(June 19-20) Orioles Take First Two Against Rangers After All-Star Break
The Baltimore Orioles had the beginning of the week off, with the exception of a few players who competed in the MLB All-Star Game on July 16. Manny Machado, Chris Davis and Adam Jones were named to the American League All-Star team, and though none had a spectacular performance, Jones had a hit and scored a run and Davis also recorded a hit.

The American League won the game, 3-0, and New York Yankees closer and future first-ballot Hall of Famer Mariano Rivera was named MVP after pitching a perfect eighth inning to help seal the victory. Rivera, who announced he will retire at the end of this season, has a perfect 0.00 ERA in nine career All-Star Game appearances.

Three days later, the O’s started off a three-game series in Texas with a 3-1 victory in Game One. Starting pitcher Wei-Yin Chen pitched six innings, allowing eight hits but just one run, and closer Jim Johnson put the game away in the ninth inning for his 34th save of the season. Manny Machado had a hit and scored a run, and Brian Roberts and Matt Wieters each also scored runs.

Jim Johnson picked up his league leading 35th save of the season in the Second Game as the Birds held off the Rangers, 7-4. Baltimore was explosive at the plate with 17 hits, including three hits from Wieters, two from Davis and two more from Machado. Jones also had two hits, along with two RBIs and a homerun in the third inning. Starting pitcher Miguel Gonzalez picked up his eighth win of the year after pitching 6-2/3 innings, allowing just one run.

Baltimore couldn’t have asked to start the second half of the season any better. A two-game winning streak following the All-Star break has pushed the O’s to a 55-43 overall record, only 3.5 games behind the Boston Red Sox for first place in the American League East. Chris Davis still leads the league with 37 homeruns and Jim Johnson still leads with 35 saves.

The Orioles will face the Kansas City Royals in a four-game series at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City on July 22 to 25, and then will host the Boston Red Sox in a three-game series on July 26 to 28.


Perry Green

AFRO Sports Editor