In case you missed the Orioles taking two of three from the New York Yankees on the road because you were getting ready for the U.S.-Portugal game, you need to be brought up to speed on some important things.
While the opening game of the series broke hearts with the Orioles’ bottom-of-the-ninth loss on a Carlos Beltran walk-off homer, the O’s showed exceptional resiliency by winning both of the next two games in the series. Let’s take a look at some highlights of the weekend:
Yes, the Orioles lost Friday night, but starter Ubaldo Jimemez “scattered” six hits and six walks. Usually if you allow 12 base-runners over nearly six innings, odds are you will allow more than just one run, but Jimenez battled to walk away with a decent outing.
Saturday’s game was everything the O’s could hope for. Bud Norris pitched five great innings of three-hit ball and allowed only one run while four Orioles homered, including J.J. Hardy, who finally hit his first of the season.
Sunday’s game figured to be tough, with the O’s facing Masahiro Tanaka, who entered the game with an impressive 11-1 record. Hardy continued his hot hitting, going 2 for 4 with three runs batted in and two runs scored.
Jonathan Schoop homered as well, driving in two.
Chris Tillman seemed to look forward to this tough pitching matchup, as he was much more effective than Tanaka, going seven shutout innings and allowing only four hits. T.J. McFarland cleaned up the rest, pitching two no-hit innings to end the game.
Currently, the O’s sit 1.5 games behind the AL-East-leading Toronto Blue Jays, the same as the Yankees, and only five games ahead of fourth-place Boston. There is still plenty of baseball yet to be played this season.
If you look at the Wild-Card race, the Los Angeles Angels have the top spot with the Orioles, Yankees, and Seattle Mariners all tied for that last spot. To make matters more interesting, the Kansas City Royals are only a half-game behind them, while the Cleveland Indians and Minnesota Twins are only three games back, making sure the second half of the season will be filled with excitement and trips to the store to buy extra Tums.
by Andy Mindzak