Found May 13, 2012 on
Fox Sports Florida:
The Baltimore Orioles perched alone atop the AL East may come as a surprise to many, but not to them.
Now, they'll try to get a rare home win against James Shields before hosting another divisional challenger.
The Orioles look to continue proving they're not a fluke by sweeping the Tampa Bay Rays at Camden Yards for the first time in almost five years on Sunday.
Baltimore (22-12) has been a mostly moribund franchise since winning the East and reaching the AL championship series in 1997, the last time the club finished with a winning record.
For that reason, today's Orioles stand out as of the biggest surprises of 2012, currently tied with Texas for the best record in the AL.
They've opened a two-game lead in the division by winning the first two games of this series, beating Tampa Bay 5-3 on Saturday after opening the three-game set Friday with a 4-3 victory.
"We found people that we can play with and we can win (with)," reliever Pedro Strop said. "A lot of people are asking me, 'Are you surprised at this team?' We're not surprised. We aren't surprised. We've been doing what we were hoping. A lot of people are surprised, but we're not. We are going to keep winning games."
A win Sunday would give Baltimore its first sweep of the Rays (20-14) at Camden Yards since taking three in a row July 24-26, 2007, during the last season in which Tampa Bay was known as the Devil Rays and finished with a losing record. The Orioles also swept Tampa Bay on the road in three games to open 2011.
"I know we won the series now," center fielder Adam Jones said after Saturday's victory, "but we want the sweep."
If the Orioles pull off the sweep, their closest challenger in the East could become the New York Yankees, who currently trail by 2 12 games and visit Camden Yards for two games starting Monday night.
First, Baltimore must overcome Shields (5-1, 3.23 ERA). The right-hander is 5-1 with a 3.44 ERA in 10 career starts at Camden Yards.
The Rays lost with Shields on the mound for the first time in seven games this season Tuesday, as he allowed three runs, four hits - two homers - and three walks in six innings of a 5-3 defeat to the Yankees. That snapped a personal five-game winning streak, during which he compiled a 1.98 ERA.
Tampa Bay is trying to avoid a seventh loss in eight games after tying a franchise record with five errors - three in the second inning - Saturday.
"We made way too many errors," said manager Joe Maddon, whose club has made 28 errors on the season - double its total through 34 games in 2011.
Orioles center fielder Adam Jones is hitting .387 with five doubles, a triple and a homer off Shields in 31 career at-bats. He is also 8 for 22 with two doubles, two homers and six RBIs in his last seven games versus Tampa Bay.
Jake Arrieta (2-3, 4.23) is scheduled to get the ball for Baltimore in an effort to win a third consecutive start versus the Rays. The right-hander defeated them twice last season while allowing two runs and six hits over 13 innings.
Arrieta hasn't been nearly that sharp over his last three home starts, going 0-2 with a 6.75 ERA. That includes Tuesday's 10-3 loss to the Rangers, in which surrendered a season highs of six runs, nine hits and three homers in 6.1 innings.
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
The Baltimore Orioles continue to roll as they are one-fifth through the season, and it is one great thing to see. They won their second straight game and downed the Rays, 5-3, at Oriole Park at Camden Yards in front of an announced 32,862 fans on a wonderful night for a ballgame. It’s good to see the fans come back to the park, as the Orioles got a huge walkup crowd for Saturday’s...
Ah, it's another day; therefore, the Orioles made yet another move with their roster. Today, we learned that Mark Reynolds was placed on the disabled list as he pulled a muscle in his rib cage.It seems like the Orioles are nothing short of a walking M.A.S.H. unit right now. BALTIMORE -- The Baltimore Orioles have placed third baseman Mark Reynolds on the team's rapidly...
The Orioles have won eight of their last 12 games. At the end of April Orioles fans were looking at this 15-game stretch and thought: "this is it, this is when it all comes crashing down." For many people just sneaking out five or six games would have been enough. The prospect of actually coming out ahead during this series, winning at least eight seemed alien and wrong...
Yet another day, another move for the Orioles. This time, they promote an outfielder, Xavier Avery, one of their better prospects to the majors. Not sure how long he will up in Baltimore, but should be starting today. If Avery plays well, he might be up in the majors for a while.>>> Read More
It’s Monday, so you know what that means! Double Play time between Mark Hock and Bryan Lutz. Today we will debate whether the Baltimore Orioles are one of the best teams in the American League, if the bullpen is key to a team’s success, and the player most likely to rebound after a slow start.
Are the Baltimore Orioles for real?
MH: Early in the season teams tend to perform better...
The Baltimore Orioles have placed third baseman Mark Reynolds on the team's rapidly expanding 15-day disabled list.
Reynolds has a pulled muscle in his rib cage. He is batting .191 with two homers and nine RBI.
The injury occurred during batting practice Friday, manager Buck Showalter said.
Reynolds said Saturday, ''It's not too bad, but it's one of those things...
The Orioles traded third-baseman Josh Bell over to Arizona last month, and the Diamondbacks now have sent over left-handed pitcher Mike Belfiore to complete that deal. Bell was mostly a disappointment in Baltimore after coming over from the Dodgers in the George Sherrill trade. His plate discipline went south, as he hit just .200/.221/.264 when he got a chance in the Majors and posted...
BALTIMORE (AP) -- The Baltimore Orioles capitalized on five errors by the Tampa Bay Rays and got two hits and two RBIs from Adam Jones in a 5-3 victory Saturday night.
The Orioles were outhit 7-6 and struck out 12 times but scored three unearned runs to forge their second straight win in this series between the two top teams in the AL East. Baltimore leads second-place Tampa Bay...
– The Baltimore Orioles have designated for assignment infielder Matt Antonelli according to Eduardo A. Encina of the Baltimore Sun. Antonelli was hitting .204/.357/.280 with 1 HR and a .636 OPS in 93 AB's with the Orioles' Triple-A team.
– The San Francisco Giants designated left handed pitcher Travis Blackley for assignment according to Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea...
The Baltimore Orioles were hoping for a three-game sweep over the Rays; however, that would not happen on a wild Mother’s Day game at Camden Yards. They lost 9-8 to Tampa Bay and nearly came back twice but could not produce any magic. The sweep of the Rays would not happen, but the Orioles fought back – again. Baltimore rebounded from a shaky Jake Arrieta start and was almost...
Table of Contents
Here’s the table of contents for today’s edition of Daily Notes.
1. Featured Game: New York AL at Baltimore, 19:05 ET
2. Other Notable Games (Including MLB.TV Free Game)
3. Today’s Complete Schedule
Featured Game: New York AL at Baltimore, 19:05 ET
Of Particular Note Regarding This Game
Of particular note regarding this game is that right-hander Jason Hammel...
The New York Yankees are in Baltimore to face the first-place Orioles for two quick games starting tonight.
New York Yankees at Baltimore Orioles April 24, 2011 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The O’s have been playing some great baseball lately but the Yankees have won four of the six times the two AL East rivals have faced each other.
Can the Orioles make the playoffs for the first...
That’s it. I can’t deny it anymore.
The Orioles are real; to deny it at this point is to deny math, logic and reality.
The Birds did get beaten up by the Rangers a bit, but who hasn’t. The Orioles still have the second-best record in the American League, lead the league in homers, are getting solid starting pitching and shut down bullpen work.
This is not a fluke. Repeat...
Table of Contents
Here’s the table of contents for today’s edition of Daily Notes.
1. A Note for the Mothers
2. Featured Game: Tampa Bay at Baltimore, 13:35 ET
3. Other Notable Games (Including MLB.TV Free Game)
4. Today’s Complete Schedule
A Note for the Mothers
Please, if you would, say hello to your mother for FanGraphs.
And for Mark Wahlberg, too, if you have time: