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Orioles jump ahead of Phillies early, survive late rally to win 6-4

The Orioles held what felt like a commanding lead over the Phillies for most of the game. The gap closed late, but the O's held on for a 6-4 win.

Chris Parmelee celebrates his third homer in two games.
Chris Parmelee celebrates his third homer in two games.
Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Even a bad baseball team will make you earn every out every now and again. The Orioles were in cruise control for much of Wednesday's 6-4 win against the Phillies, but by the time things came to an end, the go-ahead run was at the plate.

The batter representing that run was Jeff Francouer, who was left hanging out to dry for two innings on the mound last night. In a lighter timeline for Phillies fans, this is the moment where Francouer would have gotten his glory. We do not exist in that timeline. Francouer instead grounded into a game-ending double play where Ryan Flaherty fielded the ball in between first and second base, alertly tagged a blundering Freddy Galvis, then threw to first to bring the contest to a close.

With the win, the Orioles have taken three straight from the Phillies and they've now won nine of their last ten games. The Orioles find themselves at three games above .500 for the first time of the 2015 season. Thanks to the state of the AL East this year, that leaves the O's tied for third place in the division, a mere two games back of the division-leading Rays.

Starting off with a bang

Wednesday's game began for the Orioles very similar to how Tuesday's did. They had a home run in the first inning. On Wednesday, the home run was the only run they scored in the inning. That's better than nothing. The homer came off the bat of Chris Parmelee after there were already two outs. That's three home runs in two games for Parmelee - which, just to pull a name out of a hat, is as many home runs as Nelson Cruz has hit since May 13. That's no joke.

This 1-0 lead did not last for very long. The battery of Ubaldo Jimenez and Matt Wieters teamed up to give the run back in fairly short order. Chase Utley reached with a single and then, because Jimenez doesn't do much to hold runners, he took off. The throw in from Wieters was late and errant and it skipped into center field, allowing Utley to take third on the error. Not to be outdone, Jimenez threw a pitch about seven feet high that sailed to the backstop.

Utley scored on the wild pitch. The game was tied at 1-1 after an inning.

The top of the second inning brought us another play that won't go in the highlight reel of Wieters's career. The O's catcher led off the inning with a nice double into the right field corner, continuing the hopefully encouraging trend of good left-handed hitting. Then he got himself thrown out trying to tag to third base on a routine fly ball to center. Come on, you're Matt Wieters! You don't need to try to make things happen on the bases.

His name isn't "Korea", no matter what Mike Bordick says

It took until the fourth inning before the Orioles really treated Phillies starter Kevin Correia the way you're supposed to treat Kevin Correia.

The Phillies defense helped them get a rally started when Galvis mishandled a fairly routine ground ball to short off the bat of Travis Snider. Correia next walked Parmelee, for which I can hardly blame him. Consecutive singles by Wieters and J.J. Hardy scored Snider and then loaded the bases for the O's. Flaherty struck out for the second out of the inning, giving Correia hope that he might get out of the jam without any more runs allowed. All he had to do was retire David Lough.

Instead of that, Lough hit a double into the right field corner, scoring two runs. Hardy couldn't score from first even though there were two outs because he's Hardy, but that's OK, because that meant he was on third base for Jimenez to get an RBI chance, because National League rules.

Jimenez chopped a ground ball that bounced just enough to get past the pitcher and die on the grass. Third baseman Maikel Franco tried to make a bare-handed grab and throw but Jimenez busted down the line enough to be safe. The pitcher got an RBI! Drink!

After that flurry of offense, the O's held a 5-1 lead. Before Correia was chased from the game, Snider, too, got in on the home run party, blasting a tape measure shot into the Philly seats. Snider had not hit a home run since April 12. Maybe he noticed another left-handed outfielder (Parmelee) in the lineup.

It really got out of hand fast

Jimenez cruised into the seventh inning before things escalated quickly. Consecutive one-out singles by Cameron Rupp and Cody Asche put two men on for Galvis with the pitcher's spot lurking behind him. Jimenez threw a low pitch that Galvis went down and golfed into the right field seats to bring the game to a suddenly tight 6-4 margin.

Things got even more hairier as Jimenez allowed a two-out triple to Ben Revere before he was lifted for Chaz Roe, who is in the running for one of the year's most surprising Orioles performers. Roe calmly fielded an Utley comebacker with his bare hand and threw to first to end the trouble.

That closed the book on Jimenez with 6.2 innings pitched, four runs (three earned) on eight hits. He struck out eight and, importantly for him, allowed no walks. Sure, it's the Phillies, but still a good sign. Since the first inning run was unearned due to the Wieters error, it does count as a quality start.

Britton does what he does

Moving on to the ninth inning, where Zach Britton was on the mound to do his thing. His thing started by walking Rupp on four straight pitches, less than ideal. Then he started getting ground balls, and when Britton is getting ground balls, good things will happen in the end, which is why it didn't really matter after a Galvis grounder to the left side bounced off the glove of Manny Machado at third base and into center field. If he'd let Hardy field it, they might have at least gotten one out, or at least kept a runner from advancing to third base.

No big deal, though. This is Britton we're talking about. He next faced Francouer and got that game-ending double play to notch his 18th save of the season. The Orioles bullpen has not allowed any runs over 18.2 innings over the last six games.

The O's will try to make it four in a row against the Phillies on Thursday afternoon with a scheduled 1:05 start. The probable starters are Bud Norris and Sean O'Sullivan.