PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Anthony Santander pinged a homer off the foul pole. Rio Ruiz f our-bounced a shovel pass to nip a runner and preserve a lead.
By the thinnest of margins, the 108-loss Orioles from a year ago are turning into winners.
Santander, Ruiz and Chance Sisco all homered to lead the Baltimore Orioles to a 5-4 win over the Philadelphia Phillies on Wednesday night.
“All of us have something to prove. That makes it fun, makes us competitive,” Sisco said. “That’s why you see us out there having really good games.”
Baltimore reliever Miguel Castro wiggled out a jam in the eighth thanks to a fantastic diving stop by Ruiz at third. Castro put runners on the corners with no outs but allowed only one run on Andrew Knapp’s RBI single that cut it to 5-4. With runners on the corners, former NL MVP Andrew McCutchen (batting just .189) hit a grounder that Ruiz snagged on a diving stop and his bouncing shovel pass to second ended the rally.
“It was a big part of us winning this game,” Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said.
Cole Sulser worked a scoreless ninth for his fourth save.
The Orioles took the first two games of the series and have won four straight completed games — they are also winning a game that was suspended Sunday against Washington.
The Orioles ran through six pitchers and reliever Shawn Armstrong (2-0) got the win with 1 2/3 scoreless innings. Austin Hays led off the 10th inning with a two-run, inside-the-park homer to win Tuesday’s series opener 10-9.
Baltimore went deep the usual way on Wednesday — including Santander’s tying solo shot that skimmed the foul pole against starter Zach Eflin (0-1) in the third.
Sisco gave the Phillies a 3-2 lead in the fourth with a two-RBI double, part of a three-RBI night for the catcher, and Ruiz had a solo shot in the fifth.
Eflin struck out a career-high 10 and walked only one in six innings, continuing a recent trend of solid starts from the rotation. The Phillies have dropped four of five games.
“We’re all in good spirits,” Eflin said. “We know what the season has done to us so far. It’s tough to get into a routine with the things we’ve been through in the most routine-oriented sport.”
Philadelphia’s bullpen — by ERA, the worst in the league – continued to struggle. Adam Morgan gave up Sisco’s solo shot on just his second pitch of the seventh inning that helped send the Orioles on their way to an impressive 6-1 road record.
“You’re starting to see a plan and the confidence that comes with knowing that you can compete at this level.,” Orioles starter Wade LeBlanc said. “That’s always exciting to see in young guys and guys that are coming up and trying to establish themselves. The guys are doing a hell of a job doing it.”
Phillies 1B Rhys Hoskins tied a team record by hitting into three double plays. He struck out leading off the ninth against Sulser.
“There’s no plans of moving him right now,” Phillies manager Joe Girardi said.
CALL OF DUTY
Phillies RHP Connor Brogdon joined the club to provide some needed depth to a beat-up bullpen. Brogdon was waiting to report to Allentown, Pennsylvania this week when he got the call from the Phillies farm director he was headed to Philadelphia.
One issue, the 25-year-old Brogdon was playing a video game.
“I was actually right in the middle of a game of Counter-Strike,” Brogdon said on Wednesday, “so I had to kind of flip one earphone off in the phone the best I could and listen.”
Brogdon couldn’t quit Counter-Strike while he took the call because he would have been banned from continuing the game.
“If you were to try and pause or leave the game, you would get banned for the game. You can’t play for 30 minutes,” he said. “I had to finish it out the best I could. … I’m pretty sure my teammate was pretty mad at me.”
Brogdon went 6-2 with a 2.61 ERA last season combined in the minor leagues.
He joined a bullpen that entered Wednesday’s game with a 10.19 ERA.
“You want to step up and be the one that turns things around,” Morgan said.
Orioles: SS Jose’ Iglesias (sore left quad) started for the first time since Saturday, but he’s not through dealing with the lingering injury. “We’re going to manage it the best way we can over the next month and a half,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “It’s going to be a daily conversation between me and him on how he’s feeling.”
Orioles: Tom Eshelman (0-0, 3.68 ERA) makes his second start of the season Thursday in the series finale. The right-hander toiled in the minors for Philadelphia for 3 ½ years before being traded to Baltimore in June 2019. Former Oriole Jake Arrieta (1-1, 2.45) will start for the Phillies.
More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports