Second baseman Jonathan Schoop's right hand was still swollen Friday, one day after he was hit with a pitch in the first inning of Thursday's 6-4 win over Toronto. But Schoop is still hoping that he can get back in the starting lineup.
After sweeping the Oakland Athletics at Camden Yards in mid-August, the Orioles held the second wild card spot in the American League. They have dropped 16 of 20 since then, and now sit 13 games behind the Blue Jays in the East and are behind six other teams in the race for the second wild card spot. The Orioles are now seven games under .500 for the first time since the end of the 2011 season.
Now that the much-anticipated midseason trade deadline has passed, it's probably a good time to take stock of what happened over the past week and consider how it might impact the Orioles and the American League East.
The Orioles had managed to put together a pretty good run without scoring a lot over the past 10 days, but it's beginning to look like they're ready to take some of the pressure off the pitching staff.
The Orioles have won four straight and six of their last seven as they open their three-game series against the division-leading New York Yankees. But tonight, they will face Yankees right-hander Michael Pineda, who recorded arguably the most dominating pitching performance against the Orioles last season.
Orioles second baseman Jonathan Schoop struggled to explain the magic that seems to be in his bat when he faces the New York Yankees after his eight-inning homer tied the game Wednesday night and stole momentum from the Yankees in the Orioles' eventual 5-2 win.
Orioles shortstop J.J. Hardy said Thursday before the game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre that he will no longer comment on anything having to do with contract extension talks until there are developments in the matter.
TORONTO ¿ Before the fifth inning of the Orioles' 9-3 loss to the Blue Jays, umpires inspected right-hander Miguel Gonzalez¿s glove for a foreign substance at the request of Toronto manager John Gibbons.
Long a solid center fielder and one of baseball's best baserunners, Curtis Granderson has turned into a beast at the plate since working with New York Yankees hitting coach Kevin Long to rework his swing.