Seven-run third leads Orioles past Rockies

Jeff Seidel, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

BALTIMORE -- The Orioles just couldn't get many timely hits during the four-game losing streak they brought into Saturday night's game. But all of that changed as they shattered the skid with a bang.
Brian Roberts and Manny Machado both hit two-run doubles in a seven-run third inning as the Baltimore Orioles ended their brief slide with an 8-4 victory over the Colorado Rockies at Camden Yards.
Those doubles helped the Orioles take an early 8-1 lead and snap out of their recent slump. The Orioles have struggled with clutch hitting recently and while they stranded 12 in this game, the team finished 5-for-14 with runners in scoring position.
"We strung some good at-bats together all the way through the lineup," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "It's good to have a little margin for error."
That third inning gave the Orioles (66-56) that margin. Baltimore sent 12 men to the plate and scored six unearned runs thanks to some shaky Colorado defense.
The seven-run lead let the Orioles relax a little early in the game.
"I've never been a part of a bad seven-run inning, when you're the one scoring it," Roberts said. "Obviously, we needed a little something to kind of jump-start us and that was big. Everyone kind of breathed a little sigh of relief and said, 'All right. Now we're ready to go.'"
The Rockies (58-66) posted one error, a wild pitch, a passed ball and just missed on two other plays -- all of which helped the Orioles get those seven runs, their biggest outburst in an inning since July 31, 2012 at Yankee Stadium.
Chris Davis led off with a double to left-center and moved to third on Wilin Rosario's passed ball. Adam Jones then hit a grounder just over the bag at third that Nolan Arenado tried to make a throw on from foul ground. But the ball popped out of his hand momentarily, and he couldn't make a good throw, letting Jones beat it out for a single.
Nick Markakis then hit a blooper to short left that Corey Dickerson nearly made a great sliding catch on -- but the ball dislodged when his glove hit the ground for an RBI single. One out later, Steve Pearce reached on shortstop Troy Tulowitzki's fielding error for a 3-1 lead.
Roberts and Machado then both lined two-run doubles to right for a 7-1 lead. Machado's shot ended the night for starter Chad Bettis (0-2) after just 2 2/3 innings. Jones added an RBI single off Adam Ottaviono to put the Orioles on top, 8-1.
"They weren't hitting the ball in the gap on Bettis," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. "If a couple of things happen differently, that inning changes. The Orioles came out and found ways to score."
Jones (3-for-5) and Davis (1-for-2 plus two walks) both drove in a run and reached base three times, including twice each in the third.
Bud Norris (3-1) got the win, going 5 2/3 innings. He struggled at times, allowing four runs on nine hits. But four Oriole relievers combined to shut out the Rockies the rest of the way.
"Just to be back in the win column was huge," Norris said. "To have a seven-run third inning is definitely a help to any starting pitcher going out there. I just wanted to keep putting up zeroes and the bullpen really came in and picked me up, too."
Colorado actually out-hit the Orioles, 12-10. Tulowitzki, Rosario, Dexter Fowler, Michael Cuddyer and Jonathan Herrera each contributed two hits, but the Rockies stranded 11 and finished 2-for-12 with runners in scoring position.
Both teams manufactured first-inning runs. Fowler gave the Rockies a 1-0 lead when Tulowitzki grounded into a double play.
The Orioles tied it in the bottom of the inning. Nate McLouth led off with a walk and went to third when Machado singled. Davis then got a sacrifice fly to left to make it 1-1 before everything changed two innings later.
NOTES -- The Orioles scratched shortstop J.J. Hardy from the lineup due to back spasms. He was in manager Buck Showalter's original lineup, but that got changed. The team is saying that he's day-to-day. ... The seven runs in the third inning is a season high for the Orioles this year. ... Bettis struggled from the start in this game. He needed 78 pitches to get through 2 2/3 innings, walking four and striking out two. ... Rosario stretched his hitting streak to nine games with a first-inning single. He went back in at catcher after serving as the designated hitter Friday because of pain in both legs.

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