Adam Jones

American League’s Adam Jones, of the Baltimore Orioles, hits during the MLB All-Star baseball Home Run Derby, Monday, July 14, 2014, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

The Baltimore Orioles had a very short week due to the Major League Baseball (MLB) All-Star Game and festivities that occurred from July 11-15. After a break from July 14 through July 17, Baltimore traveled to Oakland to meet the American League West-leading Athletics and split the first two of a three-game series July 18-19. The Orioles now have a 53-43 record, enough to maintain first place in the AL East division.

July 14: Jones Reaches Second Round of HR Derby

Orioles’ center fielder Adam Jones made it to the second round of the 2014 Home Run Derby before being eliminated. Jones hit four home runs in the first round, the second most of any batter on the American League side during that round. But Jones was bounced from the tournament when he was paired up against Oakland’s Yoenis Cespedes in the second round. Cespedes then went on to win the tournament, claiming his second straight Home Run Derby championship.

Baltimore Orioles’ Nelson Cruz (23) bats during a baseball game. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

July 15: Jones, Cruz Represent Orioles in All-Star Action

Jones also joined Nelson Cruz as the Orioles’ only two representatives when the American League and National League All-Stars met July 15. Both players struck out once and failed to record a hit during their two at-bats, but the American League still won the game, 5-3. New York Yankees’ shortstop Derek Jeter and Los Angeles Angels’ centerfielder Mike Trout led the way with two hits each. Trout also had two RBI’s, and Detroit Tigers’ first baseman Miguel Cabrera also had two RBI’s from a home run he hit during the first inning.

July 18-19:Orioles Split Two Games with Athletics

Baltimore Orioles’ Jonathan Schoop, right, is congratulated by third base coach Bobby Dickerson after Schoop hit a two-run home run off Oakland Athletics’ Jeff Samardzija in the fifth inning of a baseball game Friday, July 18, 2014, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

Baltimore returned to action in a three-game series against the Athletics in Oakland. Unfortunately for the Orioles, they lost Game One of the series, 5-4, on July 18. Baltimore led, 4-2, going into the ninth inning, thanks to a two-run homer by third baseman Manny Machado in the seventh inning. But Machado’s home run was wasted as the Orioles’ designated closer, Zack Britton, blew a save by giving up three runs in the ninth inning.

Baltimore avenged its loss the following night with an 8-4 win on July 19 in Game Two. Jones hit his 17th home run of the season and first baseman Chris Davis hit his 16th homer of the year to power the O’s to victory. Outfielder Nick Markakis also had success at the plate with a game-high four hits. Britton also redeemed himself by recording his 16th save of the season.

Next-up: the Orioles will close out its series with the Athletics on July 20 before heading to Los Angeles to take on the Angels in a three-game series on July 21-23. Baltimore then heads to Seattle to face the Mariners in a four-game series on July 24-27.

Perry Green

AFRO Sports Editor