These Orioles have come a long way

Sweeping Los Angeles was nice. Winning games from the White Sox and Texas was a good accomplishment.

Winning versus AL East teams is most impressive of all.

The Orioles have now won three in a row from Tampa and New York, maybe the two best teams in the game, and are now 4-3 in a nine-game run versus Boston, Tampa and New York.

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The Yankees have lost just four of 23 home series this year. That will become five if the O's win one of the next two games.

It wasn't just winning at New York, but it was making more big plays at the end than the Yankees - Brian Roberts' key hit in the seventh and in the bottom of the inning, Matt Wieters guns down Greg Golson with a perfect strike to second.

How about Brian Matusz winning the battle versus Derek Jeter with two outs and runners on second and third in the fifth in a 2-1 game. Matusz prevailed in an eight-pitch at bat where Josh Bell made a nice play to his left versus Jeter to end the frame.

Matt Albers, Jim Johnson and Koji pitched shutout ball over the last three innings. Johnson retired Nick Swisher, Mark Teixeira and Robinson Cano in the eighth and Koji fanned two in a 15-pitch ninth and is now seven for seven in save chances.

This game proved one theory wrong. The O's don't have to play a perfect game or be near perfect to beat a great team.

In Monday's win they let a pop fall for an RBI single; Brian Roberts was cut down twice on the bases; Josh Bell survived some shaky throws to first; and the O's survived a couple of late-inning leadoff walks.

They were just good enough and better than the Yankees over nine innings on one day. Roberts got clutch hits and their pitchers got clutch outs.

This team is playing well and gaining confidence. Now they are winning games in the tough AL East.

We are still in the same season, but these O's sure look much different from the earlier version of the Baltimore Orioles.

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