Orioles embark on another tough road challenge

August 17, 2012|By Eduardo A. Encina | The Baltimore Sun

The Orioles completed their 10-game homestand Thursday night with seven wins. It didn’t end the way they wanted – with a sweep of the Boston Red Sox – but rather with a sobering 6-3 loss.

But think about where the Orioles are as they embark on a six-game trip to Detroit and Texas. Despite the loss, they are tied with the Tampa Bay Rays for the American League wild-card spots. They are six games back of the division-leading New York Yankees (they trailed by 10 games this time a month ago).

The Orioles arrived in Detroit early Friday morning. Tonight, they will be welcomed by Tigers ace Justin Verlander, who has allowed just one earned run over 15 innings in his past two starts.

“It doesn’t get any easier,” said Orioles first baseman Mark Reynolds, who was 11-for-28 with four homers, three doubles and 10 RBIs on the homestand. “We’re looking forward to it.”

It’s a daunting task. But the whole road trip will be. The Rangers (first) and Tigers (third) are two of the AL’s top offensive teams and will be a test for the Orioles’ patchwork starting rotation.

But we also said the same thing last month, when the Orioles went to New York and Tampa Bay and returned winners of four of six and with series victories against both teams. If they can keep games close late, they can be successful.

“We had a solid homestand with a few come-from-behind wins, a few just playing really good baseball,” center fielder Adam Jones said. “We’ve just got to go on the road. We’ve got two teams that are first or second place in their division, so this is going to be a strong road trip, just like the last one was when we were in New York and Tampa. So this is kind of similar. We’ve got to go and play good baseball and as a team become victorious. It doesn’t matter how we do it. Who cares how we do it. As long as when that last out is made we get the victory “

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