Carroll County Times

Orioles Notebook: Exciting end to May

BALTIMORE - The Baltimore Orioles ended May on a great note. The last three nights of the month, the Orioles won three games, all in exciting fashion.

On Wednesday, Baltimore erased a four-run deficit, smashed four homers, and beat the Washington Nationals 9-6. Thursday was different, as Freddy Garcia hurled eight shutout innings en route to a 2-0 win over Washington.

Then, the Orioles finished the month with the most thrilling of the three. Entering the inning trailing the Detroit Tigers 5-3, Baltimore rallied back and won 7-5 on a walk-off homer by Chris Dickerson.

Camden Yards was packed for all three, and Orioles manager Buck Showalter said it made a huge difference for the team.

"You don't ever get 'too cool for school' for that," Showalter said. "The guys we surround ourselves with, none of them take it for granted."

Those guys also delivered a trio of well-played games, with the third finishing in dramatic fashion.

In the two-game home series against the Nationals, the combined attendance was 69,784. Then, Friday's game brought a sellout crowd of 46,249, just the third sellout this season.

"You really want to repay that," Showalter said. "They draw on it. It's important for us. Sometimes it really helps kickstart the engine."

At the end of the first two months, Baltimore sat at 31-24, just 1 1-2 games behind the Boston Red Sox for first place in the American League East. At that point last season, the Orioles had a slightly better win percentage, sitting at 29-22.

BALANCED PRODUCTION: Entering Saturday, the Orioles had six players with 30 or more RBIs. They are just the sixth team since 1921 to have that many players with 30 RBIs entering June, and the first since the 2003 New York Yankees.

Baltimore had Chris Davis, Adam Jones, J.J. Hardy, Nick Markakis, Matt Wieters, and Manny Machado all over 30 RBIs.

GREAT MAY: Baltimore hit 48 home runs in May, the second-most they've ever hit in the month, behind only the 1987 team's 58. Davis' 19 homers through the first two months are the second-most by an Oriole, behind only Brady Anderson's 20 in 1996.

Machado had 44 hits in May, the most in a calendar month by a player under 21 since Mickey Mantle had 46 in July of 1952, according to Elias.

Dickerson finished the month strong, and has been contributing when he gets in the lineup. Over his last nine games, he has four home runs in his last 27 at-bats.

ON THE MEND: Taylor Teagarden went 0 for 4 for Class-AAA Norfolk Friday night in the first game of his rehab assignment. He caught again Saturday and will DH today.

Dylan Bundy is visiting Dr. James Andrews on Monday concerning his elbow/forearm injury. Showalter said he hopes Bundy will be cleared to begin throwing.

HOME DEBUT: Kevin Gausman (0-2, 11.00 ERA) is making his home debut today. But instead of Wieters behind the plate, it will be back-up catcher Chris Snyder. It will be the first time Snyder will catch Gausman.

Showalter said he wanted to be able to give Wieters two straight days off with the off-day on Monday.

REPRESENTING CARROLL: The Carroll County Young Marines were on-hand before Saturday's game. They came onto the field and presented the nation's colors during the national anthem.

NEW RELIEVER: The Orioles have signed former Washington Nationals relief pitcher Jon Rauch to a minor-league deal.

The 6-foot, 11-inch righty has saved 62 games in his career with a high of 21 with the Minnesota Twins in 2010. He appeared in 88 games in 2007 with the Nats.