Reporting Mark Viviano
BALTIMORE (WJZ)– The excitement is at a fever pitch in downtown Baltimore as the O’s face off with the Yankees again.
Sports Director Mark Viviano has more on Thursday night’s win and what the Orioles have to do to win again.
The long baseball season that we call a marathon now turns into a sprint. About three weeks left in a playoff run with the O’s and Yankees tied, going head-to-head again Friday night after a wild series opener.
The 2012 Orioles are the talk of the town. And they’ve made their own statement loud and clear– a season-high six home runs to beat the Yankees 10-6. And a loud sellout crowd was there to witness a playoff atmosphere that’s energizing the team.
“The home runs that I had last night at the beginning of the game was surreal, you know,” said pitcher Jason Hammel. “It basically was a playoff game a month early last night. That’s what it should be right now. It’s obviously a needed thing. You gotta have those stands backed right now and they’re as much a part of this as the players.”
“The pressure’s not on us to do anything,” outfielder Adam Jones said. “We’re just going out there and having fun everyday and playing the game of baseball. We’re playing it hard and expecting things from each other and picking each other up.”
Sellout crowds, a tight race for the Yankees, baseball euphoria in Baltimore. But will the O’s be able to fairytale in first place?
“I don’t know. We’ll find out,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. “Our curiosity is going to be satisfied. At some point, we’re going to play these 20-something games and I’m not going to insult your intelligence and tell you that I got all the answers and know exactly what’s going to happen. But I’m looking forward to finding out. It’s going to be a fun ride.”
Twenty-five games remain in the season, another sellout on Friday. With a win, the O’s would take over first place to themselves.
After the Yankees series concludes on Sunday, the Orioles will host division rival Tampa Bay for three games.