Orioles look to remain above .500 as they host M's (Aug 29, 2017)
BALTIMORE -- The Orioles will try to remain above .500 in the second game of their series with the Seattle Mariners on Tuesday night, when Baltimore will send its top starting pitcher to the mound.
Dylan Bundy (12-8, 4.18 ERA) gets the ball after the Orioles (66-65) edged Seattle 7-6 Monday night to give them a winning record for the first time since June 11. They pulled to within 1 1/2 games of the Minnesota Twins, who hold the second American League wild-card spot.
Climbing above .500 is the first thing Baltimore needed to do. The Orioles now must stay there.
"I think it's pretty obvious that if you're .500 or below, you're not going to the playoffs," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "That's the obvious thing. But until you take care of some other things ... mathematically we know that's a given."
The Orioles also are riding a five-game winning streak. They swept the Red Sox in Boston over the weekend, and they are hitting better and getting stronger pitching.
"The consistency comes from delivering what is needed that night," Showalter said. "If we get shutouts every night, we're going to win a few in a row. (On Monday), we needed to score seven runs. You've just got to deliver what the need is that night."
Adam Jones helped Monday with his 25th homer. He reached that level for the seventh year in a row, passing Cal Ripken Jr. for the team record.
Bundy got some extra rest as Showalter has been trying to give the second-year pitcher, who has had health issues, more time between starts.
Bundy last started on Wednesday, when he allowed three runs on seven hits in a six-inning no-decision versus Oakland. The Orioles won that game 8-7 in 12 innings.
The right-hander clearly has been the team's best pitcher this season, especially in an inconsistent rotation. He seems to fare better with the extra rest.
Bundy is 0-0 with a 3.18 ERA in two career appearances against Seattle.
Starting for Seattle will be Erasmo Ramirez, reacquired from Tampa Bay on July 28 in a deal that sent reliever Steve Cishek to the Rays. Ramirez (5-4, 4.52 ERA) pitched mostly out of the bullpen with the Rays, though he made eight starts for them this year.
Since coming to the Mariners, all five of his appearances have been starts, and Ramirez is 1-1 with a 3.76 ERA. He also is 2-3 with a 2.98 career ERA against the Orioles.
The Mariners (66-66) will look to leapfrog the Orioles in the wild-card standings with a win Tuesday.
"Not a lot things went our way offensively (Monday), but keep grinding, keep getting after it," Seattle manager Scott Servais said. "Hopefully, we'll put up a little bit more (runs Tuesday)."
The Mariners hope to get outfielder Jarrod Dyson (right groin) back Tuesday or Wednesday. He was eligible to come off the disabled list Sunday but hasn't been quite ready.
Dyson tested the leg before the Monday game but still did not feel quite right. Servais was with him during the workout.
"He had to run (out) a double, and I said, 'I'm taking off behind you,' which I did," Servais said. "He got to first base, and I wasn't quite at the 45-foot mark."