After being swept by the Minnesota Twins and Houston Astros in consecutive series, the Orioles faced the tough challenge of hosting the AL East leading Yankees early this weekend. To many fans surprise the O’s were able to walk away with a series win and move back within 3.5 games of the division lead.

The Orioles started the three game series against the Yankees with a big win on Memorial day. After losing seven games in a row and finding themselves playing from behind in most of those games, the O’s jumped out to an uncharacteristic, early 3-1 lead by the end of the third inning.

Mark Trumbo brought Joey Rickard home with an RBI single in the first while Jonathan Schoop extended the lead with a double in the third. This would end up being the only offense necessary as Dylan Bundy pitched seven strong innings and held the potent Yankees lineup to just one more run. Darren O’Day pitched a 1-2-3 eighth inning and Brad Brach closed it out in the ninth for his tenth save of the year.

The Bronx bombers would not be held down for long though. The Yankees and their exceptional offense exploded in Tuesday nights game, tagging Chris Tillman for five runs and forcing him to exit after just 2.2 innings. Logan Verrett replaced Tillman out of the pen and gave up three more runs in his three innings of relief.

After five innings the Orioles found themselves down 8-0 and the game was pretty much over. The offense put together three runs through the next four innings, falling very short of a comeback but setting up a rubber match for Wednesday night.

The Orioles offense came back to life in the third game, scoring seven runs off of Masahiro Tanaka. Adam Jones led the way with a three hit game for the O’s after missing the first two games of the series. An RBI double in the third, a three-run homer in the fifth, and an RBI single in the eighth.  Jones’ third hit of the game also marked his 1,500th as an Oriole.

Kevin Gausman was able to battle his way through 5.1 innings of work, surrendering three runs. An inflated pitch count drove him out of the game but the bullpen was able to close out the remaining innings. Mychal Givens, O’Day, and Mike Wright all pitched well and held the Yankees down for the 10-4 win.

Injury notes:

  • Adam Jones was left out of the starting lineup in last Saturday’s game against Houston with hip and ankle discomfort. Buck Showalter said that it was a precautionary move but Jones ended up missing a total of four starts before returning to the lineup on Wednesday.
  • Welington Castillo has been placed on the 10-day disabled list after suffering a groin injury in Tuesday nights game against New York. The injury is being compared to the one that backup catcher, Caleb Joseph suffered last season. Coincidentally, Castillo was sent to the DL exactly one year after Joseph was for almost the exact same injury.  You can’t make this stuff up.

The challenges for the O’s will continue as they prepare to host the Boston Red Sox for a four game series this weekend. With Boston sitting right behind New York in the standings, these four games hold even more weight. The series begins tomorrow night at 7:05 pm.