BALTIMORE—Nolan Reimold hadn’t had many big hits recently. In fact, he hadn’t had many hits at all. Reimold broke out of an 0-for-16 slump with a two-run, game-ending home run.
It was his first home run since May 29, and just his second RBI since June 1.
The big home run gave the Orioles a three-game sweep of the Cleveland Indians, 5-3 before 37,821 at Oriole Park on Sunday.
It was Reimold’s fifth home run of the season and the third game-ending homer of his career, but his first in nearly five years.
With Joey Rickard on the disabled list, Reimold should be getting more opportunities to play. Reimold faced right-handed Cody Allen (2-4), and wasn’t expecting to hit for the left-handed Julio Borbon.
“Actually I was really surprised. I was down underneath ready to pinch run in case they wanted me to do that. I wasn’t really expecting to hit with the righty out there. So, I’m glad he did pinch hit me,” Reimold said.
“I haven’t been swinging the bat very well lately as it is. I was just in the cage a few innings before trying to work on some things.”
Pedro Alvarez struck out to start the ninth, but the ball got by Roberto Perez. Perez quickly retrieved the ball, but it hit Alvarez in the back and squirted away for an error.
“As long as I have been playing baseball the rule is you run down the baseline,” Alvarez said. “I saw the ball get away from him and I just ran down to first base. The ball crossed my path at some point, ricocheted off me and I beat the throw. I just think that's playing the game the right way.”
Ryan Flaherty’s bunt sent Alvarez to second, and after Caleb Joseph struck out, Reimold had the big hit on a 2-0 count.
“Nolan works hard at it. I know the hitting coaches said they’ve been working on a couple things the last couple days and think he’s real close. I think the key to it was laying off two breaking balls where you get into a hitter’s count and get a fastball,” manager Buck Showalter said.
Darren O’Day (3-1), who in his first appearance since June 1 due to a strained right hamstring, struck out the side in the ninth and got the win. He seemed somewhat surprised to be in the game.
“I did one rehab outing and you’d think that it’d be a game where we were down by a couple runs, just get your feet wet, but oddly enough I was more calm today than I usually am. I think it’s just being gone, being away from the guys and the competition, makes you appreciate what you get to do and to be in the moment and get to pitch in a big spot. There is guys standing out there in 90-something degrees and to be able to keep that going and perform in that arena I think it really helped me a lot,” O’Day said.
Worley pitched seven innings, his longest outing since Sept. 21, giving up two runs on five hitsTyler Naquin’s RBI double and Perez’s sacrifice fly gave Cleveland a 2-0 lead in the fourth.
The Orioles tied it in the fourth, Jonathan Schoop led off with a double and scored on Manny Machado’s single. Machado took second on the throw home and moved to third on Chris Davis’ infield out. Mark Trumbo walked.
Alvarez grounded to short, and Trumbo was out at second, and first base umpire Brian Gorman called Alvarez out at first, but it was quickly overruled after a replay challenge. Machado scored from third to tie the game at 2.
Schoop hit a homer in the fifth, his 17th to give the Orioles (57-40) a 3-2 lead.
After Naquin’s double, Worley retired 11 straight and left it up to Brad Brach for the eighth.
Brach began by allowing a single to Jason Kipnis. Francisco Lindor grounded to Schoop at second, but with Kipnis passing him, Schoop tried to field it too quickly as was charged with an error.
Mike Napoli’s single scored Kipnis and Cleveland (56-41) tied it at 3.
The Orioles are now 36-14 at home.
“I don't know what it is but for some reason when we do come home we do seem to play all-around better. I don’t know if it’s because of our home fans or what, but we just seem to click. When we need big hits, we get it done,” Worley said.
NOTES: Hyun Soo Kim was 0-for-3 in his rehab start at Bowie. …Jorge De La Rosa (6-7, 6.07) faces Yovani Gallardo (3-2, 5.69) on Monday night as the Colorado Rockies begin a three-game series with the Orioles.
Postgame analysis of the Nats' 10-6 loss to the San Diego Padres on Sunday afternoon at Nationals Park.
How it happened: There are certain points in an MLB season where the magnifying glass comes over each roster, when singular performances can be honed in on and cast as part of a bigger picture, despite them occurring in the vast sea of a 162-game season.
The month of July, trade deadline season, is one of those times and on Sunday afternoon the first poor outing for Jonathan Papelbon in over a month just happened to occur amidst trade rumors involving the Nats and other closers around the league. If they were already inclined to seek help for the backend of their bullpen, Papelbon didn't do his part to change their mind in this one.
The right-hander hadn't allowed a run since June 12 with seven straight scoreless appearances since he returned from the disabled list on July 4. Against the Padres, though, he found trouble early with a four-pitch walk against Wil Myers with one out. Myers moved to second on a wild pitch and then scored on a Yangervis Solarte single. Papelbon allowed three more runs on a bases-clearing double by Alexei Ramirez to make it 10-6.
Papelbon's uneven ninth followed a rocky eighth inning by Shawn Kelley, who allowed two solo homers, the second to tie the game at 6-6. It was a rare collapse for the Nats bullpen, who followed a rough afternoon for starter Lucas Giolito. Giolito made it only 3 2/3 innings with four runs allowed, two of them earned.
Wilson Ramos hit his 14th homer of the season, Daniel Murphy drove in two runs and posted his 40th multi-hit game of the season. Trea Turner had two hits including a triple. Jayson Werth added a sacrifice fly and a walk to extend his streak of reaching base to 28 games, the second-longest of his career. And Giolito got his first career MLB hit, a single in the bottom of the third.
It was a solid day for the Nats' offense, but Papelbon's ninth made the difference.
What it means: The Nats fell to 58-41 on the season and lost their 2016 series against the Padres 3-4.
Giolito struggles again: The talent is there, but Giolito remains a work in progress. He ditched his full windup on Sunday to pitch out of the stretch and his velocity remained down. The uber prospect who threw a fastball that flirted with 100 is now consistently tossing 92-95. He's also avoiding his changeup. Giolito only threw four of them among his 66 total pitches on Sunday.
Giolito was yanked after 3 2/3 innings with four runs allowed, two of them earned. He didn't strike out a single batter and walked three. Giolito has now allowed six earned runs in 11 1/3 MLB innings with nine walks.
Three of the runs Giolito surrendered were on one play in the top of the third. Myers singled to center field with the bases loaded to score two, and another came home on a throw to second by Ramos.
Ramos hits No. 14: And we thought Bryce Harper's 451-foot homer on Wednesday night was a bomb. Ramos clubbed a 455-foot, three-run homer off lefty Christian Friedrich in the bottom of the third that nearly made it to the concourse. Ramos' sailed the no-doubter just four rows away from clearing the bleachers in left field. According to StatCast, the ball left his bat at 110 miles per hour. It was the longest homer hit by a Nationals player this season.
For Ramos, it was his 14th home run of the season. He is now just two away from tying the career-high of 16 he set back in 2013. Only one MLB catcher - Evan Gattis of the Astros - has more than Ramos this season.
Turner triples again: Turner's triple was his third in his last five games. It was a standup triple and it led off the bottom of the first. Turner then scored on Murphy's sacrifice fly. Turner's three triples in 10 games this season rank third on the Nats behind Murphy (4) and Ben Revere (5). At this rate he'll pass those guys very soon.
Up next: The Nats take Monday off before embarking on a long road trip beginning Tuesday in Cleveland. Gio Gonzalez (6-8, 4.53) will start the opener opposite Indians right-hander Danny Salazar (11-3, 2.75).
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Virginia Tech had itself a day on Saturday as four prospects committed publicly to the football program. Three players are from the 2017 class while the Hokies also grabbed their first commitment for 2018.
Wide receiver Sean Savoy, linebacker Jaylen Griffin and offensive lineman Aiden Brown committed from the class of 2017. Wide receiver Bryce Thompson from the class of 2018 committed also committed. Savoy is a three-star prospect and Brown is a two-star. Both Griffin and Thompson are unrated, per Rivals.
In addition to the four commitments, there is more good news out of Blacksburg as four-star defensive end TyJuan Garbutt also visited the school over the weekend.
Garbutt is the eleventh ranked defensive end in the country. He was previously committed to Virginia Tech, but decommitted earlier in July. Despite the decommitment, Virginia Tech remains the leader to land the prized prospect.