Here are a few early-morning observations in the wake of a pair of resounding victories over the New York Yankees at Oriole Park. The series concludes this afternoon when Orioles rookie Mike Wright faces Yankees right-hander Adam Warren:
-- The old adage that hitting is contagious appears to have some merit, because the Orioles caught the bug in a hurry. They had been scrapping for a run or two here and there for weeks and putting extra pressure on the pitching staff, but have been hammering the ball the past four nights as they dominate their two most storied rivals.
-- Bud Norris pitched into the sixth inning and gave up four runs on eight hits. Not a spectacular effort, but that kind of solid performance will provide the opportunity to win for a team that can score a few runs and has a dependable bullpen. That was the case Saturday night. It might not have been so two weeks ago.
-- Norris didn't get the win, but there is no great injustice there. The bullpen has been spectacular and new middle guy Chaz Roe was rewarded with the victory for the second time this week.
-- The O's bullpen has pitched 19 1/3 innings and given up just one run in the first five games of this homestand. Enough said.
-- Nolan Reimold got off to a bit of a slow start at the plate after coming up from Triple-A Norfolk, but he has delivered two homers in his past three games and raised his average to .286 with his two-hit, two-RBI performance last night.
-- Ryan Flaherty went 2-for-4 to raise his batting average to a respectable .261, which should get people off his back for a day or two.
-- And Matt Wieters apparently was refining his offensive skills while he waited for his surgically repaired elbow to be ready. He had two doubles and raised his average to .348.