BALTIMORE -- A recent surge has put the Baltimore Orioles back in the thick of the playoff race.
Manager Buck Showalter is confident the franchise can make a run with its current group of players. Lately, his team has made him look smart.
Right-hander Chris Tillman came within one out of a complete-game shutout and Baltimore got a pair of homers from Jonathan Schoop and J.J. Hardy to complete a three-game sweep of the Atlanta Braves with a 2-0 victory Wednesday night.
The Orioles are two games above .500 for the first time since July 10. They have also won five straight -- their longest winning streak since June 7-13 -- and are one game out of the wild-card chase.
"There's no sympathy in this game," Showalter said. "The great thing about it is, there's an opportunity around every corner to get things going, good or bad. You try to maintain the good spells. Obviously, this time of year, it's gets tougher to withstand a long tough spell."
The Braves have lost 10 of 11 on the road and are a season-high nine games under .500.
Tillman (8-7) extended his winning streak to six games. He was pulled after allowing a double to center fielder Cameron Maybin. Tillman allowed just four hits with two strikeouts and no walks. He has not lost since May 31.
"I felt good," Tillman said. "I felt my command was good from the get-go. Better arm side than glove side. My changeup is what got me through that start. I made some good pitches early and late, when need be."
Schoop, the second baseman, got his seventh homer and third baseman Manny Machado added a pair of hits. Hardy extended his hitting streak to a season-high 12 games with his seventh homer. Hardy, who opened the season on the DL (left shoulder), said he has not changed his approach at the plate with the hitting streak.
"Nothing ... nothing different," Hardy said. "Maybe the All-Star break with the four days off allowed me to recover a little bit mentally and physically."
Braves right-hander Mike Foltynewicz (3-3), who was called up from Triple-A Gwinnett to make the start, was mostly effective. He gave up two runs on six hits with two walks and eight strikeouts over six innings. It was his first start since June 24, when he allowed six runs (five earned) and nine hits over 4 1/3 innings against the Mets.
"He pitched great," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "He threw some split-fingers that we wanted him to go down to the minor leagues and work on. You saw some of it there at tonight's game. He pitched terrific. He really did."
Schoop gave the Orioles a 1-0 lead in the third when he hammered the first pitch by Foltynewicz into the center-field bullpen.
Meanwhile, Tillman was cruising and retired nine in a row before allowing a leadoff single to designated hitter Nick Markakis in the fourth. Tillman responded by getting Maybin to ground into a 5-4-3 double play during the next at-bat.
"They pitched good during the series and got some big home runs," Markakis said. "They closed out games. They have a good ball club over there."
The Orioles extended the lead to 2-0 on a solo shot by Hardy in the bottom of the fourth.
"I'll take two solo shots any day over that," Foltynewicz said. "Two through fifth, I think I battled my butt off in between the innings and just focused on my pitches. I took some time in between pitches."
NOTES: It was the fifth anniversary as Orioles manager for Buck Showalter, who agreed to step away from ESPN and take the job in Baltimore on July 29, 2010. He is the 19th manager in franchise history. ... Braves LHP Manny Banuelos, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list Tuesday with left elbow inflammation, underwent an MRI that revealed a bone spur. He could pitch again this season. ... Orioles OF Steve Pearce, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a left oblique strain on July 22, retroactive to July 19, is still at least a week away from any baseball activities, Showalter said.