Rather than dismantle the Baltimore Orioles at the trade deadline, Dan Duquette worked diligently to improve the club.
Appreciative of his confidence, the Orioles backed up his effort with a rousing 2-1 victory over the Kansas City Royals on Monday night.
Craig Gentry singled home the winning run in the ninth inning, and closer Zach Britton got three outs to earn the win.
Baltimore started the day with a 50-54 record, but Duquette, the team’s executive vice president of baseball operations, believes the team can be a contender. He beat the non-waiver trade deadline by obtaining infielder Tim Beckham from Tampa Bay, three days after snagging right-hander Jeremy Hellickson from Philadelphia.
Caleb Joseph got Baltimore going in the ninth with a one-out single off Joakim Soria (4-3). Ruben Tejada singled with two outs before Gentry hit a grounder up the middle that sent Joseph home from second base without a throw.
By keeping Britton (1-0), who has converted an AL-record 57 straight saves, Duquette showed his faith in this team.
Knowing he was going to be sticking around with the only team he’s ever been a part of, Britton walked to the mound in the ninth with a clear head.
It was the second loss in 12 games for the Royals, who managed only five hits off three Baltimore pitchers.
The first seven innings featured a pitching duel between Kansas City’s Danny Duffy and Ubaldo Jimenez, both of whom allowed one run and struck out six.
Jimenez came in with a 6.93 ERA, but on this night he was exceptionally sharp.