The Baltimore Orioles are well on pace to win the American League East division after winning five of six games played over the last week, Sept. 8-13. Baltimore swept the Red Sox in a three-game road series in Boston, and then won a double-header against the New York Yankees in Baltimore on Sept. 12. Unfortunately for the Orioles, their win streak of six games dating back to Sept. 7 ended with a home loss to the Yankees Saturday night, Sept. 13. Baltimore (88-60 record) still leads the AL East by 10.5 games and only needs five more wins to clinch the division.
Sept. 8-10:Baltimore Sweeps Red Sox in Boston
Baltimore Orioles Adam Jones (10) during the sixth inning of a baseball game at Fenway Park in Boston, Wednesday, Sept. 10, 2014. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
The Orioles won Game One of their three game series in Boston with a 4-0 victory over the Red Sox on Sept.8. Starting pitcher Miguel Gonzalez was the star of the show, pitching a shutout, allowing only six hits and no runs while lasting into the seventh inning. Center fielder Adam Jones, first baseman Steve Pearce and shortstop Ryan Flaherty were responsible for the Orioles’ runs with an RBI hit for each.
Chris Tillman was nearly as impressive as Gonzalez when he got the start the following night in Baltimore’s 4-1 Game Two win over the Sox on Sept. 9. Tillman lasted only five innings and gave up a home run to Boston shortstop Xander Bogaerts in the fourth inning. But Tillman retired five batters with five strikeouts and set the tone for the Orioles’ bullpen. Closer Zack Britton eventually closed out the game in the ninth inning, earning his 34th save of the season.
Baltimore got yet another strong performance from their starting pitcher rotation in Game Three of the series, this time with Wei-Yin Chen starting. Chen lasted seven innings and allowed just three hits, including a home run surrendered in the seventh inning. But relief pitcher Joe Saunders fell apart in the bottom of the ninth inning and gave up five runs. Fortunately for the O’s, they had already built up a huge lead to survive the late push from Boston, sweeping the series with a 10-6 win. Baltimore was dialed in offensively with 15 hits total as a team. Flaherty led the team with four hits while Jones and catcher Caleb Joseph each had three hits; Joseph also went the yard with his ninth homer of the season.
Sept. 12-13: O’s Win Double Header with Yankees on Friday but Win Streak Ends on Saturday
Baltimore ended up playing the Yankees twice in the same day on Sept. 12. The Orioles beat New York, 2-1, in Game One representing a make-up game from August early in the day and then shut out the Yankees, 5-0, in Game Two later in the evening.
Kevin Gausman got the start at pitcher for the Orioles in the Game One and was strong on the mound, lasting seven innings with seven strikeouts. The game lasted extra innings, but pinch hitter Jimmy Paredes hit a two-run RBI in the 11th inning to give Baltimore a 2-1 win.
Baltimore Orioles’ Alejandro De Aza races to third base on a one run triple against the New York Yankees in the fourth inning in the second baseball game of a doubleheader, Friday, Sept. 12, 2014 in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Gail Burton)
The Orioles stayed hot on the pitching mound in Game Two as Bud Norris started and was completely zoned in, tossing 10 strikeouts with just three hits allowed through seven innings pitched. Left fielder Alejandro De Aza was awesome batting at the plate, hitting two triples with two RBIs.
But the Orioles’ win streak ended Saturday night in a Game Three 3-2 loss, as Baltimore wasn’t able to score enough to overcome three early runs scored by New York. Gonzalez got the start but gave up three runs in the second inning, including a single-run homer to Yankees’ catcher Brian McCann.
Next-up: Baltimore will end its series with the New York Yankees on Sunday. The Orioles will then host the Toronto Blue Jays in a three-game series Sept. 15-17, and close out the week by hosting the Red Sox in a three-game series Sept. 19-21.