BALTIMORE (AP) – Ryan McKenna hit a two-run double in the fifth inning, and the Baltimore Orioles won their fifth straight game, 6-3 over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Saturday.
The Orioles celebrated the 30th anniversary of Camden Yards with a pregame ceremony that included Hall of Famers Eddie Murray and Mike Mussina, and Brooks Robinson addressed the team before the game. Then the current Baltimore players, who have become quite a story over the past few weeks, added some more present-year excitement to all the nostalgia.
Oneil Cruz hit a two-run homer for Pittsburgh in the fourth to cut an early Baltimore lead to one, but McKenna came through as a pinch-hitter the following inning, putting the Orioles up 5-2 with a big two-out hit to left.
Baltimore, which entered the day 1 1/2 games out of the final wild card in the American League, has now won 21 of its last 28 games. The Orioles (56-51) have already reached their highest win total in five years.
Austin Voth (2-1) allowed three runs and six hits in five-plus innings for Baltimore, and the bullpen handled the final 12 outs.
JT Brubaker (2-10) allowed three runs and eight hits in four innings.
Terrin Vavra opened the scoring with a run-scoring single in the first, and the Orioles added two more in the second on an RBI single by Jorge Mateo and a run-scoring double by Brett Phillips.
Ke’Bryan Hayes hit an RBI single for the Pirates to make it 5-3 in the sixth. Cedric Mullins hit a sacrifice fly for the Orioles in the seventh.
Pittsburgh brought the tying run to the plate in the eighth after the first two batters reached base, but Mateo, Baltimore’s shortstop, went diving to his left to start a sparkling double play on a sharp grounder by Hayes.
Umpire Carlos Torres (illness) was out, leaving the crew with three people until replacement Alex Tosi arrived a few batters in.
Murray, whose 500th homer came at Camden Yards in 1996, was asked what he thought of the ballpark’s new wall in left field, which has been pushed back this year.
“Still hit it over,” he said matter-of-factly.
The attendance of 41,086 was the biggest of the year at the ballpark, aside from the opening day.
Orioles: OF Austin Hays (side) missed a third straight game, but manager Brandon Hyde said he could be ready in the next couple of days.
Baltimore tries for a three-game sweep with Spencer Watkins (4-1) on the mound against Pittsburgh’s Bryse Wilson (1-6) on Sunday.
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