Three weeks after the Baltimore Orioles were knocked down to third place in the American League East, they remain mired in stagnant offensive production.

Baltimore was at the top of the division earlier this season. But the Orioles suffered a seven-game losing skid in the middle of May and tumbled down to third place behind the New York Yankees (36-23) and Boston Red Sox (34-27). They’ve been chasing both teams ever since.

Baltimore Orioles’ Jonathan Schoop follows through on a two-run home run during the second inning of a baseball game against the New York Yankees on Friday, June 9, 2017, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

The Orioles (31-29) had a chance to cut into New York’s lead in a weekend series between the two teams in the Bronx, but instead fell in two straight games to the Yankees on June 9-10. 

The June 10 loss came in embarrassing fashion, a 16-3 rout in which starting pitcher Chris Tillman was abused for nine earned runs in less than two innings of work. Five different New York players hit home runs in the game. 

Making matters worse for Baltimore was a lack of offense: the team recorded just four hits in the game. 

Baltimore has simply underachieved this season, and failed to meet expectations of delivering a high-powered offense. If the O’s can’t find a way to wake up their batters, they can forget about cutting into the Yankees’ division lead. Instead, they’ll be fighting to avoid falling to the bottom of the AL East standings.

Perry Green

AFRO Sports Editor