Originally posted on The Baseball Page  |  Last updated 7/20/12

After the Baltimore Orioles dropped the first two games of a four game series with the Minnesota Twins this week, many fans were wondering how much long this team was going to miraculously stay above the .500 mark. With back to back wins to earn a series split, the answer looks like its going to be at least the through the weekend.

The Orioles used late inning heroics from much maligned first baseman Mark Reynolds to capture the come from behind win. In the top of the 8th inning, Reynolds came up with men on second and third with two outs and delivered a two RBI flare single to center field scoring Matt Wieters and Wilson Betemit who both walked giving the Orioles a 4-3 lead. Reynolds came up with the big hit for the first time in recent memory and propelled the Orioles to their 48th win of the season. The Birds didn't earn their 48th win of the season last year until August 22, coincidentally also against the Minnesota Twins. So with all the struggles the Birds are having, it is important to note the drastic improvement in win production this season.

Wei-Yin Chen picked up the win yesterday moving to 8-5 on the season. Chen went seven innings giving up just six hits and three earned runs. He is now tied with Jason Hammel for the team lead in wins.  Chen got off to a rocky start giving up two runs in the bottom of the first inning on 28 pitches. Chris Davis responded in the top of the second with a towering home run to right field. Davis continues to flash the freakish power that he was delivering on a regular basis during the first half of the season.

An interesting stat of note about the past two wins for the Birds is that it is the first time since June 16 and 17 against Atlanta that Orioles starters have posted back-to- back wins. If you are searching for the reason why this team is struggling so mightily recently, I think that is a good place to start.

After Reynolds gave the Orioles the lead in the 8th, Orioles relievers Darren O'Day and Troy Patton managed to allow the first two hitters of the bottom half of the frame to reach base on a walk and a single giving the Twins men on first and second wit nobody out. Orioles set-up man Pedro Strop was called in to get out of the jam. Strop got two pop outs to shallow left sandwiched around a fielder's choice to get out of the predicament. Jim Johnson worked a perfect 9th for his Major League leading 28th save of the season. Back-to-back saves for Johnson after a rough start to the second half of the year in non save situations will help put Orioles fans minds at ease about their All-Star Closer.

The Orioles now travel to Cleveland for four games to take on an Indians team that took three of four from the Birds at the end of June outscoring them 31-18. The Tribe are a game behind the Birds in the chase for the second wild card spot in the American League race. The Orioles are .5 games behind the Detroit Tigers for the last spot. Cleveland is coming off of a series split with the Tampa Bay Rays and the Birds will look to take a series from the Tribe as the road to the playoffs continues in the Mistake by the Lake.

Be sure to check out other great articles at Sports Media 101.

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