If you think the Orioles look like a completely different team when they are on the road, that appearance is not deceiving. They've been road warriors all season, and the past two games continue to illustrate that they are more comfortable outside what should be their comfort zone.
Not that they've been bad at Camden Yards. They just won two series there after having a very successful 10-game trip to the West Coast. But they finally unpacked their bats in Washington and Toronto and scored 14 runs in two games to make another in a series of statements about their readiness to head down the stretch.
It’s still way too early to spend a lot of time labeling individual games as must-win situations, but Tuesday night’s victory was particularly meaningful because it put the Blue Jays back on their heels and assured that there would be no dramatic shift in the American League East standings unless it is in the Orioles’ favor.
They moved five-games up with the series-opening win, and they’ve got a chance to deliver a sucker punch to the Jays’ division title hopes by winning a couple more games at Rogers Centre. The worst they can be when they head home after Thursday night’s game is three games ahead. The Yankees, meanwhile, lost a heart-breaker in 12 innings on Tuesday night in the Bronx to drop six games back.
None of this represents a dramatic change of fortune for any of the three division contenders, but the clock is ticking and the Orioles – at least for a couple of nights – are hitting again after averaging just 3.3 runs over their 16-game stretch against the A’s, Angels and Mariners.
Who knows if that will portend a sea change in the way the O’s win games the rest of the way, but how can Orioles fans not be encouraged by seeing Chris Davis launch one of his signature home runs against a big-velocity pitcher or fill-in catcher Caleb Joseph hit homers in consecutive games.
The O’s have been living on the production at the top and the bottom of their batting order for several weeks. Imagine what this team might do if the guys in the middle suddenly came storming back to turn the club back into an offensive machine.
If that happens, the next eight weeks could be a lot of fun.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun