The two newest members of the Baltimore Orioles did exactly what they were brought in to do: help the team win.
Baltimore fans can only hope Jeremy Hellickson and Tim Beckham do that consistently enough to carry the Orioles into the postseason.
Hellickson threw seven outstanding innings in his Baltimore debut, Beckham had two extra-base hits and two RBIs and the Orioles beat the Kansas City Royals 6-0 Wednesday night to complete a three-game sweep.
The Orioles’ five-game winning streak is their longest since early May, and they now stand just 2 1/2 games behind Kansas City for the second AL wild-card slot.
Hellickson (1-0) was obtained Saturday from Philadelphia, the first of two significant trades by the Orioles to fortify the roster for a potential playoff run. The right-hander paid immediate returns, limiting Kansas City to five hits, issuing one walk and allowing only one runner to reach third base.
After going 6-5 with the Phillies, Hellickson turned in his best performance of the season to earn his second win in 12 starts since May 19.
He received offensive backing from Beckham, acquired in a trade with Tampa Bay on Monday just before the non-waiver trade deadline expired.
The Royals had won 10 of 11 before coming up flat at Camden Yards, scoring only three runs in 27 innings.
The Royals showed their frustration in the ninth inning, when Moustakas was tossed after complaining about a third-strike call and manager Ned Yost was ejected for joining the argument.
”That pitch was nowhere close to being a strike,” Yost insisted.
Baltimore went up 3-0 in the second inning against Jason Vargas (13-5) when Beckham doubled in a run and Caleb Joseph followed with a two-out drive into the left-field seats.
After Hellickson retired the first two batters in the third, a sudden rain shower forced a 35-minute delay. When play resumed, Hellickson gave up a single and hit a batter before retiring Eric Hosmer on a fly ball.
It would be the only time until the sixth inning that Kansas City got a runner to second base.
In the sixth, Melky Cabrera drew a leadoff walk and went to third on a double by Hosmer. Hellickson then caught a popup by Salvador Perez, struck out Moustakas and retired Jorge Bonifacio on a weak grounder to first.
Baltimore made it 6-0 in the eighth when Chris Davis doubled in two runs and scored on a triple by Beckham .