Found September 02, 2012 on B-More Birds Nest:

For most of the 2012 season, Mark Reynolds was a disappointment. His production – 12 HR 42 RBI entering Friday’s game – was way down from what he did in 2011, when he hit 37 home runs and drove in 86 runs, both team highs.

However, he has recently been a very pleasant surprise as a first baseman, solidifying the position defensively, while not quite putting up the kind of numbers you’d hope for from a corner infielder.

This weekend in the Bronx though, Reynolds got hot enough with the bat to almost single-handedly carry the O’s to a series win over the first place Yankees.

On Friday, Reynolds went 3-for-5 with two home runs, four RBI, and three runs scored (click the link for highlights from MLB.com) as the Birds took the opener by a score of 6-1. He also made two great diving plays at first base to stifle any potential Yankee rallies.

On Sunday, after the Yanks had capitalized on a bevy of O’s miscues on Saturday to even the series at one game apiece, Reynolds again wielded the big stick to propel the Birds to the victory. The first baseman was 2-for-4 with two home runs, four RBI, and two runs scored (click for highlights from MLB.com), and his three-run shot in the top of the sixth helped put the Bronx Bombers to sleep for good.

In the three game set, Reynolds was a stellar 5-for-11 with four home runs, five runs scored, seven RBI, and two walks. If Mark can stay hot like this, his bat has the ability to carry the Birds for a week or two.

By taking two of three, the O’s closed the gap between themselves and the Yankees at the top of the American League East to a measly two games. In the Wild Card race, the O’s are two games back of Oakland (who may never lose again) for the top spot, but are 1.5 games up on Tampa for the second spot.

With Tampa and New York about to start a three-game set of their own before the Yanks come to Baltimore for four next weekend, the O’s need to take full advantage of the three games they are about to play against the basement-dwelling Toronto Blue Jays.

Toronto is still a tough team at home, where they have a 33-32 record in 2012, but the O’s need to take at least two of three to avoid putting themselves firmly behind the eight ball here at the start of September.

It was a great, hard-fought, exciting series in New York, and the Birds came out on top. Let’s hope they can do the same north of the border.

Joe Saunders takes on J.A. Happ on Labor Day at 1:07 PM.

That’s right – it’s Labor Day and the Birds are within a stone’s throw of the division lead.

This is Birdland.

THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

Orioles' Tillman leaves game with elbow stiffness

Baltimore Orioles starting pitcher Chris Tillman left Sunday's game against the Yankees after three innings because of stiffness in his right elbow. Tillman's velocity was down and he issued a walk in each of the first two innings, with Chris Dickerson belting a two-run homer in the second. The severity of the injury was not immediately known, but losing Tillman for...

Orioles activated Betemit from DL, call up three others

The Baltimore Orioles activated infielder Wilson Betemit from the 15-day disabled list and recalled outfielder Xavier Avery, catcher Luis Exposito and infielder Steve Tolleson from Class AAA Norfolk, the club announced Saturday. Betemit was on the DL since Aug. 12 with a right wrist injury. He is hitting .264 with 12 home runs and 37 RBI in 97 games for the Orioles this season...

Orioles-Blue Jays Preview

The Baltimore Orioles could use a better effort from Joe Saunders as they try to continue an improbable surge toward the top of the AL East. The recently-acquired left-hander will try to bounce back from a difficult Baltimore debut Monday when the Orioles open a three-game road set against the Toronto Blue Jays. Baltimore (74-59) was third in the East and 7 1/2 games behind the...

After Dropping Series To Orioles, Joe Girardi Deserves A Swift Kick In The Nuts

The New York Yankees owe a debt of gratitude to J.J. Hardy of the Baltimore Orioles. Had it not been for his error in Saturday's game at the Stadium, the Yankees might have been swept by the Birds, and would be sharing the AL division lead going into today's action. As it is now, the lead is 2 games, and it is entirely possible that the Yankees could be in second (or even...

Designated for assignment: Jason Berken and Oscar Tejada

Vote: Have the A's or Orioles Been a Bigger Surprise This Year?

As far as surprise teams go, this MLB season has had plenty -- and not all of them have been good. The Red Sox are among those wondering what has happened since the first lineup card landed just a few months ago. But several teams have performed far above expectations, leaving their fans with plenty to root for as the final chunk of the season approaches and teams gear up for the...

The biggest series in 15 years

The Orioles won game one, but dropped game two of the biggest series in the recent history in New York City. The Orioles currently sit three games behind the Yankees as they try to do what many consider the impossible, take the American League East. I honestly never thought I would be writing those words but there they are and the Orioles have a legitimate shot at the number one...

Individual Performances Leading Team Effort on Charge to the Top

On July 18th, the Orioles were 2.5 games out of the AL Wild Card spot and 10 full games back on the Yankees for the AL East title. Today, they started the day in possession one of the wild card spots and a single game behind the Yankees for the division lead going 29-15 over that stretch.While this has been an improbable team effort, there are some great individual efforts that have...

Yanks go back ahead by 3 games in AL East with 4-3 wn over Orioles

By Dave Buscema, The Sports Xchange NEW YORK -- The New York Yankees had watched the Baltimore Orioles jump on them early again. The Orioles again showed they were not intimidated by the puzzled looks of those who question how they are still in the pennant race, or the Yankee Stadium atmosphere -- which often deflates teams this time of year. So, the Yankees were beset with an...

Reynolds Smoking Homers Like A Bandit

This weekend, my Cougar’s dog had diarrhea all over my foot.  So, I wrote a list of Don’ts and taped it to his bed.  1. Do not poop my foot.  2. Do not ever poop my foot.  Seriously.  3.  There’s no three.  Now if you were to switch out “foot,” with “fantasy team” that could’ve been Mark Reynolds prior to this weekend.  Carrying him on your team, you may as...

On the Yankees, Joba, and A-Rod

A few thoughts on the state of the Yankees before today's game at the House of Horrors, East Coast Edition -- aka Tropicana Field.Yes, yesterday wasn't Joe Girardi's finest hour -- obviously, he pulled Phil Hughes too late, even though everybody and their grandmother knew that Mark Reynolds was going to go deep against him. And why he pulled Chris Dickerson -- the Yanks...
MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.