Can the Orioles avoid being swept?

NEW YORK - Whether the Orioles are buyers or sellers or just looking, they really need to be a team that isn’t swept by the Yankees.

It could happen today, marking the first time in a three-game series at Yankee Stadium since June 1-3, 2010. Former manager Dave Trembley lost his job. The dark days.

The Orioles are six games behind the Yankees in the American League East and have three games waiting for them at Tropicana Field. The days aren’t as dark as 2010, but the light is dimming.

“I have a lot of confidence that we’ll be as good as we’re capable of being, and I take peace in that,” said manager Buck Showalter. “I’m as curious as you are. I have good people that we have confidence in. We’ll show up and see what happens.”

Showalter said he doesn’t know what the rest of the division will do at the non-waiver deadline. It’s not his concern.

“I have a pretty good idea what we’re going to do and not do, but we can’t sacrifice integrity of trying to compete long-term,” he said. “We kind of know who we are and we know who we aren’t, and that’s important. That’s something we’ve really be able to do the last four or five years, understand who we are and how we have to do it.”

They have to get good starting pitching, just like any other club. Ubaldo Jimenez takes his turn today in the final game of the series.

jimenez-stride-pitching-gray-sidebar.jpgJimenez had a rough return from the All-Star break, allowing seven runs and seven hits in 4 2/3 innings in Detroit. He’s faced the Yankees once this season, allowing three runs and six hits in five innings in an 11-3 win on June 12 at Camden Yards.

Jimenez is 3-4 with a 5.48 ERA in eight career starts against the Yankees and 2-2 with a 4.13 ERA in five starts in the Bronx.

Carlos Beltran is 7-for-18 with two doubles and two home runs against Jimenez, Jacoby Ellsbury is 5-for-10, Garrett Jones is 5-for-11 with two doubles, Alex Rodriguez is 3-for-6 with two doubles, and Chase Headley is 7-for-24 with two doubles and a home run. Stephen Drew is only 10-for-42, but it includes four doubles and two home runs.

Mark Teixeira is 4-for-24 with nine strikeouts, Brett Gardner is 3-for-16, Brendan Ryan is 2-for-13 and Chris Young is 8-for-45 with 18 strikeouts.

There’s going to be quiz later, so you may want to take notes.

Masahiro Tanaka has allowed seven earned runs (eight total) in three July starts, with four walks and 18 strikeouts in 20 2/3 innings. He’s 0-1 with a 3.86 ERA in two career starts against the Orioles, with two walks and 16 strikeouts in 14 innings.

Jonathan Schoop is 2-for-6 with two home runs and five RBIs against Tanaka.

Showalter was waiting on Schoop and other injured players to provide a boost in the lineup and on the field.

“That was our whole idea,” Showalter said. “Regardless of what everybody else was doing trade-wise and whatever, to add Jon and add Matt (Wieters) and get J.J. (Hardy) back, and we missed Adam (Jones) for about 10 days. ... I’m probably missing a couple. It seems like there were a couple more.

“Jon’s already made good contributions since he’s come back. He’s kind of picked up where he left off. You all saw what kind of year he was having and we felt like he was in a position to really gain and learn from what went on last year. He’s a smart young man. But we also knew he would impact us defensively regardless of what he’s doing offensively.

“He’s made some plays since he got back that I just kind of go, some of those Manny (Machado) head shakes that we kind of get, like, ‘Really?’”

If the Orioles don’t pick up a few more wins on this road trip, fans may have the same response to the club being buyers.

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