BALTIMORE – Buck Showalter is forever talking about how difficult it is to sweep doubleheaders. Yet on Saturday, the Orioles made it look relatively easy.
Their 6-1 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers in the second game of a day/night doubleheader before 45,248 at Oriole Park, was perhaps as complete a win as they’ve had this season.
The atmosphere around the ballpark was electric. An estimated 10,000 fans bought tickets in the hours before the game, and the Orioles responded with their first doubleheader sweep since Oct. 1, 2010.
“The place was really alive. A lot of energy in the ballpark. It means a lot to us,” manager Buck Showalter said.
The Orioles beat the Dodgers 7-5 before 26,811 in the first game.
A No. 4 honoring Earl Weaver was illuminated on the warehouse wall, and the Orioles celebrated his life before the second game.
Manny Machado had a three-run home run and drove in four runs in the second game.
“Had to hit a three-run homer tonight, of course, on Earl’s night. Right? We needed it,” Showalter said..
At 10-7, the Orioles are three games over .500 for the first time this season.
Chris Davis hit one of the longest home runs by an Oriole here in the 22 seasons of the ballpark. It tied the game at 1 in the second inning and set the tone for what was to come. Davis’ home run is listed as the third longest behind only Jeffrey Hammonds (460’) and Mark Reynolds (450’).
Wei-Yin Chen (1-2) won his first game since last Aug. 19, breaking a 10-start winless streak. He pitched six innings, allowing just a run on three hits. He walked four and struck out two.
“I was lucky tonight. My stuff was terrible today,” Chen said through his translator.
“You can tell my velocity on my fastball was not there yet. I have too many walks tonight.”
The Dodgers (7-10) took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first off Chen on Adrian Gonzalez’s sacrifice fly.
The Orioles broke the tie in the second game when Machado’s double scored Nate McLouth. Two batters later, Adam Jones’ run-scoring double drove in Machado, and it was 3-1.
Machado’s three-run home run to left in the sixth gave the Orioles a 6-1 lead.
“We know we just have to keep the same momentum going. It definitely helps that we came out with two games today. It’s tough. We’ve been out there a long time and to come out with two good wins, two close, good games, it’s just great,” Machado said.
Tommy Hunter pitched the last three innings for his first career save.
With the first game tied at 5, Davis doubled with one out off Paco Rodriguez (0-1). Against Ronald Belisario, J.J. Hardy walked. Both runners advanced on Los Angeles catcher Ramon Hernandez’s passed ball. McLouth was walked intentionally to load the bases, and Nolan Reimold delivered an opposite-field double to right, giving the Orioles a 7-5 lead.
“It was a pretty good pitch. I was able to just let it get deep and stay over it. That’s probably the only place I could hit the ball hard with that pitch,” Reimold said.
Darren O’Day (2-0) got the win by getting two outs in the eighth. Jim Johnson pitched a perfect ninth for his seventh save.
At the beginning of the game, Jason Hammel gave up a three-run home run to Andre Ethier in the first, and the Dodgers took a 4-0
lead in the second on Mark Ellis’ sacrifice fly.
Hardy’s two-run second-inning home run off Hyun-Jin Ryu cut the lead to 4-2. Reimold’s fourth-inning homer made it 4-3.
The Orioles took a 5-4 lead in the bottom of the sixth on Hardy’s sacrifice fly and Steve Pearce’s RBI single.
Los Angeles scored a run to tie the score at 5 on Pedro Strop’s seventh-inning wild pitch.
Hammel somehow made it through six innings, allowing four runs on seven hits. He walked three and struck out five.
“I thought I did pretty well keeping the guys in it and gave the team a chance to battle back and they did. It’s nice to walk away from this one with a win,” Hammel said.
NOTES: Jones was the designated hitter for the second time in his career, and he didn’t like it. “I'm bored. I don't know what to do. I understand it, to give my legs a little rest, but I'm bothering [Showalter] and all the coaches,” Jones said. He’s reached base in every game but one this season.
-The Orioles go for their first sweep of the season on Sunday when Jake Arrieta (1-0, 5.40) faces Chad Billingsley (1-0, 1.00)