straight scoreless outings, and allowed just two hits over that span.
"I think just getting in some of those save situations, just kind of get the adrenaline going and try to make some quality pitches. I feel really good," said Britton, who struck out Joey Gallo to seal the win. "Think I can get a little sharper with the command, obviously, but a lot of the sink and the life and all that stuff is really coming back, which is good to see."
Asked if he felt like he was building up his value heading into the Trade Deadline, Britton said: "No, I'm just happy to be feeling good and getting in some situations where I feel more in my element, I guess, from years past with the team when we're playing a tight game and ... getting a win for the team."
Yes, Saturday's win certainly had some old-time feel for the Orioles. But it also showed a glimpse of the future as Ramirez continues to establish himself as a nice starting candidate.
Pitching in his fourth game (third start), the righty held the Rangers to two hits and three walks over five scoreless innings. It matched a career high for Ramirez, who would have gone longer if not for a callus on his thumb.
"I think my changeup was a little better than my last start," he said through an interpreter. "The difference today was I was able to locate my fastball and attack the hitters with my fastball more tonight."
MOMENT THAT MATTERED
Givens helps himself: Orioles reliever Mychal Givens found himself in a bit of trouble in the eighth as the Rangers got a pair of runners on with no outs on a single and Schoop's throwing error. But Givens gave the O's back some momentum, nabbing lead runner Isiah Kiner-Falefa on a pickoff throw that helped give way to a scoreless frame.
"It's a very athletic play by a pitcher who was an infielder," Showalter said of Givens. "The pickoff was big, it took a lot of momentum out of their sails."
HE SAID IT
"Yeah, absolutely, when I got out to the bullpen today, I was like, 'Oh,' I know it's a giveaway, but we got a nice crowd on hand and they're into it. Hadn't done the light show in awhile. It's been probably a whole year since I've come out there with that. That's pretty cool to hear the crowd go crazy with that. I don't think Buck likes it, though. That's a pretty cool thing when you run on the field to hear that support behind you. So, yeah, definitely, it felt like years past." -- Britton, on Saturday's win feeling like past seasons
With Andrew Cashner on the disabled list, the Orioles will turn to the bullpen in Sunday's rubber game as the first half of the season comes to a close. The Rangers will send lefty Mike Minor to the mound for the 1:05 p.m. ET series finale.
Brittany Ghiroli has covered the Orioles for MLB.com since 2010. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast.