Did O’s steady the ship with 4-3 run?

After going through a 3-13 stretch through the end of a series at Houston a week ago yesterday, the Orioles went 4-3 over their past seven games against the Yankees and Red Sox.

jones-high-five-smith-hardy.jpgA 4-3 record against those teams would be pretty solid most of the time, except maybe when they started the stretch 4-1, then lost the next two games as the Orioles just did.

They took the first two games against Boston before losing the last two. They have played four series against Boston and have not lost a single one. But they’ve won only one. Three times these clubs split a series, going 1-1, 2-2 and 2-2 again over the past four series.

The Orioles are now 21-13 in American League East games. They have played 11 series against division opponents, losing just one. That was when they dropped two of three at New York April 28-30. They are 7-1-3 in AL East series.

So getting back into AL East play a week ago today turned out to be a good thing. They stabilized the ship after the three wins in 16 games stretch. In their next 17 games they have just one AL East series and that is when they play at New York starting Friday night.

Manny Machado doubled in the fifth and eighth innings Sunday and hit safely in all four games of the Boston series, batting .400 (6-for-15) with two home runs. Machado has 10 extra-base hits in 13 games against the Red Sox for the season. Is his bat finally starting to heat up?

Chris Davis extended his hitting streak to six games with his two-out, two-run single in the first inning off Chris Sale. Davis is batting .304 (7-for-23) during the streak with two homers and six RBIs. He recorded his fifth multi-RBI game.

Joey Rickard doubled in his first at-bat Sunday. He is hitting .325 (13-for-40) in 19 home games this season. He stole third base in the first inning for his team-leading fourth stolen base.

On the farm Sunday: Triple-A Norfolk lost 2-1 to Rochester to fall to 23-33. Left-hander Jayson Aquino took the loss allowing six hits and two runs over 6 2/3 on 107 pitches. He is 1-5 with an ERA of 4.62.

David Washington went 2-for-4 with a solo homer for the Tides. Johnny Giavotella and Jesús Montero added two hits each. Washington has hit safely in 10 of his last 11 games with an at-bat, over which he’s batted .390 (16-for-41) with three doubles, four home runs and nine RBIs. Giavotella extended his on-base stretch to 21 consecutive games. He has also hit safely in 10 straight, matching the longest streak by a Tides player this season.

Double-A Bowie beat first-place Altoona 7-6 with a walk-off win in the bottom of the 11th. Steve Wilkerson led off the frame with a double and scored on Erick Salcedo’s single to win the game. Bowie is 30-27 and moved to within 1 1/2 games of first.

Wilkerson has four straight multi-hit games, going 10-for-19 with two homers for the Baysox. Aderlin Rodriguez went 4-for-5 with a homer and three RBIs and Salcedo drove in two.

Outfielder Cedric Mullins finally returned to the Bowie lineup on Sunday. He was out since April 20 with a left hamstring injury. He made a nice return, going 2-for-5 with a solo homer. Mullins is batting .369 in 15 games.

Single-A Frederick beat Potomac 4-2. The Orioles’ minor league Player of the Month for May, shortstop Ryan Mountcastle, led the Keys at bat. He went 3-for-5 and hit his 12th homer. Mountcastle is batting .332. Third baseman Shane Hoelscher added two hits and is batting .294.

Left-hander Keegan Akin had his best start of the year with six scoreless innings allowing just two hits. He didn’t walk a batter and fanned seven. Akin is 4-4 with a 5.16 ERA through 10 starts. Right-hander Tanner Chleborad picked up his fourth save The Keys are 26-29.

Single-A Delmarva lost 8-6 at home versus Hickory to fall to 23-32. Right fielder Cole Billingsley reached base in all five plate appearances, going 2-for-2 with three walks. He also stole two bases and leads all O’s farmhands with 14 stolen bases. Chris Clare drove in two runs. Losing pitcher Matthias Dietz gave up six runs (five earned) on nine hits over six innings and has an ERA of 5.13. Dietz had allowed just one run in 12 2/3 innings over his two previous starts.

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