The Baltimore Orioles won four games and suffered two losses between July 21 and July 26, enough to hold on to a three-game lead in the American League East.

Baltimore took two of three from the Los Angeles Angels in L.A., and then won two of the first three games of a four-game series against the Mariners in Seattle. The Orioles held a 57-46 record, 11 games above .500, as of July 27, and lead the New York Yankees by three games for the division lead.

Baltimore Orioles’ Adam Jones hits his second two-run home run of the game during the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels on Monday, July 21, 2014, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

July 21-23: O’s Take Series over Angels in L.A.

Baltimore opened the three-game road series with a 4-2 win over the Angels in Game One on July 21. Center fielder Adam Jones led the way with two home runs and four RBI. Starting pitcher Bud Norris gave up two earned runs, one in the first inning and one in the fourth, but lasted into the seventh inning while giving up just eight hits with eight strikeouts. The Orioles’ bullpen held the Angels scoreless the rest of the way and closer Zack Britton put the game away in the ninth inning for his 17th save of the season.

The O’s defeated the Angels by the exact same score, 4-2, the next night in Game Two of the series. This time it was third baseman Jonathan Schoop who went the yard with a home run, and lead the way with two RBI. Miguel Gonzalez got the start for the Orioles and lasted into the eighth inning, allowing just three hits and two runs. Britton picked up his 18th save of the season.

Baltimore blew its chance at the sweep with a 3-2 loss in Game Three on July 23.  Starting pitcher Chris Tillman had a strong game, pitching six full innings and giving up just five hits and one earned run. But reliever Tommy Hunter gave up two untimely runs in the eighth inning that allowed the Angels to steal the win.

July 24-26: Orioles Win Two of Three in Seattle

Seattle Mariners second baseman Robinson Cano tags out Baltimore Orioles’ baserunner David Lough for the final out in the ninth inning of a baseball game in Seattle, Saturday, July 26, 2014. The Mariners won the game 4-3. (AP Photo/Stephen Brashear)

Baltimore got back to their winning ways on July 24 in Seattle, dealing a 4-0 shutout to the Mariners in Game One of a four-game set. Starting pitcher Wei-Yin Chen was extremely solid, giving up just five hits with three strikeouts and no runs allowed in eight full innings. Designated hitter Delmon Young hit the game’s only home run, a three-run shot.

Strong pitching helped the Orioles win again in Game Two, a 2-1 victory. Starter Kevin Gausman lasted into the seventh inning, allowing only one earned run on seven hits. Britton earned his 19th save of the season and Nelson Cruz hit his 29th home run. Last year’s home run leader, Chris Davis, also went the yard with his 17th homer of the year.

The O’s stumbled in Game Three, however, and fell to the Mariners, 4-3, on July 26. Baltimore trailed 4-0 for most of the game, but scored three runs late in theeighth inning to make it a close game heading into the ninth inning. Unfortunately the Orioles ran out of offensive juice in the final inning.

Next Up: The Orioles will close out their road series with the Mariners before heading back to Charm City to host the L.A. Angels in another three-game series from July 29 to July 31. Baltimore will see the Mariners again in Baltimore for a three-game set from Aug. 1 to Aug. 3.

Perry Green

AFRO Sports Editor