The good news over the weekend is that the Orioles took three out of four games from the White Sox this weekend.
The bad news is that the Tampa Bay Rays won last night and the Orioles are now two games back in the hunt for the final wild card spot.
They are still in a position where they can ill afford to lose any more games. Bud Norris gave up four runs on Sunday and took his 11th loss of the year after winning four starts (and not losing any games) as a member of the Baltimore Orioles.
Adam Jones hit his 31st homer of the year and Ryan Flaherty drove in a run; however, the Birds blew a golden chance for another comeback win in the bottom of the ninth inning, down 4-2.
The Chicago White Sox were desperately clinging to a ninth-inning lead, hoping for a victory that would put a positive finish on a miserable road trip.
Then, something astonishing happened: Thanks to a fine bit of acting by shortstop Alexei Ramirez, the White Sox actually got a lucky break.
Pinch-runner Chris Dickerson got lost on the bases and was doubled up for the final out, and Chicago ended a nine-game losing streak by holding off the Baltimore Orioles 4-2 Sunday.
Down 4-1, Baltimore loaded the bases with no outs in the ninth against Addison Reed. After Ryan Flaherty grounded into a forceout at second base that scored a run, Dickerson ran for him.
Dickerson tried to steal second on a pitch to Brian Roberts, who hit a foul pop near first base. Dickerson didn't know where the ball went, and Ramirez made it appear that the ball was in play as Dickerson slid into second. The baserunning blunder made him an easy out at first.
"I didn't peek and it ended up in the one place where you're not going to get that awareness reaction from the infielders," Dickerson said. "Especially Ramirez with the deke. That pretty much got me. I assumed there was a groundball hit behind me and he was going to first because I was already there."
Stuff happens, but the Orioles had chances to score throughout Sunday’s contest.
Once again, the Orioles were putrid with runners in scoring position. The score may show that the Birds lost by two runs; however, they were 0-for-11 with scoring opportunities and stranded eight.
Seriously, if the Orioles are going to go anywhere in the final weeks of the season, they have to get men to score.
Simple as that.
The next four games with the New York Yankees at Camden Yards will make – or break the Orioles.
It’s C.C. Sabathia versus Chris Tillman on the mound tonight.