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Far out of the pennant race, Orioles still might have a say in who wins it

When the Orioles won the first game of Monday’s doubleheader at Camden Yards, they improved their 2018 record against the New York Yankees to 4-3 and added to their list of American League teams against which they hold an edge in the season series.

That two-team list also includes the hapless Kansas City Royals.

Of course, the Yankees could get even in the nightcap against rookie starter Yefry Ramírez, but that wouldn’t really change the fact that the Orioles are quietly having a real impact on the AL East race.

They have played the Yankees tougher than any other AL team and have completely surrendered to the first-place Red Sox, who entered the evening with a 2½-game lead over the Yankees.

The Orioles’ 1-9 record against the Red Sox has a lot to do with that. It might seem like small consolation at a time like this, but the spoiler role is all the Orioles have left at this point. The team still has about half of its head-to-head games against Boston and New York left.

Remember how uplifting it was for the Orioles to knock the Red Sox out of playoff contention on the final night of the 2011 season? Maybe they’ll do the same thing to the Yankees this September, even if their final series this year is against the Houston Astros — the second-best team in the AL.

Read more from columnist Peter Schmuck on his blog, "The Schmuck Stops Here," at

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