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Home Sports Originally published September 08, 2013

Orioles Keep Pace in Hunt for AL Wild Card

Orioles Weekly - 23

by Perry Green
AFRO Sports Editor

    Baltimore Orioles Baseball. (Courtesy Image)
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(Sept. 2-4) O’s Drop Two to Indians
The Baltimore Orioles lost ground in the race for an American League wild card playoff berth after losing two of a three-game series against the Cleveland Indians to start the week.

After a 7-2 win on Sept. 2, the O’s lost the next two games, including a 4-3 loss on Sept. 3 and a 6-4 loss on Sept. 4.

(Sept. 5-7) Baltimore Defeats White Sox in Three Series
The Orioles quickly regrouped, and used a three-game win streak to roar back into the wild card race by defeating the Chicago White Sox in the first three games of a four game series to stay one game behind the Tampa Rays.

Baltimore won Game One against the White Sox, 3-1, on Sept. 5 as starting pitcher Miguel Gonzalez pitched seven outstanding innings, allowing only four hits and one run with six strikeouts. Closer Jim Johnson earned his league-high 42nd save and Adam Jones recorded his 30th homerun and 100th RBI of the season.

The O’s used the same winning formula of great pitching and clutch hitting in Game Two of the series as they shutout the White Sox, 4-0, on Sept. 6. Starting pitcher Scott Feldman was amazing, producing a complete game shutout in which he gave up five hits and struck out three. Baltimore also hit four homeruns, including Chris Davis’ league-leading 48th homerun.

The third victory came in comeback fashion in Game Three on Sept. 7. White Sox pinch-hitter Conor Gillaspie hit a homerun in the top of the 10th inning to break a 2-2 tie, but Orioles catch Matt Wieters responded with a walk-off two-run single in the bottom of the inning to secure the 4-3 win.

Analysis:
Baltimore (76-65) is right where they want to be, just one game behind the Tampa Rays for the second wild card berth. The Orioles have 21 more games before the end of the regular season, and can’t afford any more slips if they wish to reach the postseason.

O’s Player of the Week: Miguel Gonzalez
The right-handed starting pitcher had one of his finer performances of the season on Sept. 5, pitching seven innings abd giving up just four hits and one earned run with six strikeouts. The outstanding pitching performance advanced his record to 9-7.

Next up:
The Orioles complete their series with the White Sox on Sunday Sept. 8. Baltimore will remain at home when they face the New York Yankees in a four-game series from Sept. 9 to 12. They then take to the road to face the Toronto Blue Jays from Sept. 13 to 15.