Bob Haynie: After Sweeping Red Sox, Birds Set Sight On First Place Yankees

With Wednesday night’s 6-5 victory over Boston, the Baltimore Orioles finished off a three-game sweep of the last place Red Sox. Even though the games were competitive, the Birds handled their business against a Boston club that has really struggled away from Fenway.

Now that the Red Sox are in the rearview mirror, the Orioles are getting set to host the New York Yankees in a big–for June–weekend series.

Heading into Friday night’s opener against New York, the Orioles have won a season-high four consecutive games. They have won six of their last seven overall to move to within four games of first in the AL East.

At 29-30, the Birds are on verge of getting back to .500 for the first time since May 5 when they were 12-12. It’s been a nice turnaround for the Orioles who last week were suffering through a five-game losing streak.

The return of C Matt Wieters and OF Nolan Reimold to the lineup has helped bolster the offense for manager Buck Showalter. CF Adam Jones getting hot again is obviously a good thing as well.

The Orioles are finally playing at an elite level defensively and the bullpen has been outstanding. A lot of the positive traits we have seen from the Birds since 2012 we are starting to see again.

Can they sustain this level of play against the Yankees? We’ll find out this weekend.

The Yanks have been hot as they have won eight of their last ten contests. They come to Baltimore with a 33-26 record and lead the AL East by two games over the Tampa Bay Rays.

New York is second in the majors in runs scored with 275 and are third in all of Major League Baseball with 76 home runs. Led by 1B Mark Teixeira’s 17 HR’s and 45 RBI’s, the Yankees can flex some power muscles.

The Yankees did suffer a loss this week when former Oriole LH Andrew Miller was placed on the 15-day DL with a strained left forearm. RH Dellin Betances will take over as closer for New York manager Joe Girardi.

It should be an entertaining weekend at Camden Yards as the Orioles hope to inch closer to first and get past .500 for the first time in over a month.

More from Bob Haynie
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