The Orioles left a rainy Cincinnati on Thursday night with a series win, a 6-3 road trip and -- perhaps most importantly -- two fantastic starts from Ubaldo Jimenez and Wade Miley for a Baltimore team in dire need of them.
Miley went eight sensational innings in the O's 2-1, 10-inning win over the Reds on Thursday night, the longest outing by a Baltimore starter this year and one that kept the rotation rolling.
"It was the game plan," Miley said of an outing that followed Jimenez's 7 2/3 scoreless innings in Wednesday's win. "[I've] faced these guys in the past. We looked over that. We pounded in in the past. We stayed away from them tonight. When [we] felt they were leaning over, we were able to pop them in.
"I was able to execute when I went in."
In his best start since coming to the Orioles last year, Miley retired the first 11 before Joey Votto hit a solo homer with two outs into the fourth inning. The lefty would allow just one more hit, matching his career-high with 11 strikeouts in a masterful 101-pitch outing.
"He was sneaky because his arm was short," Reds outfielder Scott Schebler said. "It was actually pretty sneaky, and then he mixed in pitches well. He just commanded down and away, all day long. If you can do that, you're going to be pretty successful."
Miley struck out the first batter of the game and never looked back, shutting down a previously hot Reds offense and giving the O's a big lift. Coupled with Jimenez's gem on Wednesday, Baltimore -- which hopes to get back starter Chris Tillman next month -- and its much-maligned rotation is looking much better as of late.
"That's what we try to do," Miley said. "All our starting pitchers try to go out and get as deep into a ballgame as we can. We were able to get some early outs and get deeper into the ballgame."
Miley, who struggled with command in his first start of the season, has turned in back-to-back quality outings and has a 1.89 ERA in three starts this season. Working at his typical fast pace, Miley pounded the strike zone and issued just one walk before turning the ball over to the bullpen.
"The last two times he's been out there, [he's been] amazing," said J.J. Hardy, who drove in the game-winning run. "He's fun to play behind. There's times when I don't feel like I'm ready and he's getting to pitch. He throws strikes, mixes it up. Those hitters don't take too many swings. He's been great.