In a big game to start a big series the Orioles came up with a big performance.
None bigger than Miguel Gonzalez, who despite not pitching since Aug. 20, fired seven shutout innings at the Yankees in the Orioles' 6-1 win. Gonzalez went 3-1 with a 1.91 ERA in five August starts and the Baltimore is 7-3 in his 10 starts this year. He had a WHIP of 1.09 and batting average against of .220 during the month.
Since losing their first four games against New York this year, the Orioles are 6-2 against the Yankees and have won five of their last six games at New York.
It was an impressive win for the Orioles who hold the second wild card berth right now and also pulled to within two games of first place. On July 18, they were 10 games out of first, but since then the Orioles are 26-14 and the Yankees are 18-22.
Some other notes on Friday's win:
* The Orioles have clinched a winning record this year at Yankee Stadium and are 5-2 there with that victory. This is the O's first winning record at New York since the 1997 O's went 5-1. A win today would match the Orioles win total from the last three seasons there when they went 6-21. From 1998-2011 the Orioles were 37-83 at Yankee Stadium.
* The Birds have gotten on a bit of a pitching roll. Over the last seven games they are 6-1 with a team ERA of 2.71 and starters ERA of 2.35 in that time. They have recorded six quality starts in the last seven games. O's pitchers have fanned ten or more batters five times in this stretch with 71 strikeouts in 63 innings. During the seven games, O's starters have a 49-to-12 strikeout-to-walks ratio over 46 innings.
* The Orioles finished August going 18-9. It's their most wins in a month since they had 18 in September of 2004. Baltimore's team ERA was 3.69 in August. That is the second best month of the season, topped only by the 3.03 mark in April when they went 14-9.
O's August RBI leaders:
18 - Nick Markakis
16 - Matt Wieters
13 - Mark Reynolds
12 - J.J. Hardy & Chris Davis
11 - Adam Jones
10 - Manny Machado
Reynolds had impressive power numbers during the month, batting .275 with six doubles, six homers and 13 RBIs along with a slugging percentage of .575 and OPS of .983.
Live blog today: I'll be posting a live blog during this afternoon's game. That means I'll post some notes, stats and opinions in one blog during today's game and hope you will keep it fresh by adding your own questions and comments all throughout today's game.