Buck Showalter: Returning home after West Coast swing

Hey, O’s fans. Welcome to the latest edition of Buck’s blog.

The Orioles return home after a long 10-game road trip. It had its ups and downs, with the Birds taking two out of three against the White Sox, dropping three of four against the Athletics and then capturing the series against the Giants in dramatic fashion. Sunday’s come-from-behind victory was one for the ages, and will hopefully give the O’s momentum as the divisional race heats up.

Speaking of divisional races, the Orioles are currently in the midst of a three-team battle for the American League East crown, and plenty of games against the Red Sox and Blue Jays left before season’s end.

And while playoff positions are trying to take shape, it’s also time to talk more about this season’s potential award winners. The Orioles certainly have a legitimate candidate for the Cy Young Award in closer Zach Britton. Britton has become one of baseball’s most dominant closers and is in the midst of a consecutive games saved streak, which sits at 37. With an ERA so miniscule it’s hard to see (0.54) and the fact that Britton hasn’t allowed an earned run since April, Showalter is certainly behind the campaign to give the year’s top pitching award to No. 53.

Also, with September on the horizon, teams will get to call up more players as the rosters undergo their annual expansion. Outfielder Joey Rickard is on track to return to the Orioles next month as he continues to rehab from a slightly torn ligament in his right thumb. Rickard hasn’t played since July 20, but is hoping to begin baseball activities in the next few days. The rookie and fan favorite is hitting .268 on the year with five home runs and 19 RBIs.