O's sweep D-backs to boost lead for 2nd WC

O's sweep D-backs to boost lead for 2nd WC

BALTIMORE -- The Orioles did exactly what they needed to do on Sunday afternoon: complete a three-game sweep against Arizona.

Baltimore, which rebounded this weekend following a four-game sweep by the Red Sox, used Hyun-Soo Kim's two-run homer and four scoreless innings from an impressive bullpen to edge the D-backs, 2-1, and gain ground in the American League Wild Card race.

The win, coupled with the Tigers' loss to the Royals, gave the Orioles a 1 1/2-game lead for the AL's second Wild Card.

"No, it doesn't take [the sting of the Boston series] away because that's come and gone. It really has. It left. You have to do that and our guys do it," manager Buck Showalter said. "Do the Red Sox fold the tent when we were beating them early in the season, sometime during the season? That's the fortitude you've got to have. Our guys are warriors. They grind through a lot of things. Working on short sleep, game 150-whatever. That's a hard game to win today. It really is. And our bullpen and our starting pitcher made Kim's home run stand up. Of course, the defense was unbelievable."

D-backs remember Fernandez's charisma, devotion to baseball

Orioles starter Dylan Bundy went five innings and held Arizona to a run on three hits with a walk, striking out three.

Bundy fans Owings

Arizona starter Braden Shipley went six innings and gave up two runs, both of which came on Kim's homer, with six strikeouts.

Zach Britton improved to a perfect 46-for-46 in save chances on the year as the lefty continues to dominate.

Britton notches the save

"They pitch very well, Bundy pitched well, Wade Miley obviously last night pitched well and then you get into their 'pen," D-backs manager Chip Hale said. "It's a very, very good 'pen, that's why they are in the position that they're in to make the playoffs."

Shipley laments one pitch in solid start vs. O's

Kim to the rescue: How fitting it was that the outfielder, much maligned to start the season, was the one to lift the O's to a victory in their regular-season home finale. Kim's homer, his fifth of the year, came on a 2-1 pitch in the bottom of the second.

"That home run was a great thing and it's amazing that it happened in the last [home] game," Kim said through his interpreter. "Overall, the pitching was tremendous and it brought us the win. I am just happy for the team to win."

Not loving the long ball: Shipley has allowed 13 homers this season in 12 games over 65 innings. The right-hander posted his first quality start Aug. 26, but Kim's two-run homer tagged him with the loss. Shipley did go six innings for the first time in five September games.

"I was trying to just throw a sinker down and away and I just kind of pulled it a little bit and left it over the middle," Shipley said. "He did a good job."

Shipley strands runner at third

O's lockdown bullpen: A relief corps that stepped up for Friday's 12-inning win was equally impressive following Bundy. The Orioles' bullpen entered the game with a 1.64 ERA in September, the second-best mark in the Majors.

Givens whiffs Tomas

"That's something we always take pride in, the beginning of the season or now," Britton said. "We thought we had one of the best bullpens going into the season and guys are bouncing back, [Mychal] Givens especially is doing a heck of a job out there. I think he's getting more comfortable out there. It's good going into a tough match up in Toronto." More >

Brach strikes out Castillo

Arizona's offense goes cold: After scoring a run in each of the first two innings on Friday, the D-backs' bats couldn't muster much the rest of the series. They didn't score over the last 10 innings on Friday, then scored just one run on both Saturday and Sunday.

"Their bullpen's been pretty impressive," Arizona shortstop Chris Owings said. "It's kind of frustrating late in the year. It's frustrating not getting runs."

"Definitely didn't expect it. I was expecting to throw 70 innings out of the 'pen. I'll take it. I'm not going to complain about it or anything, but we're just trying to get team wins right now. That's all that matters right now." -- Bundy, on getting his 10th win

Bundy escapes trouble

The Orioles lost their challenge in the fifth inning when Jean Segura was hit by a pitch and awarded first base. The review was upheld after one minute, 58 seconds of review.

Segura's hit-by-pitch stands

D-backs: The D-backs open their final road series of the season on Monday at 4:05 p.m. MST, the first of a four-game set against the Nationals. Archie Bradley (7-9, 5.02 ERA) looks to end the year strong after posting a 5.40 ERA over his first four September starts. The right-hander lost his only career outing against Washington, allowing eight runs in 3 1/3 innings on Aug. 1.

Orioles: The Orioles will send Kevin Gausman to the mound on Tuesday to open a crucial three-game series in Toronto at 7:07 p.m. ET. Gausman was dealing with an intercostal issue this past week and had his start bumped from Sunday to Tuesday. The righty has been great in 10 starts since July, posting a 2.57 ERA. However, he did allow five runs in 6 1/3 innings has last time out.

Watch every out-of-market regular-season game live on MLB.TV.

Brittany Ghiroli has covered the Orioles for MLB.com since 2010. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast.

Jake Rill is a reporter for MLB.com based in Phoenix.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.