Orioles still fighting as they face finale vs. Dodgers
The Baltimore Orioles will have a chance to surpass their win total from the disastrous 2018 season on Wednesday in the series finale against the visiting Los Angeles Dodgers.
Baltimore manager Brandon Hyde is not all that interested in that statistic.
When asked after a 7-3 victory over the Dodgers on Wednesday if winning the team's 47th game and tying last year's total meant anything to him, Hyde scoffed at the question.
"That's last year; this is this year," Hyde said to the media. "We want to get better every year. I don't think 47 wins is anything to celebrate. So, we'll celebrate when we get 95."
The Orioles are a long way from that as they're in the first year of a rebuilding process that will likely take some time. But finishing with more wins than last season will represent some improvement, and that's a starting point.
Jonathan Villar has been one of the key players this year, and his three-run, tiebreaking homer in the seventh gave the Orioles the lead for good. It also set a record for major league homers in a season overall, 6,106.
The previous mark was set just two years ago. Pedro Severino added a two-run homer later as the Orioles' offense continued to show some punch.
Dylan Bundy (6-13, 5.06 ERA) will start Thursday for the Orioles. He's been up and down this season and has faced the Dodgers just once in a relief appearance, throwing a perfect ERA in 2 1/3 innings in 2016.
He'll go against Rich Hill (4-1, 2.55 ERA), who is going to start for the first time since June 19, having recovered from a flexor tendon injury. He likely will pitch only two innings as Los Angeles tries to build him up.
The Dodgers clinched the National League West title -- their seventh straight -- with a 7-3 victory over Baltimore on Tuesday night and now would love to lock up the home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.
Manager Dave Roberts said before the Wednesday loss that his team does not want to slow down.
"To win one division, but to win seven in a row -- the consistency of the organization to do what we've done, a lot of credit goes to the people," Roberts said. "Now is the idea of refocusing in everything we do going forward ... to win 11 games in October."
The Dodgers live for the home run, and A.J. Pollock belted a two-run shot on Wednesday.
Los Angeles' power could be a problem for Bundy, as he already given up 28 homers in 144 innings, and the ball might fly in Camden Yards on what is expected to be a warm night in the series finale.
On the injury front, third baseman Justin Turner sat out for the third straight game Wednesday because of a tender left ankle. He will have an MRI exam to get a better look at the situation.
Also, the Dodgers expect to get infielder Max Muncy back on Friday when they go to New York to face the Mets. Muncy is recovering from a broken right wrist.
--Field Level MediaHome