(July 8-11) Baltimore Splits Series Against Rangers
The Baltimore Orioles managed to come back and split their series against the Texas Rangers after falling behind, 0-2, in the first two games of the four-game series. The O’s loss in Game One, 8-5; was highlighted by the appearance of Orioles new starting pitcher Scott Feldman, who pitched his first game at Camden Yards as an Oriole after being traded to Baltimore on July 2. Unfortunately for Feldman, his home debut game was a shaky performance as he gave up seven runs in five innings.
Matt Wieters had two RBI and a home run, and Adam Jones had two hits and a run. But the O’s were 1-for 12 with runners in position to score as they struggled to keep up with the Texans.
The struggles continued for Baltimore in Game Two as they fell to the Rangers, 8-4. It was their sixth loss in eight games played during the month of July. Pitching proved to be the problem again for the O’s as starter Zack Britton would allow four runs in the fifth inning. Manny Machado was Baltimore’s only bright spot in the loss as he hit a home run in the third inning.
But just as pitching was the problem, it became the solution to the O’s woes as Wei-Yin Chen pitched a beauty to give Baltimore its 50th win of the season in a 6-1 victory over the Rangers in Game Three. After Orioles pitchers allowed 16 runs in the first two games of the series, Chen shut Texas down for just one run on three hits through seven innings pitched. Strong batting from O’s designated hitter Nolan Reimold, who hit a three-run homer, and Manny Machado, who had three hits and one run, backed Chen’s performance
Much like Game Three, the Orioles won Game Four with lights-out pitching. Right-hand starter Miguel Gonzalez allowed just four hits and one run through six innings pitched as the Birds beat Texas, 3-1. MVP candidate Chris Davis finally regained his hitting touch by hitting his 34th home run of the season following a 0-for-17 slump at the plate. Closer Jim Johnson picked up his 31st save of the season.
(July 12-13) O’s Win One, Lose One against the Blue Jays
The Orioles won Game One against the Toronto Blue Jays, 8-5, thanks to another stellar show from the bats. J.J. Hardy, Adam Jones and Chris Davis each hit a home run. Jones and Hardy both had three RBI and Davis’ home run was his 35th of the season. Starting pitcher Chris Tillman earned his 11th win of the season and Jim Johnson earned his 32nd save of the season as the O’s advanced to a 52-42 record.
However, Baltimore wouldn’t maintain their winning streak as they lost Game Two to the Blue Jays, 7-3. Starting pitcher Jason Hammel gave up 10 hits and six runs in six innings pitched. Baltimore’s only positive highlight was a home run from Chris Davis, his career-high and league high 36th homer of the season.
The month of July has been unsatisfying for O’s fans. After closing out June with impressive play, Baltimore has gone on to lose seven of 12 games played this month. The Orioles losses are starting to hurt their chances at gaining first place in the American League East division as they’ve now allowed the Tampa Rays to surpass them for second place in the division.
O’s Player of the Week: Manny Machado
Although his teammate Chris Davis nailed three home runs this week, it was Machado who served as the most consistent batter with eight hits, three BRIs, three runs and a home run during the week.
The Orioles will rest most of the week as the 84th All-Star Game is scheduled for July 16. Three Orioles will participate as starters, including center fielder Adam Jones, first baseman Chris Davis and shortstop J.J. Hardy. Baltimore will end the week with a three-game series against the Rangers at Rangers Ball Park in Arlington, Texas on July 19-21.