'Pen on point behind rookie starters in DH
Relievers allow one run over 7 innings for split
BALTIMORE -- The Orioles' bullpen backed an impressive day for a pair of rookie starters, Tyler Wilson and Mike Wright, throwing six innings (out of seven) of scoreless relief during Thursday's doubleheader.
"We knew we were good, we knew we were talented. It was just a matter of time," said right-hander Darren O'Day, who tossed a perfect eighth in Game 2's 6-3 win over the White Sox. "The longer our starters go, the better. It's a talented bullpen, and we will continue to get better."
After Wright pitched five innings in the second game, rookie reliever Oliver Drake came on and walked the first two batters. Drake was helped out by right fielder Travis Snider, who caught Conor Gillaspie's ball and fired to cutoff man J.J. Hardy to help nab Gordon Beckham at second. Drake worked around another two-out walk to get out of the scoreless inning.
"That cutoff right there is the little things we do well," O'Day said. "Earlier this season, we weren't doing the little things, and we just started picking that up and playing smart baseball. A lot of credit goes to Oliver for staying out there, he was working with a tough strike zone. Ball is moving all over the place. So it says a lot about the season he's had and the kind of guy he is."
Brad Brach followed Drake with a perfect seventh inning, lowering his ERA to 3.28, while closer Zach Britton picked up his 13th save.
In the O's 3-2 loss in Game 1, relievers Chaz Roe and Brian Matusz combined for two shutout frames before Tommy Hunter allowed a ninth-inning run.