With Tampa Bay’s loss Saturday night, the Orioles are now tied with Cleveland just one game back of the Rays for the American League’s second wild card berth. Tampa Bay is 2-7 on its West Coast road trip, and has lost 11 of 14 games. Things change quickly around here.
The Orioles have not swept a four-game series this season. They have that chance this afternoon against the 56-85 Chicago White Sox. Bud Norris (10-10, 4.01 ERA) pitches against right-hander Andre Rienzo (1-1, 5.03 ERA )at 1:35 p.m.
In three home starts, Norris is 2-0 with a 7.16 ERA and the O’s are 3-0 in those starts. They are 6-1 in his seven Orioles starts.
Not only are the O’s going for a four-game sweep today, but if they get it, Chicago would have an 0-10 road trip to Boston, New York and Baltimore.
The Orioles are 3-1-3 in four-game series this year. They had a chance for a four-game sweep at Oakland in April, but lost the Sunday series finale 9-8 in 10 innings.
More notes on the O’s:
* The Orioles have hit seven solo homers in the first three games of this series. They have homered in seven consecutive games, hitting 14 in that stretch.
* The Orioles are 3-for-26 in this series with runners in scoring position after going 2-for-18 Saturday, and they are batting just .132 (7-for-53) with RISP over the last six games.
* Chris Davis came up with an RBI double Saturday. It was his major league-leading 87th extra-base hit. He is on pace for 100, which would top the club record of 92 by Brady Anderson in 1996. Only two O’s have ever led the majors in extra-base hits: Frank Robinson (85 in 1966) and Cal Ripken Jr. (85 in 1991).
* The O’s have not won four in a row since they had a five-game win streak from July 14-22 in the last game of the first half and the first four of the second half.
* The O’s have outscored Chicago 11-4 in the series and O’s starters have given up just three earned runs over 22 innings for an ERA of 1.23 against Chicago. O’s pitchers have a 24-to-3 strikeout-to-walk ratio in the series.
Aberdeen falls in playoffs: Tri-City beat Aberdeen 3-0 last night to shut out Aberdeen on back-to-back nights to win their playoff series, two games to none. It was a heckuva year for Aberdeen that ends with its first trip to the playoffs. After the game last night, some of the players took to Twitter and here is what they wrote.
Mitch Horacek: Had a great first pro baseball season in Aberdeen with the @IronBirds. Now, can’t wait to get back to @dartmouth for fall term!
Dylan Rheault: Couldn’t have asked for a better experience for my first pro season with the @IronBirds!
Hunter Harvey: Headed home had a good first year of pro ball can’t wait for next season #Orioles
Trey Mancini: Thanks to the town of Aberdeen and all of the @IronBirds fans who came out to support us, it was an incredible summer
Austin Urban: Awesome season @IronBirds had one heck of a summer with you boys!!
Donnie Hart: Thank you to @IronBirds fans, staff, coaches, and my teammates! Has been an amazing first with all of you! Time to work toward the future!
From the IronBirds’ official account: We know the end of a season hurts, but there’s one thing that always will make us smile: 2013 McNamara Division Champions!