The Baltimore Orioles recently showed exactly the kind of resilience their supporters want to see from a team with playoff aspirations.

Baltimore Orioles’ Manny Machado follows through on a solo home run against the Cleveland Indians in the third inning of a baseball game, Friday, July 22, 2016, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Gail Burton)

After losing four consecutive games to start this past week, including three losses to their hated rivals, the New York Yankees, the Orioles successfully bounced back with three straight wins to close out the week. The three victories helped Baltimore (56-40) regain first place in the American League East after briefly sliding to second place following the four-game losing funk.

But perhaps the most promising thing about the O’s recent three-game win streak is the fact that it came against a strong opponent. After avoiding a four-game series sweep by beating the Yankees, 4-1, on July 21, Baltimore won back-to-back games over the Cleveland Indians on July 22 and 23. Cleveland (56-40) currently leads the AL Central, and had led the entire American League with a 56-38 record before losing the last two games to the Orioles. But Baltimore played up to its competition and showed dominance against a quality team.

Slugger Mark Trumbo extended his reign as the homerun king of MLB this season in both wins over the Indians; he now leads all MLB batters with 30 homers.

The Orioles even had a good showing from starting pitcher Dylan Bundy, who was recently called up from the minor leagues to help strengthen Baltimore’s weak rotation. Outside of Chris Tillman, no one else in the rotation has been consistently good. But Bundy may be changing that trend as he gave up just five hits and one run through five innings in a 5-1 win over the Indians on July 23.

Simply put, the Orioles did what they needed to do to get back atop the AL East, proving that Baltimore can be at its best against the best—something they’ll need to be in the playoffs.

Perry Green

AFRO Sports Editor