(AP) — While the setting has changed between the Baltimore Orioles and Philadelphia Phillies, the results have not.
Following two victories in Baltimore and another at Citizens Bank Park, the surging Orioles may have a more difficult time behind their most inconsistent starting pitcher in Thursday’s series finale, although that concern may be moot considering their current level of offensive output.READ MORE: Grey Seal Pup Eloise Rescued, Rehabilitating At National Aquarium In Baltimore
The Orioles (34-31) didn’t come close to replicating the explosiveness of Tuesday’s 19-3 victory but earned a victory nonetheless, winning in Philadelphia 6-4 on Wednesday.
Chris Parmelee and Travis Snider homered and David Lough delivered a key two-run to help the Orioles win for the ninth time in 10 games.
Parmelee has made quite an impact in his first two games, going 5 for 9 with three solo homers.
“I’m seeing the ball well right now, and just trying to keep it simple and kind of ride the wave as long as you can,” said Parmelee, recalled from the minors Tuesday.
Baltimore is hitting .302 with 21 homers and 7.1 runs during that 10-game span to move a season-best three games over .500.
“Usually in April and May, that’s like fighters in early rounds,” manager Buck Showalter said of his club’s current run. “Sooner or later, you’ve got to start throwing punches.”
They’ll look to maintain that production to support Bud Norris (2-4, 8.29 ERA), who has been better lately following a dreadful start. The right-hander is 2-2 with a 4.88 ERA in his last five starts after going 0-2 with a 17.42 ERA in his first three.
He surrendered four runs and eight hits over 5 2-3 innings Saturday against the New York Yankees before leaving without a decision. His ERA ranks last in baseball among pitchers with at least 38 innings.
“I worked deeper into the game,” Norris told MLB’s official website. “It felt good to get back out there and find a groove. I really thought I found a groove in the middle innings there.”READ MORE: Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan To Hold COVID-19 News Conference Tuesday At 1 P.M.
Norris has the luxury of facing the major league-worst Phillies (22-45), who are averaging 2.0 runs during a nine-game losing streak and have lost 19 of 22. Philadelphia, which hasn’t dropped 10 straight since an 11-game slide in September 1999, ranks last in baseball in runs (204) and homers (37).
“It’s surprising,” manager Ryne Sandberg said. ” … I come every day to try to grind out wins and improve the guys. That’s my mentality.”
Sean O’Sullivan (1-5, 5.08) will be tasked with slowing down the Orioles. The right-hander, though, is 0-3 with a 6.14 ERA in five starts since his lone win, and has walked nine and struck out seven over 29 1-3 innings during that stretch.
O’Sullivan’s current rate of 3.51 strikeouts per nine innings ranks as the league’s worst.
He has an 8.64 ERA in three starts and one relief appearances against Baltimore, but this will be his first meeting since 2013.
Parmelee is 2 for 3 with a home run against O’Sullivan, while Adam Jones is 4 for 7.
Jones remains questionable after missing his second straight game with a shoulder ailment, though he was available to pinch hit Wednesday.
Ryan Howard is 2 for 18 with 10 strikeouts in his last six, but is hitting .308 with a home run in 13 at-bats versus Norris.
The Orioles have won five straight and 10 of 12 against the Phillies.MORE NEWS: COVID In Maryland: 468 New Cases, 26 Deaths Reported
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