ALTIMORE (AP) — The Baltimore Orioles had barely completed one sweep when they started talking about finishing off another.
After rallying from a four-run deficit against Hyun-Jin Ryu to beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 7-5 in the opener of a split doubleheader, the Orioles pounded Josh Beckett and rolled to a 6-1 victory in the nightcap Saturday night.
”To beat two good starters, Ryu and Beckett, it wasn’t easy but this team always fights to that 27th out,” Baltimore center fielder Adam Jones said.
Los Angeles has lost six straight, its longest skid since a seven-game slide last June. The Orioles’ next objective is to win the third and final game of the series Sunday.
”We’ve got to come out and be greedy and get the sweep,” Jones said.
Baltimore won the opener behind Nolan Reimold, who homered and hit a tiebreaking two-run double in the eighth inning.
In the second game, Wei-Yin Chen pitched six innings of three-hit ball and the Orioles got home runs from Chris Davis and Manny Machado. It all added up to Baltimore’s first doubleheader sweep since Oct. 1, 2010, against Detroit.
”You look at the math of it, it’s hard,” manager Buck Showalter said. ”It’s hard because there’s an atmosphere of, once you get that first one, you either kind of relax. Our guys came out trying to compete. They knew they had their hands full with Beckett. He pitched pretty well.”
Beckett (0-3) kept the Dodgers close until Machado hit a three-run homer in the sixth to make it 6-1. The right-hander has lost five consecutive starts to Baltimore, beginning in 2011 when he was with Boston.
”I was trying to front hip it and I put it down the middle and he hit it good,” Beckett said. ”That was the difference today. Really, the pitches their guys were making were the pitches I wasn’t. That’s what lost us the game.”
Chen (1-2) allowed one run, walked four and struck out two to end a six-game losing streak dating back to Aug. 19, 2012. The Taiwanese left-hander didn’t let a runner get past first base after the first inning and was aided by two double plays.
Tommy Hunter pitched the final three innings for his first career save.
Los Angeles got a first-inning run when Chen hit Carl Crawford with a pitch, Nick Punto singled and Adrian Gonzalez delivered a sacrifice fly.
Davis tied it with his seventh home run, a drive that traveled an estimated 448 feet over the center-field wall – third-longest by an Oriole at Camden Yards behind Jeffrey Hammonds (460) and Mark Reynolds (450).
After wasting a bases-loaded threat in the third, the Orioles went up 3-1 in the fifth. Nate McLouth walked and scored on a double by Machado, who came home on a double by Jones.
In the sixth, Ryan Flaherty and McLouth singled before the 20-year-old Machado chased Beckett with a liner into the left field seats. Machado’s four RBIs tied a career high, set against Kansas City last August.
That all but clinched the sweep.
”It’s huge. We’ve been here since 9, 10 o’clock in the morning,” Machado said. ”We know we’ve got to come back here (Sunday) at 10. We know we just have to keep the same momentum going. It definitely helps that we came out with two wins today. It’s tough. We’ve been out there a long time.”
The Dodgers, on the other hand, lamented a long, unproductive day.
”There is a time when you feel like you just need a win,” Mattingly said. ”Really, this feels like one of those times. We just need to put a win on the board and get out of this.”
In the opener – a makeup of Friday’s rainout – Los Angeles took a 4-0 lead in the second inning. But Ryu couldn’t hold the advantage.
With the score tied at 5 in the eighth, Davis hit a one-out double off Paco Rodriguez (0-1) and Ronald Belisario walked J.J. Hardy on four pitches. After a passed ball and an intentional walk loaded the bases, Reimold sliced an opposite-field liner down the right field line.
Darren O’Day (2-0) got two outs in the eighth and Jim Johnson worked a perfect ninth for his seventh save.
Hardy homered and drove in three runs for the Orioles, and Davis had three hits and scored three runs.
Andre Ethier hit a three-run homer, Matt Kemp had three hits and Mark Ellis went 2 for 3 with an RBI for Los Angeles.
Ryu gave up five runs and eight hits in six innings, walking two and striking out six.
”I can’t really make any excuses. I wish the outcome was better,” the South Korean rookie said through a translator. ”But I’ll come back and do better next time. I’ll just consider it a big learning experience.”
Orioles starter Jason Hammel also went six innings, allowing four runs and seven hits.
NOTES: Mattingly turned 52 on Saturday. … Before the game, former Orioles Brooks Robinson and Cal Ripken Jr. participated in an on-field remembrance of Hall of Fame manager Earl Weaver, who died in January. … Los Angeles fell to 5-3 against Baltimore in interleague play and 17-51 in AL ballparks since 2005. … With a 7-10 record, LA is three games under .500 for the first time since Sept. 15, 2011 (73-76).
(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)