When it comes to pitchers attacking hitters, there are few secrets. Hitters have seen the Orioles' arms several times by now, and the emphasis on advance scouting leaves no stone unturned. The Orioles will go into their final week aware that the division rivals they're facing — the Toronto Blue Jays and New York Yankees — will try to know them better than they do.
It took until mid-September for the Orioles to post three series wins on the same road trip, but that’s what they did over the past nine games with their 1-0 win over the Boston Red Sox on Wednesday night.
Kevin Gausman has had his way with the Yankees in his past two starts, and on Saturday night at Camden Yards held New York to just two singles through six scoreless innings in a 2-0 Orioles win in front of an announced crowd of 30,855.
In allowing six runs in 4 1/3 innings, Ubaldo Jimenez turned in another in a string of short outings for the Orioles, whose starting pitchers have tested their manager's patience and their bullpen's limits recently. The starters accounted for only 18 innings in the four games in Seattle, and allowed 21 runs while doing it.
With so many of the game's top arms stumping for a chance to show that to the world in this year's All-Star Home Run Derby in San Diego, the movement to include them in that showcase of sluggers hasn't exactly swept through the Orioles clubhouse.
Adam Jones made Minnesota pay for walking Manny Machado in front of him, working a full count before lacing a two-run single into left field off Twins closer Kevin Jepsen, sending the Orioles to their third straight win, 5-3, in front of an announced 21,586 at Target Field.
For Orioles teammates who have seen Matt Wieters go through a long journey since undergoing Tommy John surgery in June of 2014, his making that throw without hesitation was a promising sign that he's back.
Orioles closer Zach Britton took a step forward in his recovery from a sprained left ankle Wednesday, throwing for the first time since injuring the joint Saturday, but he still appears to be at least few days away from returning.
Orioles starters Tyler Wilson and Mike Wright need to develop into pitchers who can get deep into ballgames to save a bullpen that is without closer Zach Britton (sprained ankle) for at least some time. The result will be jumbled and short-handed.