The Baltimore Orioles continued to gain ground in the American League East, winning four of seven games during the final week of May. Victories over the Houston Astros, Chicago White Sox and Tampa Rays improved Baltimore’s overall record to 23-25 as of May 31, just two games behind the division-leading New York Yankees.
Baltimore Orioles’ Jimmy Paredes, left, steals home as Houston Astros catcher Jason Castro, right, tries to tag him out during the fourth inning of a baseball game, Wednesday, May 27, 2015, in Baltimore. Home plate umpire Dan Bellino watches the play. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
May 25-27: Baltimore Takes Two From Astros at Camden Yards
Orioles starting pitcher Wei-Yin Chen had a rough outing in Game One on Memorial Day, allowing 11 hits and three runs to the Houston Astros in the first five innings. But Baltimore scratched out a 4-3 win thanks to strong pitching from its bullpen, as relievers Brad Brach, Oliver Drake and Zach Britton shut out Houston in the remaining four innings. Brach earned the win and Britton closed out the game for his 11th save of the season. Steve Pearce and Caleb Joseph each hit two-run homers for the Orioles.
Chris Tillman got the start for the O’s in Game Two on May 26, and delivered a strong performance before surrendering two runs in the seventh. Tillman gave way to relief pitcher Tommy Hunter, who gave up two more runs as Houston claimed a 4-1 win. Jimmy Parades scored the lone run for Baltimore and also had three of the Orioles’ five total hits.
Game Three on May 27 was highlighted by slugger Chris Davis, who crushed two home runs to lead the Orioles to a 5-4 win. O’s starter Ubaldo Jimenez squandered an otherwise solid performance by giving up three runs in the seventh inning to tie the game at 4-4. Davis’s solo homer in the eighth gave the Orioles a decisive 5-4 lead, as Britton closed out the ninth inning to earn his 12th save of the season.
May 28: O’s Split Doubleheader with White Sox
Baltimore hosted the White Sox on May 28 for two makeup games originally postponed due to the riots in Baltimore in late April.
Chicago won Game One of the doubleheader, 3-2. In a spot start, pitcher Tyler Wilson delivered a decent performance for the Orioles, surrendering just five hits and two runs in six innings. Baltimore’s bullpen was solid, allowing just one other run. But the Orioles struggled offensively, recording just six hits total; Davis accounted for both of Baltimore’s runs.
The Orioles got their offense going in Game Two of the doubleheader and earned a 6-3 win. Baltimore woke up at the plate, totaling 13 hits in the game. Starting pitcher Mike Wright gave up three earned runs in six innings but the bullpen saved the day again for the O’s, shutting out Chicago the rest of the way. Britton earned his 13th save of the year.
Baltimore Orioles third baseman Manny Machado throws to first on a ground ball hit by Tampa Bay Rays’ Brandon Guyer in the eighth inning of a baseball game Saturday, May 30, 2015, in Baltimore. Guyer was safe on the play. The Rays won 3-0. (AP Photo/Gail Burton)
May 29-30: Orioles Spilt Two Against Rays
Starter Miguel Gonzalez stifled the Rays in a 2-1 victory in Game One on May 29 with excellent pitching, lasting eight innings and allowing just three hits and one run with six strikeouts. With Gonzalez dominating, the Orioles only needed two runs; Davis hit a home run and J.J. Hardy delivered a game-winning RBI single in the ninth to push the O’s to victory.
Unfortunately, Baltimore’s offense wasn’t nearly as clutch in Game Two on May 30, a 3-0 shutout at the hands of the Rays. Tampa’s win ended a six-game losing slump for the team. Tampa stole three early hits off O’s starter Wei-Yin Chen, and cruised to victory against a struggling Baltimore offense.
Next: Baltimore will close out its home series against the Rays on May 31 before traveling to Houston to face the Astros once again in a four-game road series from June 1 through June 4. The Orioles then head to Cleveland to take on the Indians in a three-game series from June 5 to 7.