The Orioles saved Maryland from an almost totally dismal sports weekend. They were down 2-0 early in Sunday's series finale against the Oakland A's at Network Associates Overstock.com Oakland-Alameda County Stadium, but came back to avert a three-game sweep and notch their 82nd victory – officially making this the first winning season since 1997.
Maybe that's only small consolation, however, after a weekend in which the Ravens spit out a 10-point lead in the second half against the Eagles, the Maryland Terrapins struggled against Randy Edsall's old team and Navy got trounced by Penn State.
It wasn't a particularly pretty series in Oakland, of course. The Orioles hit into four double plays in a one-run loss Friday night and stumbled all over themselves after taking an early lead Saturday. They kept us all guessing by leaving the bases loaded in back-to-back innings in the series finale, but the A's pitching staff went way out of character and walked the ballpark, essentially forcing the Orioles to pad their lead.
Give Endy Chavez credit for being the engine that kept the offense fluid, equaling a career high with four hits. Matt Wieters continues to gather steam down the stretch, hitting a pair of solo home runs before the A's stopped pitching to him, and Manny Machado delivered a big two-run double the removed some suspense from another nip-and-tuck game.
The O's ended up losing one game to the Yankees in the standings over the weekend, but their fans should count their blessings. It could have been worse.