Just over a week ago, the Orioles began a four-game series in Toronto. That would be followed by a three-game series in Boston and three more at home against Toronto.
The Orioles began this stretch leading the American League East by 1 ½ games and they ended it with a one-game lead. They went 5-5 against their two closest pursuers in the division.
Considering they were 3-5 after getting pounded at home on Friday night 13-3, the Orioles did a nice job to take the last two games against Toronto. They are still atop the AL East as they get set to play a one-game series in Texas tonight. It’s a one-game trip to make up a rainout from April 17.
The Orioles are now playing .500 ball or better against each team in the AL East. They are 5-5 versus Toronto, 6-4 against Boston, 4-2 versus New York and 3-2 against Tampa Bay.
While the Orioles are two games under .500 on the road at 14-16, they are a very impressive 26-12 at home. Seattle is the only team to win a series at Camden Yards this year with the O’s going 9-1-2 in 12 home series.
We know the Baltimore rotation has struggled lately, but perhaps Yovani Gallardo’s return will provide a boost. We also wait to see which pitcher will start in Mike Wright’s spot on Wednesday night and if that pitcher will be there for just one start or get a longer look.
The Orioles have certainly proven to be a resilient bunch and that should serve them well over the rest of the season. Remember when they lost the first two games of that series at home against Boston May 30-31? They then won the next two nights scoring 25 runs. We saw them lose three straight in the weekend series at Rogers Centre. They then went to Boston and won that series. We saw them get blown out at home Friday by Toronto. They then won the next two versus the Blue Jays.
During the weekend series, Chris Davis said he can tell how the O’s-Toronto rivalry has grown and heated up in recent years.
“There is no doubt,” Davis said. “Both teams are competitive. Both have been in the postseason and have had that taste. It is kind of what fuels the rivalry. Anytime you face a team that you’ve seen over and over again, things are going to happen that sometimes jack up the emotion, so to speak. For us, we want to continue to win and stay on top. Those guys are trying to get back on top and back to where they were last year.”
Mark Trumbo talked about a potent Orioles lineup that has now scored 111 runs the past 18 games for an average of 6.17 per game in that stretch.
“You want as many guys feeling good at a time that you can. But the reality is you are not going to have that. If you can have three or four guys going pretty well and we’ve been able to do that most of the season, it is a tough task for the opponent pitcher. Guys from top to bottom are contributing.”
More notes on the Orioles:
* The Orioles had a season-high 19 hits on Sunday in the 11-6 win. The O’s raised their team average four points in that game, from .259 to .263. They went 19-for-41 for a one-game batting average of .463.
* In the three games before Sunday, the Orioles were just 5-for-29 with runners in scoring position. Yesterday they went 7-for-14 with RISP and were 5-for-7 over the first four innings.
* Hyun Soo Kim had three hits Sunday and went 5-for-9 his last two games after going through a 2-for-20 stretch. Sunday was his 10th multi-hit game.
* Jonathan Schoop has hit safely in nine of his past 10 games, batting .385 (15-for-39) with four doubles, four homers and nine RBIs. Schoop has homered in consecutive games for the fourth time in his career. The O’s are 33-7 in his career when he homers.
* Three of Matt Wieters’ seven homers this year have come against Toronto and two of those three were off Marcus Stroman. Wieters began Sunday with just two hits over his last 27 at-bats. But then he went 4-for-5 with two singles, a double, a homer and four RBIs. He tied his career high with four hits and raised his average from .251 to .267.
* The Orioles have homered in 10 straight games, hitting 20 in that span. That is their second longest stretch of the year. The O’s homered in 11 consecutive games from April 6-19.