Reporting Bob Haynie
After dropping two-of-three to the Boston Red Sox over the weekend, the Baltimore Orioles are back on the field Tuesday night to begin a three-game series against the Houston Astros.
Once the Astros leave, the Seattle Mariners come to Camden Yards.
What do the Astros and Mariners have in common? They are both sub-.500 ball clubs.
Heading into Tuesday night’s game, the Orioles are a half-game up on the Cleveland Indians in the AL Wild Card race. They are five games back of the Tampa Bay Rays in the AL East.
If the Birds want to gain some ground in both races, they need to handle their business against Houston and Seattle.
The Astros, who are in last-place in the AL West, have been outscored by 165 runs in 2013. Their 17 road victories are the fewest in the AL. They have also lost eight of ten games since the All-Star break.
Needless to say, the Orioles need to treat Houston like a last-place team.
The Mariners figure to be a tougher foe starting on Friday.
Even though Seattle is 50-55 on the year, they have been playing better baseball, as of late. They are 7-3 since the All-Star break, including a sweep of the Astros. They are, however, only 21-27 away from Safeco Field.
While they are competitive, the Birds should be beating them.
With an eight-game road trip through San Diego, San Francisco and Arizona looming, Baltimore needs to generate some momentum at home.
Houston and Seattle appear to be just what the doctor ordered.
To me, anything less than 4-2 over the next six games would be unacceptable.