Wieters hits first '15 HR; O's bats come to life
Baltimore makes adjustments, comes through with two-out hits
CLEVELAND -- The Orioles' bats woke up from their slumber in a 7-3 victory in the series finale in Cleveland on Sunday.
The seven runs represented the highest figure posted by the Orioles since May 22. The 12 hits are the most since Game 2 of a May 28 doubleheader.
Adam Jones got things going with a solo home run in the first inning. The Orioles strung together five consecutive baserunners in a three-run fourth. Matt Wieters, activated from the disabled list on Friday, hit a leadoff triple in the fifth and launched his first 2015 homer in the 9th. Every member of the Orioles lineup reached base safely at least once, showing some offensive consistency that the Orioles have lacked recently.
Over the past month, the Orioles had owned a .650 OPS, which was the worst in baseball over that stretch. They'd just scored 43 runs in their previous 16 games (2.7 runs per game), and were 6-10 in that span.
"We've had some periods where we swung the bats well and scored some runs," manager Buck Showalter said. "We just haven't been very consistent at all. I'd like to see us find our step with that. And that's the challenge ahead of you, deciding if it's going to get better. And if it isn't, then you need to make some adjustments."
It appears adjustments were made on Sunday. The Orioles did the kind of things that are encouraging for struggling teams. Four of their seven runs were driven in with two outs. Two of them were driven in with two strikes.
"We had a lot of big two-out hits," Showalter said. "That's a big momentum, morale thing."
However, Showalter also knows that one game doesn't mean a slump is over.
"I don't think [Red Sox starter] Eduardo Rodriguez cares about it tomorrow," Showalter said. "It's one day. … You don't just do this by osmosis and think that something's going to happen just because it's supposed to. That's not a very good way to approach it. That's why we've continued to work through stuff and try to make it happen sooner or later. This is hard. Hitting is hard. I don't care if everybody is struggling to score runs across baseball. I care about what's going on with the Orioles."