The Baltimore Orioles take a 12-11 overall record into this week after winning three of the last five games, dating back to April 22. The Orioles currently hold second place in the American League East division standings behind the New York Yankees (14-10 record).
April 22-24: Orioles Win Series over Blue Jays
Baltimore opened the week with a 2-1 series win over the Toronto Blue Jays. After losing Game One, 9-3, the Orioles bounced back to win the last two games of the series.
First baseman Chris Davis, catcher Matt Wieters and designated hitter Nelson Cruz each hit home runs for the Orioles as they held off the Blue Jays, 10-8, in Game Two on April 23. Baltimore’s bats had to save the team as the Orioles’ pitching staff struggled. Rotation pitcher Chris Tillman was awful, giving up nine hits and seven earned runs in five innings pitched. Baltimore ended up using three others pitchers from the bullpen before relief pitcher Tommy Hunter came in to close out during the ninth inning. Hunter picked up his sixth save of the season.
Rotation pitcher Bud Norris put on a better performance than Tillman did during Game Three on April 24. Norris allowed only three runs during the first six innings of the game as the Orioles went on to win, 11-4. Baltimore was in a rhythm on offense, recording 14 hits and 11 RBI. Cruz, Davis, Wieters and center fielder Adam Jones each recorded at least two hits.
April 25-26: Orioles Split Two Games with Royals
Unfortunately for Baltimore, its batters couldn’t stay hot at the plate as they were shutout, 5-0, by the Kansas City Royals on April 25 in Game One of a three game home series. Baltimore had just seven hits all game, while rotation pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez gave up four earned runs in six innings.
But the Orioles evened the series with a 3-2 win over the Royals on April 26. Wei-Yin Chen started Game Two at pitcher for Baltimore and lasted seven innings, allowing only two runs before he was pulled. Baltimore then used five pitchers from the bullpen, including Hunter and Zack Britton, to hold off the Royals for the win. Nick Markakis led the team with two hits and two RBI’s.
Orioles Player of the Week: Tommy Hunter
So far, Hunter has successfully filled the void left by former Orioles closer Jim Johnson. Hunter is second place in the American League with six saves so far this season. Hunter has recorded a save in three of his last four performances, including two saves this past week.
Next-up: After completing their Royals home series on Sunday, April 27; Baltimore will take on the Pittsburgh Pirates in a two-game home series on April 29-30, followed by a three-game away series with the Minnesota Twins on May 2-4.
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