The Orioles held up well over a rugged 17-game stretch

Before this season, a popular World Series pick was Detroit vs. Washington. Against those teams, the Orioles just went 5-2.

It was how they did it that was equally impressive.

On Wednesday night, they trailed Jordan Zimmermann and the Nats 5-2 after five innings and 5-3 after six. They erupted for a six-run bottom of the seventh inning and Chris Davis went 4-for-4 with two homers.

On Friday, the Orioles went to the last of the ninth down 5-3 to Detroit. They won 7-5 on a Chris Dickerson hit a walk-off three-run homer.

Yesterday, they sent Kevin Gausman and his 11.00 ERA to the mound against a Tigers team that hit seven homers and scored 15 runs in the first two games of that series. The right-hander held them to just one run and the Orioles went to the last of the seventh trailing 2-0 but won again.

You keep hearing how good the Tigers rotation is in addition to their offense led by Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder. And they are good. The Tigers are 30-25. The Orioles are 32-25. The Tigers have played nine games against the American League East and the Orioles have played 25.

The Orioles just concluded a 17-game stretch of games against the Rays, Yankees, Blue Jays, Nats and Tigers. After starting this stretch at 0-4, they finished 9-8 - and that was with three blown saves during that time.

Here is the blog I wrote at the start of this stretch on May 17.

To me this stretch confirmed what we already knew about the Orioles. Some of us were saying it all winter, including Dan Duquette and Buck Showalter - this is a good team.

They could come up short for the playoffs if they have a lot of injuries the rest of the way, the offense slumps or the starting pitching continues to be inconsistent.

But they emerged through a very difficult stretch - a stretch that featured adversity and inconsistent pitching - with a winning record against some very well-regarded teams.

The heart and character in the clubhouse that became evident last season has carried over. Duquette is still relentless in his pursuit of talent and Buck is still setting the tone for the players and the entire organization.

The Orioles can play with any team in the American League. The next four months should be pretty fun.

Waring honored: Double-A Bowie Baysox first baseman Brandon Waring has been named Eastern League Player of the Week. He is the first Baysox player to win the award since Manny Machado won it for the week ending Aug. 5, 2012.

Waring hit .417 (10-24) for the week with a double, five home runs, 10 RBIs and seven runs scored. In 33 games this season after missing a month with an oblique injury, Waring is batting .198 with three doubles, eight home runs and 19 RBIs. He is currently the Baysox career home run (63) leader and leads catcher Caleb Joseph by three for the career RBIs mark (184).

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