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What they're saying about the Orioles

A look at how some other media outlets view the Orioles:

• ESPN.com has the Orioles ranked 16th in its weekly power rankings -- the same as last week -- although it says the team's postseason hopes appear to be dwindling:

A 2-5 week left Baltimore 7 1/2 games out of first place and two games back of the last wild-card spot.

With back-to-back road series in New York (first in AL East) and Tampa (tied with Orioles in the wild-card standings), this could be the most important week of the season thus far for the O's, who are looking to keep their rapidly fading playoff hopes alive.

• Andrew McCarron of the New York Daily News ranks the Orioles 13th -- down from No. 12 the previous week -- and credits much of their success to lefty starter Wei-Yin Chen, who struck out 12 (most in MLB history for a Taiwanese pitcher) in the O's 6-1 win over Oakland Sunday:

If Wei-Yin Chen only pitched against Oakland, where would the O's be? He's 2-0 with an 0.71 ERA in two starts, including 12 strikeouts in just 5.2 innings Sunday.

• Cliff Corcoran of SI.com says that late-season pitching help could propel the Orioles from pretenders to contenders:

Though their record has gotten worse in each successive month and they have been outscored by 58 runs on the season, Baltimore is still four games above .500 and just two games out in third place in the AL wild-card race. That's despite a rotation ERA of 4.75. fifth-worst in the American League and sixth-worst in all of baseball.

With Jake Arrieta and Brian Matusz having pitched their way back to the minors and Jason Hammel out followjng knee surgery, the Orioles have seen somewhat encouraging returns from Chris Tillman and Miguel Gonzalez is a stop-gap. Hammel might be back before September, but that's not a sure thing.

The Orioles still look like pretenders, but if they can upgrade their rotation they might force us to take them seriously.

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