Baltimore Orioles left fielder Hyun Soo Kim (25) hits a two-run home run against the Arizona Diamondbacks in the second inning at Orioles Park at Camden Yards in Baltimore, Maryland on September 25, 2016. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo
The Baltimore Orioles did not do a lot on offense Sunday, but they got just enough to pull out a crucial late-season victory.
Hyun Soo Kim hit an early two-run homer, and the Orioles finished a three-game sweep of the Arizona Diamondbacks with a 2-1 victory in Baltimore.
The win allowed the Orioles (85-71) take a firm hold on the second wild-card spot in the American League. Baltimore has a 1 1/2-game lead over Detroit for that final spot as the Tigers (83-72) lost to Kansas City on Sunday. Detroit has seven games left while the Orioles have six.
Also, Sunday was Baltimore's final home game of the season. The Orioles have an off-day Monday and finish the year with a three-game series in Toronto and one more three-game set against the New York Yankees.
The Orioles bounced back after Boston swept them in a four-game series last week. Baltimore had lost six of the first eight contests in this 11-game homestand before sweeping Arizona.
Baltimore manager Buck Showalter said he liked how his team shook off losing the four games to Boston.
"That's come and gone," he said "It really has. You have to do that, and our guys do that. Our guys ... grind through a lot. Hopefully we're going to (do) some things that allow us to play a few more games here."
Kim's not a big power hitter, but he hit a very timely homer in this game. He was just happy to help the Orioles win an important game.
"It's a great feeling the week before the season is over that we are still in it," Kim said. "It's important that we are in it. I am (glad to be) part of it and (hope) the team goes to the right place."
Baltimore starter Dylan Bundy gave up one run in five innings. Bundy (10-7) allowed that only run in the fourth inning before the Orioles went to the bullpen in the sixth.
Mychal Givens came on and threw two scoreless innings. Brad Brach took care of the eighth, stranding a runner at second in that inning.
Zach Britton came on in the ninth and earned his 46th save in 46 chances this season.
Overall, the bullpen threw 10 1/3 scoreless innings while sweeping this three-game series against the Diamondbacks.
"It was huge," Britton said. "I think it was good that we were able to turn the page. The starting pitching did a great job the last three days, and that kind of set the tone for everything. And then the offense, we gave them a chance to get going, and they scored some runs and the bullpen came in and did a great job."
Braden Shipley (4-5) gave the Diamondbacks a strong effort. The Arizona starter allowed two runs in the second inning and went six innings overall, giving up two runs on four hits and left with the Orioles holding that 2-1 lead over his Diamondbacks (64-91).
The Orioles took the lead in the bottom of the second inning. Pedro Alvarez led off with a single, and Kim made it 2-0 with his two-run homer versus Shipley.
Arizona answered in the fourth when Paul Goldschmidt got an RBI single that drove in Jean Segura, who had doubled. That cut the lead to 2-1, but Bundy got out of the inning, and the D-backs and Orioles could not do much else on offense after that.
"It was a good game today," Arizona manager Chip Hale said. "They were fighting their hearts out like some of the team's we've been playing, and our guys matched it."
NOTES: The Orioles and Diamondbacks held a moment of silence before the game for Miami Marlins ace Jose Fernandez, who died early Sunday in a boating accident. ... The Orioles still haven't completed their schedule of starters for the big three-game series in Toronto but RHP Kevin Gausman seems set for Tuesday's first game. If everything goes well with RHP Chris Tillman's side work Sunday, then he would be there for Wednesday. There is still no word on Thursday's starter although manager Buck Showalter said a few people are being considered. ... If Gausman starts Tuesday and all goes well with the intercostal issues that bothered him this week, he could be in place to start the season finale at Yankee Stadium next Sunday. That will all work itself out this week. ... Diamondbacks RHP Rubby De La Rosa is going to see Dr. James Andrews on Monday due to some lingering arm issues. Andrews performed Tommy John surgery on the pitcher in 2011.