Losing Slump Hurts Chance at AL East Lead


(July 22-25) Royals Bash Orioles in Series, 3-1
The Baltimore Orioles started the week just as hot as the week before when they swept the Texas Rangers in their first series following the All-Star break. This time the victim was the Kansas City Royals in a 9-2 butt-whipping in Game One of the series, the 100th game of the season for Baltimore. The bats were on fire for the O’s as they had a team total of 18 hits, led by Nick Markakis with three hits, one run scored; Adam Jones and Chris Davis each added two hits and Davis batted in three RBI. Starting pitcher Scott Feldman picked up his 9th win of the season as he pitched eight innings, allowing just five hits and two runs earned.

The win was the eighth in nine games for Baltimore and placed them just 2 ½ games behind Boston for first place in the American League East division. Unfortunately it would be the only win Baltimore would see for the remainder of the series. The O’s lost Game Two to the Royals, 3-2. The loss snapped a five-game winning streak for Baltimore and triggered a three-game slump that included a 4-3 loss in Game Three and a 7-1 loss in Game Four against the Royals. Suddenly the Orioles couldn’t muster more than eight hits per game, especially Chris Davis who went hitless throughout the slump. After hitting a league-leading 37 homeruns in the first half of the season, Davis hasn’t recorded even one home run since the All-Star break.

(July 26-27) O’s Split First Two of a 3 Game Series with Bosox
The Orioles ended the week playing two games of a three game home series against the division-leading Red Sox. Fortunately for the O’s in Game One, they were able to end the untimely slump started in the Royals series with a 6-0 win against Boston. Starting pitcher Chris Tillman was flawless through seven innings pitched, impressively allowing just two hits, zero runs. Tillman’s stellar pitching was backed by four home runs from the O’s bats, including two hits from Adam Jones, one from Manny Machado and another from J.J. Hardy. Unfortunately, the next man up in Baltimore’s pitching rotation wasn’t able to have the same success against the Sox. Scott Feldman gave up four runs in five innings pitched in a 7-3 loss in Game Two of the series.

Analysis:
The O’s had an opportunity to do what they’ve been trying to do all season: capture first place in the AL East. They trailed the Red Sox by only two games after a dominating win over the Royals to start the week. Then they let the opportunity slip from their grasp by losing three straight games. Instead, it was the Tampa Rays who seized the moment, surpassing the Sox for first place. Now the Orioles fell back to third place in the division, the same place they’ve spent majority of the season. They’ve got less than 60 games to get over this annoying hump. Let’s see if they can do it…

O’s Player of the Week: Chris Tillman
Tillman has easily been the Orioles’ best pitcher in their starting rotation and he proved that in an amazing performance against the Red Sox on July 26. He allowed just two hits and gave up no runs in seven innings pitched to advance his record to 13-3 this season.

Next-up:
Baltimore will start the week by completing their series with Boston followed by an off-day. They will then continue their home stand by facing the Houston Astros on July 30-Aug. 1, and end the week playing a series against the Seattle Mariners Aug. 2-4

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Losing Slump Hurts Chance at AL East Lead

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