BALTIMORE -- When the Orioles acquired right-hander Jeremy Hellickson from the Philadelphia Phillies July 28, it was clear the team needed another starter. However, the move puzzled many fans who thought the Orioles' modus operandi was going to be to sell off assets rather than buy.
The Orioles ended up not only getting Hellickson, but they also added shortstop Tim Beckham three days later. Both players played key roles in the team's fifth straight win.
Hellickson answered any concerns by tossing seven shutout innings during a 6-0 win against the Kansas City Royals before 14,984 at Oriole Park Aug. 2.
Hellickson allowed five hits, walked one and struck out three, throwing 94 pitches in his first start since July 22. He helped pitch the Orioles to their longest winning streak since a six-game run from May 4-9.
"Last night I had some nerves, but once I got out there I felt fine," Hellickson said. "I've been traded before, just not in season to a team that is playing as well as we are -- that has a chance to make the playoffs."
At 53-54, the Orioles are now one game below .500 for the first time since July 2.
During the five-game win streak, Orioles starters have worked seven innings or longer four times.
Hellickson said he quickly felt like a teammate.
"Monday when I came in, I mean, everybody made me feel comfortable and welcomed, so I felt part of the team right away," Hellickson said. "But it is always good to throw a good one your first time out with a new team. It was good to do that."
Caleb Joseph got to catch Hellickson for the first time. The night before, they talked while watching right-hander Dylan Bundy pitch.
"We had a couple bumps throughout the game today, but I think overall it went pretty well," Joseph said. "He has so many weapons, and that's what you're looking for is how can I navigate through a big league lineup? Especially, when he's behind in the count."
Joseph also had a two-run home run.
While Hellickson was stellar, so was Beckham, who drove in two runs with a double and triple, exciting the fans, who aren't used to seeing an Oriole with terrific speed.
"I know I can run, man. I can bring energy to the club, and if that hits the right-center gap and touches the wall, I expect to be on third," Beckham said. "Anything to bring some energy and get my club going. Just doing what I can."
Manager Buck Showalter likes having a player with Beckham's abilities.
"He did a good job of being under control," Showalter said. "Tim is 27 now, he's starting to grasp some of those things. We think the timing is good for him to get where he's capable of getting. We have obviously a good opportunity for him."
While Hellickson had two days to get prepared, Beckham didn't arrive until Aug. 1, and he was meeting teammates on the fly.
"It's been a wild one," Beckham said. "Phone still hasn't stopped going off, but I'm happy to be here, happy they believe in me. We got a great club here, great club, love the energy, love the team camaraderie. It's going to be a fun ride."
NOTES: This was the Orioles' seventh shutout this season, and their third in the last nine games. … Play was delayed for 35 minutes in the third. Total rain delay time at home this year is nine hours, 30 minutes. ... Short-season Aberdeen catcher Ben Breazeale has been named the Orioles' Minor League Player of the Month for July. Low-A Delmarva lefty Alex Wells has been named Pitcher of the Month for July. … Right-hander Chris Tillman (1-6, 7.65) will pitch for the Orioles against lefty Matthew Boyd (5-5, 5.30) in the first of four games against Detroit Aug. 3.