BALTIMORE — When the Orioles returned from their 10-game road trip out west, the weekend series against the Angels brought an opportunity to make up for some lost opportunities. The weekend looked promising. A west coast team in the Angels found themselves on the east coast, reversing the prior situation. Not only that, but on Saturday the Orioles celebrated they 25th anniversary at Camden Yards. Legends like Cal Ripken Jr. and Brady Anderson waved to the fans, lifting the spirits of what signifies a pretty disappointing season so far.

With all of this going on, the Orioles struggled. They dropped two of three games to the Angels over the weekend. Not only did they score just one run in front of the 1992 legends, but they lost a series to a team that also looks to grab a Wild Card spot. Time still remains before the playoffs, but the momentum lacks right now.

The last time the Orioles won a series came two weeks ago against the Tigers. The A’s now arrive at Camden Yards for three games. The A’s are a step below Detroit, but if the Orioles tumble in this series, they’ll likely slip past Detroit into the cellar of the American League.

Last Meeting: Just over a week ago, the Orioles and Athletics split a four-game series in Oakland. The two teams went back-and-forth in the weekend battle, with the Orioles winning games one & three, and the Athletics emerging victorious in games two & four.

Splitting with the Athletics perfectly represented a 4-6 road trip filled with missed opportunities. However, the Orioles offense flashed. In the 7-2 win on Thursday the 10th, the Orioles belted back-to-back homers two separate times. Trey Mancini was involved in both sequences. In Saturday’s (Aug. 12) 12-5 win, the Orioles put up seven runs in the first inning. A’s starter Sean Manaea, who Baltimore faces again on Wednesday, lasted just a third of an inning. Manaea allowed six runs on six hits and a walk. Baltimore finished the game with 20 hits and eight doubles. All of the offensive production came without a home run.

As stated before, Baltimore displayed some low moments at the Coliseum. Oakland picked up a 5-4 go-ahead win following a shaky relief appearance from Brad Brach. In the Sunday afternoon series finale, Jeremy Hellickson imploded in the fourth inning of his start. The rest went downhill from there, and Oakland walked away with a 9-3 win.

Standings Update: In the American League East, the Orioles (60-64) come into the week in fourth place, 11.5 games behind the Boston Red Sox (71-52). Out in the west, the Athletics (54-70) sit in fifth place with the second-to-worst record in the AL. The Astros (76-48) lead the division with the Angels (64-60) 12 games behind them.

The Indians (68-54) sit up top in the AL Central. The Twins (63-59) and the Royals (62-61) find themselves neck-and-neck for not only second place in the division, but for a Wild Card spot too.

Wild Card Picture: With Boston, Cleveland, and Houston leading the divisions, the Yankees (66-57) comfortably represent the #5 seed, and the top Wild Card. Behind New York, the Twins and Angels find themselves tied for the #6 seed. Seattle (63-62) and Kansas City also own records above .500. Texas (61-62) and Tampa Bay (61-65) both rank ahead of the Orioles in the Wild Card Race.

Game Times and Pitching Matchups:

Game 1Monday, Aug. 21, 7:05 pm – Chris Smith (0-2, 5.26 ERA) vs. Wade Miley (6-10, 5.21 ERA) – MASN, 105.7 The Fan.

Game 2Tuesday, Aug. 22, 7:05 pm – Paul Blackburn (3-1, 3.46 ERA) vs. Ubaldo Jimenez (5-8, 6.47 ERA) – MASN, 105.7 The Fan.

Game 3Wednesday, Aug. 23, 3:05 pm – Sean Manaea (8-8, 4.58 ERA) vs. Dylan Bundy (12-8, 4.17 ERA) – MASN, 105.7 The Fan.

Notes on the Athletics:

  • Oakland dropped a series to the Astros over the weekend, two games to one. The A’s won Sunday’s finale 3-2, but scored just one run combined in the first two games.
  • Despite being 36-years-old, Rajai Davis owns 26 stolen bases this season, which ties him with Cameron Maybin of the Angels for third most in the AL. In the entire Major Leagues, Davis and Maybin rank sixth overall.
  • After his horrible, 0.1-inning start against the O’s on Aug. 12, Manaea rebounded in his next start on the 18th versus Houston. In six innings, he allowed three runs on six hits, a walk, and two strikeouts. Manaea still lost the game, but got no run support from his offense. Oakland went on to lose, 3-1.

Notes on the Orioles: 

  • The club owns a .500 record (18-18) since the All-Star Break.
  • Following Chris Tillman‘s return to the rotation on Sunday against Anaheim, Manager Buck Showalter said that Tillman will start again, probably over the weekend against Boston.
  • The Orioles, winners of four straight openers, failed to win all four of those series.

Coming up… After another off day on Thursday, the Orioles head up to Boston for a three-game weekend tangle with the AL East-leading Red Sox. The O’s then return home for 10 games; three against the Mariners, four versus the Blue Jays, and three with the Yankees.

Image Credit: CSN Mid-Atlantic