Entering Saturday night’s game on a four-game losing streak, the Orioles could have been seen as a reeling ballclub clawing to stay in the American League playoff race with a must-win matchup against the Colorado Rockies on deck.
But after the Orioles’ 8-4 victory at Camden Yards, the players didn’t see the game as having those stakes. Second baseman Brian Roberts said he listened to postgame coverage of the win and heard analyst Rick Dempsey say the Orioles had been on a lengthy losing streak, and he had no idea that was the case.
“I think people panic a little more outside the clubhouse than we do inside the clubhouse,” Roberts said. “We all still feel like we are in pretty good shape. We didn’t play bad whatsoever on the road trip, we just didn’t win some games that were close. And that happens. You are not going to score seven every night. This is the big leagues, they got guys who are trying to get you out and getting paid to do the same thing.”
While the Orioles have scuffled to a .500 record over their past 10 games, they aren’t the only playoff team that has endured a rough August. American League East leader Boston is 4-6 and wild-card leader Tampa Bay — which comes to Baltimore for a three-game set Monday — is 3-7 over the same span.
"I don't think that we're in a real bad spot,” Roberts said. “You know, we've got a lot of games against our division left and we just want to stay right where we are and give ourselves a chance these last 40 games. This isn't the time of year to lose 10 in a row, but you're not going to, this isn't also the time of year that a lot of teams go run off and win 10 in a row. It's a matter of just trying to stay consistent, and I think we're going to be fine."
The Orioles have 40 more games left, including 29 against division foes — nine against Boston, seven against Tampa Bay and New York and six against Toronto — and three games each against Oakland and Cleveland, two teams in the wild-card hunt.
The sweep at Arizona was a bump toward the end of the season, but there are still opportunities for the Orioles in the playoff race.
“It's not the end of the world,” right-hander Tommy Hunter said. “We're in a race now, and hopefully we keep winning.”
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