Orioles Lose in Toronto; A Huge Weekend Against the Yankees…

The Orioles, as we all know, lost last night to the Toronto Blue Jays, 6-4. All in all, they had a successful road trip, going 6-2; however, last night, you expected the Orioles to sweep their rivals to the north. It’s weird to believe it, but I did think it was going to be done for a bit.

Miguel Gonzalez grinded through his start on the mound; alas, he ran into trouble in the seventh inning and Baltimore gave up four runs in that frame, leading to their 60th loss on the season.

In the eighth inning, the Orioles had a very good chance of getting back into the game, trailing 6-2, as they had two men on base with Lew Ford at the plate. Ford seemingly dropped a hit for extra bases down the left field line that would have scored at least two. However, third base umpire Laz Diaz called Ford’s drive a foul, and even though Buck Showalter tried to argue his case, the call stood. Of course, then Ford grounded into a double play.

If any good came from Wednesday’s game, Adam Jones hit his 27th homer of the year in the second inning and Mark Reynolds continued his hot streak at the plate as he hit a two-run homer in the ninth (his 18th of the season).

The Jays just had the Orioles’ number on the night as they got the hits they needed.

It’s too bad that Baltimore could not have pulled out a win, but they have to look forward to this weekend’s huge series against the Yankees. Apparently, Thursday and Saturday’s game are sold out; however, tickets are available for Friday and Sunday.

After the embarrassingly low attendance figures from the previous homestand, hopefully Camden Yards will be filled with Oriole fans. For the first time in 15 seasons, the Orioles are playing a meaningful September game at home, andthose who have never felt the excitement of playoff baseball, the intrigue, drama and all live — you’re going to experience a preview this weekend. At 76-60, the Orioles lost their share of first place last night, now only trailing the Yankees by a game.

It’s weird to see the Yankees scrambling for a playoff spot this late in the season and just astonishing to see the Rays always in the thick of things despite their resources. It is even more surreal to see the Orioles now contending with 26 games left in the season; however, this is what you live to see as a fan.

Baltimore starter Jason Hammel makes his return tonight off the DL. Considering the team has been patching things together in terms of the rotation, his return instills some confidence. Hammel’s fast start is one of many reasons why the Orioles are where they are and if he can return to the form he had before being put on the shelf, they’ll be in great shape down the stretch. He goes against Yankee rookie David Phelps on the mound.

With Cal Ripken’s statue unveiling today, the Orioles battling for supremacy in the American League East and a pennant race that should go down to the wire, it’s an exciting. More people have chatted with me about the Orioles at work more in the last two weeks than I could ever recall.

I’m sure it’s going to be fun in town over the next week. For the first time since my college years — I cannot believe it’s been that long — the Orioles and Yankees are going toe to toe for the devision.