Caleb Joseph, Alejandro De Aza, Alan Porter

Baltimore Orioles catcher Caleb Joseph, right, tags out Chicago White Sox Alejandro De Aza as home plate umpire Alan Porter looks waits to make the call on a double steal in the second inning of a baseball game, Tuesday, June 24, 2014, in Baltimore.

The Baltimore Orioles won three games but fell in three others during a homestand from June 23 through June 28. The Orioles took two of three from the Chicago White Sox in Baltimore to start the week, but dropped two of the first three games in a four-game set against the Tampa Bay Rays. The Orioles are currently in second place in the American League East division with a 42-38 record and trail the Toronto Blue Jays for first place by 1.5 games.

June 23-25: Baltimore Wins Two Against Chicago

Benched for one of the few times this season, Orioles first baseman Chris Davis was called upon to pinch hit in the ninth-inning and delivered some heroics with a three-run, walk-off home run, sealing a 6-4 victory over the White Sox in Game One of the series.

Center fielder Adam Jones and catcher Caleb Joseph also hit home runs as the Orioles racked up 15 hits. Starting pitcher Wei-Yin Chen had a solid performance, allowing six hits and three earned runs in 5-2/3 innings. Relievers Ryan Webb and Brad Brach came in, with Brach claiming the win.

But the Orioles put together just two runs and nine hits in a 4-2 loss to the Sox in Game Two on June 24. Outfielder Steve Pearce hit a home run in the sixth inning and designated hitter Delmon Young delivered a ninth inning RBI single , but it wasn’t enough to match the White Sox’s success on offense. Orioles starter Miguel Gonzalez pitched just five innings, giving up nine hits and three earned runs. Relief pitcher Tommy Hunter gave up another run in the seventh inning.

A game-tying grand slam in the eighth inning by designated hitter Nelson Cruz and a run scored on a wild pitch in the 12th inning secured a wild 5-4 win for the Orioles in Game Three on June 25. Pinch runner David Lough scored the game-winning run in the 12th inning. Pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez got the start and lasted into the seventh inning, but gave up eight hits and four earned runs. Reliever Darren O’Day put in a solid performance out of the bullpen and Hunter earned the win.

Adam Jones

Baltimore Orioles’ Adam Jones follows through on a double against the Tampa Bay Rays in the first inning of the second game of a double header baseball game Friday, June 27, 2014, in Baltimore.

June 27-28: Orioles Lose Two of Three to Rays

Unfortunately, Baltimore couldn’t keep the offensive rhythm going in their series with the Rays. The Orioles had just three total hits in a 5-2 loss to the Rays in Game One of a double-header on June 27. Starter Kevin Gausman struggled, allowing five earned runs in just five innings.

The Orioles bounced back in the nightcap of Game Two, taking a 4-1 win as Hundley hit a home run and Cruz also delivered his 25th blast of the season. Chris Tillman was outstanding on the mound, lasting eight full innings and surrendering just four hits and one earned run. Reliever Zack Britton earned his 10th save of the season

Baltimore nearly overcame a four-run Rays lead , but fell, 5-4, in Game Three on June 28. Chen struggled in the start, allowing seven hits and five earned runs in just three innings. The Orioles’ bullpen picked up the slack, but eighth-inning home runs from third baseman Manny Machado and center fielder Adam Jones weren’t enough to overcome the early deficit.

Next-up: Baltimore will try to salvage the fourth-game of the series with the Rays on June 29. Thereafter, the Orioles host the Texas Rangers in a four-game series from June 30 to July 3, before traveling to Boston to face the Red Sox in a three-game series from July 4 to July 6.


Perry Green

AFRO Sports Editor