After fiery night at the park, O's move step closer to taking season series from New York

Over the last 15 years, the Orioles have not won a season series once against the New York Yankees. They lost 13 times and tied the season series twice - going 9-9 last year against New York and 9-9 in 2007.

That is a lot of losing to the Yankees over the years.

The O's are now 18-12 in their last 30 regular season games against the Yankees, but before that, they went 12-41 over a 53-game stretch. A lot of losing indeed.

But if the O's win just one of the three remaining games in this series - and they'd like to win a lot more than that - they'll take a season series from the Yankees for the first time since going 8-4 in 1997.

They lead the series this year 9-7 and one more win will clinch it. The last time the Orioles won 10 or more against the Yankees was in 1982 when they went 11-2.

Meanwhile, what the heck happened after the first inning last night? Joe Girardi said he was protecting his players, but the O's believe he thought they were trying to steal signs and that is why he yelled at third base coach Bobby Dickerson.

What does stealing signs have to do with a manager protecting his players? Nothing, but that is what Girardi said he was doing and he didn't shed much more light on anything in his postgame comments last night.

This is all confusing and just shows it doesn't take much to fuel an O's-Yankees rivalry. There were no punches thrown or any beanballs this time and I don't think Alan Mills or Darryl Strawberry were anywhere near the ballpark.

Girardi said he saw something, but he won't say what he saw. What could he have seen with the Orioles batting that was a threat of any kind to his players? I have no idea.

By the way, do you think Buck Showalter wants to beat the Yankees? That just makes him even more popular with O's fans.

The big picture, though, is the playoff chase, not what happened after the first inning last night. The O's are now 1 1/2 games out of the second AL wild card spot with 19 games to play.

It didn't look like the O's had a run in them, but they have now won four of their last five and six of their last nine.

Better late than never?

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