Bob Haynie: Orioles Are Back Home For Some AL East Fun
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After going 3-3 on a road trip through Detroit and New York, the Baltimore Orioles return to Camden Yards to begin a six-game home stand against the Toronto Blue Jays and the Tampa Bay Rays. The Orioles ended the trip on a high note by winning two-straight from the Yankees in the Bronx.
Through almost two weeks, one game separates the five clubs in the American League East standings. As Friday’s games begin, no team in the division is above .500. And no team is overly concerned.
The series in New York saw the Baltimore bats come alive as they pounded out 32 hits in the final two games at Yankee Stadium. Catcher Matt Wieters has been hot with a .367 batting average and hits in all eight games in which he has played.
RHP Miguel Gonzalez gave the Orioles a quality start on Wednesday night in the 5-3 win over the Yanks. RHP Chris Tillman was excellent against the Tigers last Sunday, as well. Unfortunately, the seven other starts by Birds’ pitchers have been less-than-stellar.
The Blue Jays come to Baltimore after going 3-3 at Rogers Centre against the Yankees and Houston Astros. Led by Melky Carbrera and Jose Bautista, the Blue Jays have hit 12 home runs as a team which is good for 4th in the majors.
Tillman, Bud Norris and Ublado Jimenez will take the hill for manager Buck Showalter and the Orioles with the task of keeping the Jays in the yard and providing, hopefully, some quality starts.
The Al East is expected to be competitive. So far, it’s been that way and the best is yet to come.
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