The Orioles are struggling and the schedule is unforgiving

The Orioles may be teetering right now. Teetering on the brink. They have fallen seven games under .500 for the first time this year and their recent play makes it look like it could get worse before it gets better.

They need to beat Jaime Garcia tonight to avoid a three-game sweep by the Cardinals. Garcia is 6-3 with a 3.06 ERA on the year and has pitched to an ERA of 2.59 in June.

Friday night, they begin a 10-game road trip at Atlanta. The Braves have now won eight of 10 games and will start right-hander Jair Jurrjens in that series opener, and he is 10-3 with a 2.07 ERA.

That road trip will take the Orioles to Texas and Boston after Atlanta. Those three clubs are a combined 28 games over .500 right now.

The O's could limp into the All-Star break against that brutal schedule. They need to step up their play and do so fast.

St. Louis had lost 12 of 15 before coming to Baltimore, but they have held the Orioles to three runs in this series. Also, the Orioles have been held to 1-for-16 with runners in scoring position in the first two games.

Just when you think you can blame it all on the offense, you may remember the Orioles starting pitchers have posted just one quality start in the last 12 games and a 5.80 ERA in that stretch.

In these 11 games before the break you have to wonder if the club will go 4-7 or 3-8 in this stretch. That could leave them 12 games or so under .500 at the break.

These are tough times for the Orioles. They have lost five of the last six series and are 5-11 in that time.

Can the O's somehow suddenly turn this around and pick up some wins before the break or will this tough schedule break them?

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