10-O's! Baltimore stays red-hot with another 'W'

July 14th, 2022

CHICAGO -- Who can stop the Orioles right now?

Baltimore continued its red-hot streak on Wednesday night by winning its 10th straight game in a 7-1 victory over the Cubs at Wrigley Field. 

“It is incredible,” said Cionel Pérez via interpreter Brandon Quinones. “It’s been a great and incredible year for us so far. I’m having so much fun and enjoying every step of this ride.” 

That 10-game win streak is the first double-digit win streak for the Orioles since 1999 when they won 13 straight. It also ended their 23-year drought without a double-digit winning streak, which was the second-longest among an active team -- only the Marlins have never had one.

“I’m just really happy with how we’re playing,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “We did a lot of really good things today.” 

The O’s are playing baseball better than anyone right now. The win pushes the Orioles to above .500 (45-44) in a crowded American League East. Every team remains above .500 in the division at more than the halfway point, which hasn’t happened in the AL East since July 1, 2013, when all five teams were at or above that mark, per the Elias Sports Bureau. 

Wednesday night’s victory showed yet again the simple recipe that the team has lived by during this big win streak: timely hitting, a solid outing from the starter and the bullpen closing it out. 

Here's a look at how it's all played out:

Timely hitting:
Stats during 10-game win streak: .263 average, 5.2 runs per game, 9 HRs

The offensive numbers during their win streak aren't particularly eye-opening, but when they've needed hits in big situations, the Orioles have come through. 

Remember Adley Rutschman’s RBI double on July 4 in the ninth to later cap off a walk-off win and Rougned Odor’s home run in the ninth the next night to cap off another walk-off win in extras. Don’t forget about the 3-run ninth on July 8 against the Angels, either.

These are the moments that have shaped the team during this win streak.

On Wednesday, Anthony Santander doubled home two in the first inning and Trey Mancini brought in another in the second, showcasing first-hand the timely hits that have made this streak possible. 

“I was really happy with how we grinded out the first time through the order, '' Hyde said. “It was nice to see some tack on [runs] late, which we have had a tough time doing.”

Starting rotation: 
Stats during 10-game win streak: 7-0 with a 3.02 ERA 

The Orioles’ starting rotation has been the tone setter, with Baltimore's arms having pitched well to this point to provide an early boost in games.

It's been a group effort as they’ve collectively strung together solid starts. Baltimore starters have tossed at least five innings and given up two or fewer runs in six of their last nine starts.

That continued on Wednesday with Spenser Watkins, who has quietly been impressive since his return from the IL. He went five-plus innings, allowing one run on four hits and two walks with five strikeouts. The right-hander has now allowed just three earned runs (four total runs) over his last four starts. 

“Huge,” said Hyde, when asked about the rotation’s impact. “Spenser was fantastic and set the tone, putting zeros up early. Just so pleased with our pitching. We’re pitching with confidence and emotion. Our pitching is really turning the corner.”

Stats during 10-game win streak: 2.58 ERA and 5 saves

The bullpen has been able to feed off the starters and remain a consistent force in the later innings. In Wednesday's win, the 'pen delivered four shutout innings. They’ve now allowed just 11 runs over the last 10 games. 

Entering Wednesday, the Orioles had the fifth-best ERA (3.23) and fourth-best fWAR among their relievers (4.3). Of course, All-Star Jorge López has been a big help with his 1.70 ERA, but pitchers like Pérez -- who lowered his ERA to 0.90 and hasn’t allowed an earned run since June 14 -- have also contributed big time. 

“It’s super fun,” Pérez said. “We’re just a group of young kids, just having fun and we enjoy playing with each other.”