The Baltimore Orioles have opened up a five game division lead, which is the largest in the entire league. The Orioles’ bats have been on and off throughout the season but have appeared to begin to heat up for the most part as of late.
As the Orioles were able to play behind stellar pitching through the month of July, the teams bats were to thank for their last two victories, scoring 20 runs in two games against the St. Louis Cardinals. With key players like Nelson Cruz, Chris Davis, and Adam Jones slumping as of late, the heart of the order hitters bats’ woke up this weekend seemingly all at once. Cruz missed a multi-home run game by a matter of feet against the Cardinals, as both Jones and Davis added homers to contribute to their Orioles’ six in total on Friday.
While this is a pleasant surprise for the Birds, the most surprising bat belongs to Caleb Joseph. Joseph has hit .360 in August, with five homeruns in five straight games. Joseph’s streak tied the longest for a Baltimore rookie in team history and while his bat has been a bright spot, Joseph also possesses an arm that has the best percentage of runners caught stealing in the entire league.
Not to be forgotten is the solid play of both Nick Markakis and Manny Machado. Markakis is batting an absurd .436 in August, while Machado is not far behind, batting .372.
At a time where the Orioles saw two crucial division opponents on their schedule, the O’s took two out of three in Toronto, and begin a three game set against the Yankees tomorrow. The hot play of the Orioles could not have come at a better time as the Orioles face a series of under .500 opponents throughout the rest of August and the team looks to hold on to their number two seed in the AL, and may even look to catch Oakland for the top spot.
Either way the fate of the Orioles’ season is in their own hands and they can make some serious noise throughout the league if they are able to keep up their play as of late, which they have already showed they are capable of doing.
As mentioned before, the Orioles take the field behind Bud Norris tomorrow against the Yankees in Baltimore. The Orioles have not dropped a series since July 20th against the Oakland A’s.