Bob Haynie: Orioles Extend Lead In AL East

The first place Baltimore Orioles took on the Toronto Blue Jays on Tuesday night in the start of a three-game series against the team closest to them in AL East. When the dust settled, the Orioles had extended their advantage in the division over not only Toronto, but the New York Yankees, as well.

Baltimore’s lead in the AL East now stands at a season-high five games over Toronto with the Yankees six back. With Tuesday night’s 9-3 drubbing of the Jays, the Orioles are now sporting a 64-48 record. By winning 11 of their last 15 games, the Birds now have the third-best mark in all of baseball.

After struggling with the bats for 10 games, the Orioles have scored 16 runs in their last two outings against the Washington Nationals and the Blue Jays. Both wins, of course.

The Birds clubbed three homers at the Rogers Centre as they jumped out to a lead that they never relinquished. Catcher Caleb Joseph (6), 2B Jonathan Schoop (9) and 1B Chris Davis (18) all went deep as the Orioles overtook Toronto for most home runs in the majors (136 to 135).

RHP Bud Norris benefitted from the run support as he pitched 5.1 innings to improve to 9-7 on the year. Norris has now won six of his last eight decisions as the Orioles continue to get quality starting pitching.

Their leading winner Wei-Yin Chen (12-3) will face RHP Drew Hutchison (7-9, 4.62 ERA) in game two of the series on Wednesday night. Chen, who has won five-straight, is 9-1 in his last 15 starts.

The Orioles are in a position of strength in the AL East and will look to remain that way in Toronto.

Baltimore is playing good baseball as we are now in the month of August.

That is good news for Orioles fans. Obviously, that is bad news for the rest of the American League


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