As Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette sat in his office at the Ed Smith Stadium complex on a sunny afternoon earlier this month, overlooking a well-manicured cloverleaf of fields, a bitter winter seemed like an eternity ago in more ways than one.
While reports out of the final day of Major League Baseball¿s general managers¿ meetings Wednesday in Orlando, Fla., said that the Orioles could explore trades involving cornerstone players J.J. Hardy and Matt Wieters, the club is not actively shopping either player, according to a club source.
Leading by two runs in the seventh, the Orioles bullpen allowed the Red Sox to tie it and then Tommy Hunter gave up a go-ahead bloop single to Mike Carp in the bottom of the eight as Boston rallied for a 4-3 win.
The Orioles (58-48) had dominated Boston, winning nine of their past 10 series against Boston heading into the weekend, but their bats went cold over the past two games with runners in scoring position.
The Orioles rallied for their second comeback win in as many games Thursday night with a 3-2 victory over the Boston Red Sox in front of an announced 27,704, giving the Orioles their fifth straight series win at Fenway Park, a streak that dates back to July 7-10, 2011.
The Baltimore Orioles took a significant step toward their first postseason berth in 15 years, beating the Red Sox 5-4 at Camden Yards, and putting themselves into a first-place tie with the New York Yankees atop the American League East with just four games to play in the regular season.
Second baseman Robert Andino, who was hit in the head by a pitch Friday night, was back in the lineup after passing his final concussion test and getting clearance from the Orioles medical staff. He said yesterday that he felt fine and that there would be no emotional carryover into Sunday's series finale.
The Orioles (31-24) extended their Fenway Park mark to 4-0 this season ¿ three of those wins coming in extra innings. The teams have now played 49 innings at Fenway this year ¿ the equivalent of roughly 5 ½ games.
Orioles designated hitter Chris Davis pitched two scoreless innings as the O's beat the Red Sox in 17 innings. Adam Jones' three-run homer in the 17th gave the Orioles a 9-6 edge over Boston and their first series sweep at Fenway Park since 1994.