Originally posted on Oriole Post  |  Last updated 9/12/12

It was a good night for the Orioles on Tuesday as they defeated the Tampa Bay Rays, 9-2. Once again, the Birds share first place with the New York Yankees as they lost to the Boston Red Sox.

The Orioles won thanks to two homers from J.J. Hardy – who has 21 on the year – plus, Chris Davis hit his 25th homer. Matt Wieters went 3-for-3 with two runs driven in.

The big news on the night is that Jason Hammel is once again hurt. He seemingly re-injured his knee in the fourth inning and it is unknown if he just tweaked or re-injured it. Who knows what will happen from here on out; however, the news of Hammel being injured is definitely unfortunate, as the Orioles definitely need his arm down the stretch.

If he’s gone for the rest of the season, the loss of Hammel will hurt; however, the Orioles will just have to patch things together as they have all season. With Markakis out as well, it’s been a touch week for the team – and us fans. Unlike in the past, the Orioles seemingly have enough pieces and depth to cover up for injuries, which is a good thing.

The question is: can their success still last with the loss of Markakis and Hammel? At this point, sure … why not? Everything that has happened with the Orioles this season defies logic.

Steve Johnson came in for relief of Hammel and pitched 1 1/3 innings of relief for the win. I’ll say that Johnson has come up huge for the Orioles in several spots and could be an integral part of the pitching staff as the weeks wind down during the season.

A lot of people have doubted the Orioles all season; however, now it looks like the baseball world is taking them dead serious. They have yet to fade – and they most likely won’t. If they fail to make it into the postseason, it might only because they might run out of gas at the end.

The Orioles are 79-62 and seemingly control their destiny from here on out. Every series is huge and they just have to keep winning.

I went out to the park last night and while the place was not sold out; it was good to see the cheap seats all filled and the place lively, filled with black and orange. Well, ever since the Orioles played the Yankees this weekend, I’ve had more people than ever ask me about the team and what they are doing.

Honestly, even people who didn’t know follow baseball – or look like they do – are keeping their eyes on the Orioles. It’s a good thing to chat with other people about the sport, especially in an area where football rules. A lot of people have harped on the attendance at Camden Yards this season and the general fan apathy before the New York series; however, winning will take care of everything.

No matter what happens, it’s been a special year in these parts…

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