By Sam Bush
Nick Pivetta tied a career-high with 11 strikeouts and the Phillies beat the Orioles 4-1.
The Phils (24-16) who climbed eight games over .500 for the first time since the end of the 2011 season. Pivetta (3-2) won his second straight start, allowing one run, two hits and one walk in seven innings.
“He has dominant stuff. The kind of stuff that can wipe out the opposition,” Phillies manager Gabe Kapler said. “Today was sort of one of those days that you can dream on, and like (think) what if he really puts it all together and is able to do this, start in and start out? And we’re starting to see that consistency.”
Odubel Herrera singled in the first and extended his on-base streak to 42 games for the Phillies, who have won six of seven.
Tommy Hunter allowed runners to reach second and third with one out in the eighth. Luis Garcia loaded the bases with a walk to Trey Mancini, then retiredAdam Jones on a flyout and got Manny Machado to hit into a forceout.
Edubray Ramos struck out both batters he faced in the ninth, and Hector Nerisretired Chris Davis on a game-ending groundout. Neris started the season as the closer, but Kapler said he plans to keep his options open.
“We know that Ramos’ slider is very effective against right-handed hitters, it’s been true for over a year. So we give him that opportunity. That creates that confidence,” Kapler said. “Guess who else is going to feel like a million bucks? Hector Neris. He just got a huge out for us.”
Jones extended his hitting streak to 11 games with a first-inning homer. Pivetta then retired 12 straight batters before Davis hit a double in the fifth.
“That was impressive,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. “What did we hit, five balls hard that they caught, too? That didn’t help matters.”
Hernandez homered on Andrew Cashner’s first pitch of the sixth inning, and Maikel Franco (above) chased Cashner with a run-scoring single.
Hernandez tripled in the seventh and scored on Rhys Hoskins’ double off Mychal Givens. Those were all the runs the Phillies would need thanks to Pivetta.
“We’re really, really positive in here right now,” Pivetta said. “Having the guys get some runs for me late in the game is tremendous. Everybody is gelling together, you guys can see it. It’s really fun in here right now. And I think it really has to do with how good our team is gelling together.”