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Trumbo's slam proves key in O's win vs. Braves

Davis finds form at plate; Bundy posts another strong outing
MLB.com

ATLANTA -- After the Orioles' 7-5 win over the Braves at SunTrust Park on Saturday night, manager Buck Showalter said the game was won, in a lot of ways, in the first inning.

A scorching shot from Mark Trumbo was the offensive spark a last-place Orioles team needed to withstand a late-game rally from the National League East-leading Atlanta Braves.

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ATLANTA -- After the Orioles' 7-5 win over the Braves at SunTrust Park on Saturday night, manager Buck Showalter said the game was won, in a lot of ways, in the first inning.

A scorching shot from Mark Trumbo was the offensive spark a last-place Orioles team needed to withstand a late-game rally from the National League East-leading Atlanta Braves.

View Full Game Coverage

In stark contrast to the Orioles' Friday night win, during which the team didn't get much offensive production going until a six-run ninth inning, the O's tacked on the runs early on Saturday. Loading the bases with no outs in the top of the first inning, Trumbo scored the first runs of the day, taking a 1-2 pitch into deep center field for the Orioles' third grand slam of 2018.

Grand slams mean 40% off pizza

"I have been really proud of [Mark] and the way he's battled this year and continued to grind and put in the work," teammate Chris Davis said. "He's a guy who can really pick us up a lot, and he's been doing that lately."

Outside of star slugger Manny Machado, Trumbo has been a catalyst for the Orioles offense in recent weeks. Including the grand slam on Saturday, the O's right fielder is on a seven-game hit streak. During the span, Trumbo has notched four home runs while tallying nine RBIs.

Another recent addition to the O's offensive spark has been Davis himself, as he made his return to the Orioles' lineup on Friday after an eight-game break to make some offensive adjustments. Davis was mere feet away from knocking a grand slam of his own in the top of the fifth inning with bases loaded and two outs. When the ball ricocheted off the wall in right-center field, Davis settled for a three-run double.

Video: BAL@ATL: Davis clears the bases with a double

Davis hit .150 and went 3-for-27 through his first seven games in June, striking out 14 times. Since returning to the lineup, the O's first baseman has produced five runs for the Orioles in two games against the Braves.

"I feel a lot better. I feel like I'm getting there, starting to get that calm and easy feel," Davis said. "It feels good to contribute to two wins."

There are a lot of similarities between Chris Davis' journey over the past few weeks and that of the Orioles ball club as a whole. Davis said before the start of the three-game series against the Braves at SunTrust Park, he felt he was doing too much to try to find success, which is why he went on an eight-game hiatus to "find himself" again. The same can be said for the O's as a whole, who have possibly turned a corner on a last-place season by solely going out and playing -- not overthinking.

With the 7-5 win over the Braves' on Saturday night, the Orioles showed they can play and play well, notching their fourth win in six games this week after a nine-game losing streak.

"We have been playing better -- more like we need to play and how to play," Showalter said. "I'm happy that they are getting their turn. The mood and the effort, that's been good, but how much of that can you take? You worry about that, because nobody is happy about losing."

Dylan Bundy had another great start, as he has through the month of June. He gave up only two runs on seven hits with eight strikeouts in his start, finishing with 99 pitches.

Video: BAL@ATL: Bundy strikes out 8, allows just 2 runs

Recently recalled Donnie Hart relieved Bundy in the seventh inning, allowing two in the seventh to put the Braves in striking distance at 7-4. Mychal Givens was able to get out of the seventh inning unscathed. However, the Braves crossed the plate in the eighth when Givens, attempting to pick off Ozzie Albies at first, threw the ball into shallow right field, allowing Charlie Culberson to score from third.

But the Braves' run surge came too little, too late as the Orioles were able to hold their lead.

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
The Braves lineup almost got the best of the Orioles' bullpen in the seventh inning after scoring two off Hart before Showalter brought in Givens. Givens walked Johan Camargo with two outs to load the bases, then Braves' third baseman and former O's utility man Ryan Flaherty hit a ground ball up the middle to follow. But Jonathan Schoop chased down the ball to his backhand side to get Flaherty out at first, saving another Braves' run from scoring.

Video: BAL@ATL: Schoop's defense helps O's escape a jam

A NIGHT OF FIRSTS
Bundy and reliever Zach Britton notched a couple firsts during Saturday's win.

Bundy, in addition to a solid start, notched the first base hit of his career. The O's starter reached when he hit a sharp ground ball to Freddie Freeman at first base, who was unable to handle the hop. The ball then ricocheted to Albies backing up Freeman, but he, too, couldn't corral the ground ball. The single set up a bases-loaded, two-out double by Davis to stretch the O's lead to 7-1.

"It felt really weird being on the bases since that was my first time out there," Bundy joked. "I've got some learning to do, I heard."

While Bundy found success in the box, Britton found it on the mound. The left-hander earned his first save of the season by inducing a couple groundouts to end the ninth.

Video: BAL@ATL: Britton gets groundout for 1st save of 2018

"That atmosphere in a save situation, I think it helps me maybe mentally just get away from some things I had been focusing on a little too much and just trying to compete," Britton said. "Especially after last night, when you just want to come in and do a good job for the team and get a win."

HE SAID IT
"I thought we have done a really good job of not trying to do too much, not trying to rely on the home run -- a lot of things that the Braves do well. Once you get into that mentality, you just kind of pass the baton and just try to do your job but not try to do too much." -- Davis, on what's working for the O's offensively

UP NEXT
David Hess (2-3, 4.82 ERA) will get the start for the O's in the afternoon finale between the Braves and Orioles at SunTrust Park on Sunday at 1:35 p.m. ET. The right-hander has given up a trio of five-hit games in his three June starts, allowing 11 runs total in that span. The Braves will counter with Brandon McCarthy (5-3, 4.89), who regained his spot in the starting rotation after Mike Soroka was placed on the disabled list.

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

Baltimore Orioles, Chris Davis, Mark Trumbo