(June 24-27) Baltimore Splits Four-Game Series with Indians
The Baltimore Orioles picked up four wins during the final week of June, starting with two victories in a four-game series against the Cleveland Indians.
Baltimore lost the opener of the series, 5-2, after starting pitcher Zack Britton fell apart in the sixth inning. The Orioles held a 2-0 lead going into that inning, but Britton gave up three runs before being relieved by Tommy Hunter. Darren O’Day took the mound in the eighth inning, but gave up two more runs.
The Orioles won the second game, 6-3, on back-to-back homeruns in the seventh inning. Chris Davis hit his 28th homerun of the season, followed by another from Alexi Casilla that helped deliver the win for the O’s. Starting pitcher Chris Tillman pitching seven innings and earned his ninth win of the year, while closer Jim Johnson recorded his 27th save of the season.
Unfortunately for the O’s, Johnson failed to pick up his 28th save of the season in the third game of the series, as he gave up two runs in the ninth inning to give the Indians a 4-3 win. It was the fifth blown save of the season for Johnson. The appearance was an opportunity for Johnson to get his 100th save of his career, but he missed out on the special milestone.
Johnson wouldn’t pitch in the series finale, as the Orioles ran away with a 7-3 victory, although the win was overshadowed by a pair of wacky events. Manny Machado was ejected from the game in the fifth inning after arguing a strikeout, and Adam Jones was called out in the same inning after he slid into a base but, erroneously believing he was out, left the bag not knowing that he was actually safe. He was ruled out because he left the base paths.
(June 28-29) O’s Offense Pummels Yankees in Two Straight Wins
The Orioles claimed the first two games of a three-game set with the New York Yankees, thanks to timely offensive production. Baltimore claimed the opener, 4-3, due in large part to relief pitcher Kevin Gausman. Gausman took the mound in the third inning and pitched nearly five shutout innings. Meanwhile, Yankees starting pitcher C.C. Sabathia went five innings without giving up a hit until Nate McLouth hit a single in the sixth inning, which woke up the Oriole bats. Manny Machado then hit a two-run double and the O’s went on to score three runs in the sixth.
The second game went much more smoothly as the O’s scored nine runs in the first seven innings en route to a 11-3 victory. Chris Davis hit two homeruns, pushing his MLB-leading total this season to 30 homeruns. Ryan Flaherty also hit a homerun and the O’s recorded 15 total hits for the game.
The Baltimore Orioles ended the month of June and the halfway point of the season with a 46-39 overall record and second place in the American League East division. They still trail the Boston Red Sox by three games for first place, but if they continue to grind out 4-5 wins each week, they’ll eventually dethrone the Sox just in time for the postseason.
O’s Player of the Week: Chris Davis
Davis continues to prove he’s a legitimate candidate for AL MVP. He leads the league with 30 homeruns, three of which came this week. He also has 79 RBIs at the halfway season point; nine of his RBIs were recorded this week, along with five hits.
The Orioles will face the Chicago White Sox in a three-game series on July 2-4, and then will face the Yankees again in another three-game series on July 5-7.