CHICAGO — This Orioles team is a young group, and yet in spite of — or perhaps because of — the inexperience in Baltimore’s clubhouse, manager Brandon Hyde said he hasn’t seen “any panic.”

The Orioles haven’t been swept this season, and that streak continued with Sunday’s 6-3 victory at Wrigley Field against the Chicago Cubs. There have been panic-worthy moments, from the injury that hit their star outfielder to the minor slide that has left Baltimore with four series losses in their last seven attempts.

Even so, dropping two games in Chicago means the Orioles have lost just five of their last 15 games. Baltimore (44-27) has built the third-best record in baseball despite the absences, and while the organization boasts the top farm system in baseball, most of the talent that has powered this momentum are reclamation projects.

“You’re going to lose players in a season, and good teams can right the ship until they get back,” Hyde said. “And we have some guys right now that are really playing well and are helping out with the loss of some guys that have really helped us here in the past couple years.”

The Baltimore Banner thanks its sponsors. Become one.

That’s especially the case with Ryan O’Hearn and Aaron Hicks, who found themselves in the heart of the Orioles’ lineup for the series finale and became the center of its offensive production. They’re in that position because of the absences elsewhere.

Center fielder Cedric Mullins has missed multiple weeks with a groin strain and is still working through running progressions in Florida. First baseman Ryan Mountcastle’s vertigo has lasted over a week, and for at least Sunday, infielder Gunnar Henderson was a late scratch because of a stomach flu that Hyde said is making its rounds in the clubhouse. Also, catcher James McCann’s left ankle sprain meant a trip Sunday to the 10-day injured list.

In that group’s place has come, among others, O’Hearn and Hicks.

“Overall, we’ve made it a good environment for them to come in and kind of fill spots,” right-hander Dean Kremer said. “We’re just out here having fun. It’s easier to perform when you’re having fun.”

O’Hearn joined Baltimore in a trade this offseason from Kansas City, where his role infrequently took the form of an everyday player and he struggled because of it. Now, O’Hearn is running with this stretch of playing time as he hits .349 with a 1.003 on-base-plus-slugging percentage while largely playing at first base.

The Baltimore Banner thanks its sponsors. Become one.

The addition of Hicks has softened the blow since Mullins’ injury, too. Once the New York Yankees released the veteran outfielder, Baltimore’s need led to a new chance — and he has recorded 16 hits and 10 walks.

“The opportunity just kind of presented itself right after I got DFA’d,” Hicks said. “To be able to come here, play every day in center field has been awesome. Especially with O’Hearn here, he’s been hitting the ball great. He’s been putting up really good at-bats and been extremely productive for us. It’s awesome to be a part of that.”

The duo of O’Hearn and Hicks first came through in the fourth by following Anthony Santander’s solo homer off right-hander Jameson Taillon with O’Hearn’s single and Hicks’ walk. O’Hearn scored on Ramón Urías’ single, but a strikeout and double play prevented more from the inning.

Baltimore found its breakthrough in the sixth, though, when O’Hearn led off with another single and Hicks doubled to the right-field fence. That time, both scored in a three-run frame that gave the Orioles the lead again after O’Hearn played a role in handing it away.

Kremer settled down after allowing a leadoff homer to Cubs center fielder Mike Tauchman, but two misplays in the fourth inning prolonged the frame. First, first baseman Josh Lester had trouble reading a foul pop up and couldn’t make a lunging play when Cody Bellinger’s ball landed just inside the dugout. And a few pitches later, Bellinger’s liner to right-center field evaded O’Hearn for an error and left the Cubs batter on third for Christopher Morel.

The Baltimore Banner thanks its sponsors. Become one.

The Orioles’ lead evaporated with Morel’s two-run homer, leaping off his bat at 112.7 mph. Both runs were unearned, leaving Kremer with three hits, two walks, seven strikeouts and one earned run against him at the end of the fifth inning.

“Made a mental mistake there in the fourth with an open bag,” Kremer said. “But for the most part, only gave up three hits. ... Just kind of bad execution on my part [for Morel’s homer]. Knew I had more to work with, especially with an open base.”

Still, Orioles starting pitchers haven’t allowed more than three runs in the 19 of their last 20 games. That has provided a solid footing for the offense and bullpen to build upon.

On Sunday, the bullpen held the lead O’Hearn and Hicks helped kickstart with four no-hit innings from left-hander Danny Coulombe and right-handers Mike Baumann, Yennier Cano and Félix Bautista. Then catcher Adley Rutschman — the star who is here — made his presence known with an RBI double in the ninth.

Baltimore is missing plenty of names. But the ones it does have got the job done Sunday to avoid a sweep yet again.

andy.kostka@thebaltimorebanner.com

Andy Kostka is an Orioles beat writer for The Baltimore Banner. He previously covered the Orioles for The Baltimore Sun. Kostka graduated from the University of Maryland and grew up in Rockville.

More From The Banner