With the Orioles salvaging the finale of a three-game set in a 9-7 win over Houston, I’ve offered a dozen thoughts, each in 50 words or less:
1. It was a long time coming, but Zach Britton set a new American League record with his 55th consecutive save conversion and first since April 14. If he is indeed traded before the Orioles return home next Monday, it was a fitting final appearance for him at Camden Yards.
2. A balanced offensive attack was the difference as seven different Orioles collected an RBI. The offensive showing could have been even better if not for grounding into four double plays in the first six innings.
3. Dylan Bundy will continue receiving extra rest when off-days allow it, but he’s now posted a 7.85 ERA over his last seven starts after surrendering a career-high seven runs. He handled quite a workload over the first 2 1/2 months, and you wonder how much fatigue is factoring into his struggles.
4. Houston hitters were able to work their way back from multiple 0-2 counts as Bundy wasn’t able to finish them off. The walk to Alex Bregman preceding Nori Aoki’s game-tying three-run home run in the sixth was particularly frustrating for the young pitcher.
5. Mark Trumbo reminded us why he only plays sparingly in the outfield, but he made up for it with the game-tying home run in the last of the seventh. He was one of three Baltimore hitters to collect their 50th RBI of the season on Sunday.
— Deadspin (@Deadspin) July 23, 2017
6. Trey Mancini drove in two runs and improved his average with runners in scoring position to a whopping .431. You keep waiting for him to start looking more like a rookie at the plate, but it hasn’t happened.
7. Jonathan Schoop saw his streak of five straight games with multiple RBIs come to an end, but he’s had at least one in seven consecutive contests. His three-hit afternoon raised his season average to .307.
8. Jose Altuve’s greatness is hardly breaking news, but he collected four hits to finish off a .500 batting average for the series. He sure is something special to watch.
9. A move to the leadoff spot has sparked a recent surge for Adam Jones, who had four hits and passed former teammate Nick Markakis to move into sole possession of sixth place on the Orioles’ all-time hit list. He’s been in the middle of plenty of scoring rallies of late.
10. The sixth inning is a separator in today’s game as teams need starters capable of getting through six innings or an incredibly deep bullpen to survive. The Orioles gave up 11 runs in the sixth frame over this series.
11. Much was made about Dan Duquette’s trade deadline comments Saturday, but remember he was addressing season-ticket holders as players were within earshot. His actions, not his words, are what matter over the next week.
12. Had the Orioles gone 7-3 or better on this homestand to get back to .500, I could maybe understand not selling, but they have no more than six wins in any 10-game stretch since May 9. Winning five of seven isn’t enough to overlook 2 1/2 months of .379 baseball.