Some will put a negative spin on it and say the Orioles should have swept the series if not for the Zach Britton blown save on Friday, and while that may be true, anytime you can go into New York and take two of three you should be happy.
The Orioles are now 39-35, the identical record of the Yankees, and both teams are 1 1/2 games out of first place. Both the Yankees and Orioles would be tied for the second AL Wildcard spot, just percentage points ahead of the Seattle Mariners.
There were several Orioles that had a good series against the Yankees and we wanted to highlight some of the O's top performers from the weekend series.
First off, the entire pitching staff, other than Britton, was absolutely phenomenal. Outside of the ninth inning in Friday night's loss, the pitching staff allowed a total of two runs in the other 26 innings of the series. Starters, relievers, it didn't matter this weekend, the pitching was flat out outstanding.
We do want to make this clear, yes, we had to point out the bad outing from Britton, but keep in mind, it was easily the worst outing for him this season and he has been one of, if not the best reliever in the American League this season, so he is allowed to have one bad outing.
Now offensively, the team began to swing the bats much better over the weekend. Here are some of the key contributors over the weekend for the Birds offense.
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It was a pretty impressive offensive performance for the Birds as six different players homered in the series, including the first of the season for Hardy and the first of his career for Caleb Joseph. Jones, Pearce, Nelson Cruz and Jonathan Schoop were the other four to garner a dinger in the series.
It is important to note that the bottom of the lineup (6-9) performed well this series, especially on Sunday as the 6-9 hitters for the O's totaled all eight of the team's RBI and scored five of the eight runs.
Pearce, who has finally been granted the opportunity to play everyday, continues to stay hot at the plate and had a great series and continues to produce. He now has six home runs this season and raised his average to .339.
Baltimore will now return home for an 11 game home stand beginning tonight against the Chicago White Sox, and the O's will look to turnaround their fortunes against the AL Central as they are 7-13 against the Central this season and are 32-22 against everyone else in baseball.
The Birds will send Wei-Yin Chen (7-2) to the mound to face White Sox ace Chris Sale (6-1) with first pitch scheduled for 7:05 p.m.
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