ST. PETERSBURG -- The Orioles offense is looking up.
On the heels of a five-run output in Saturday's win, Baltimore's bats jumped out to a first-inning lead and scored five runs total off Rays starter Matt Moore in Sunday's 5-2 series victory. After scoring more than four runs just once in a 13-game span, the O's have now done it back-to-back.
"We saw what it did yesterday for [Miguel Gonzalez]," O's catcher Caleb Joseph said of the early offense. "Any time you can jump up to a five-run lead there [in] the early innings, it always gives them some room for error.
J.J. Hardy started Sunday's scoring with a two-out single and Nolan Reimold followed with a two-run double into left field to give the O's a three-run cushion before they even took the field.
"It felt good," Reimold said of his three-hit afternoon. "It was good to get the feel, get a couple hits, contribute to the offense and hopefully bring it in to the next game."
Joseph added to the lead, belting his seventh homer of the year off Moore in the fourth. Joseph sent a first-pitch fastball into left-center field to also score Jonathan Schoop, who had a leadoff single.
"I'm always encouraged," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said of the offense. "I always think today's the day we're going to get back to our track record a little bit. We're scoring more runs than they score after 27 outs and that's the whole deal... I know it's how we evaluate a lot of things numerically, but there's so much more to it than that. It's a mind set. It's a test of your will sometimes when you've got a lot of people telling you the sky is falling and it's not."