Coming in to the series the Orioles knew they had to take 2 games to keep pace and they did just that. While the offence started off slow, they got rolling mid way through game 1 and continued doing what the Orioles do best; launching the ball out of the park like it’s on a V2 rocket. Everyone got in on the long ball with 7 going out in the 3 games. Even Bourn hit his second as an Oriole, I guess he’s just trying to fit in.
This space called out The Captain before the series noting his 2-15 in the Rays series along with 5Ks. Jones answered that call, going 6-11 while tacking on 3 walks over the three games. Mr. Jones didn’t stop there, his defensive play was great, making a fantastic over the shoulder running catch to keep the Tigers in check before the Orioles poured it on Saturday night.
The defence as usual was quite good, particularly in the infield. We’ll forgive Schoop his little gaff in the penultimate game as he should have been able to turn two to end it, but all in the infield showed why they’re one of the best.
The pitching was up and down. Gausman had a so-so outing on Friday, his worst since his start out in San Francisco. He managed to hold the Tigers to 3 and give the Orioles a chance to win the opener. Jiménez had a second straight solid appearance. He was only in trouble once, but the offence had given him enough of a lead that it would’ve difficult (though not impossible) for anyone to blow it. Tillman had a great game coming back from the DL. He pitched a solid 6 innings, showing good control on his 106 pitches.
The bullpen is still looking to regain the form it had when it helped lead the Orioles to the top of the AL East in the first half of the season. Brach gave up the a home run in game 1 to lose the game, while Givens continued to allow runners on base. Britton made two appearances sealing his 41st consecutive save and remaining perfect this year.
Darren O’Day hopes to be back next week, which should help solidify the bullpen, and it couldn’t come at a better time. Travelling to Boston for 3 games, while 2 back, and now tied with Toronto and 2 up on New York and these Detroit Tigers.
The next series is going to be labeled as another ‘must win’. It looks like the Orioles will need 10 wins in the last 20 to get in to the WC game. With 7 games against Boston, picking up a couple here would go along way, but a single win will definitely keep them in it.