The Baltimore Orioles go 6-3 in their latest homestand, much to the delight of the home fans at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.
They won each series against the Toronto Blue Jays, Colorado Rockies and the Chicago White Sox.
The home stand had a sour note as their All-Star closer Felix Bautista suffered an injury and is on the IL.
With an AL-Best record of (83-50) they have a 1.5 game lead in the AL East over the Tampa Bay Rays (82-52) with 29 games left to play in their season. September is here and the final push to the playoffs is on.
After losing the first game of the Toronto series they won the second game 7-0 before 19,132 at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.
Starter Dean Kremer (12-5) struck out five and allowed five hits in six innings of work. He now has a 4.31 ERA. He threw 90 pitches, 60 for strikes. He is second on the team in wins.
Baltimore slugger Anthony Santander went 2-4 with two solo home runs. Adley Rutschman had two RBI.
The Blue Jay series finale ended with a 5-3 Baltimore victory with 19,432 home fans cheering them on.
Starter Kyle Gibson (13-7) was outstanding going eight innings striking out eight while allowing six hits three runs and walking one. He finished the game with a 4.89 ERA. He was efficient needing only 95 pitches to get through eight innings and 61 were strikes.
Bautista notched his 33rd save, fourth best in MLB. Gibson leads the team in wins and strikeouts at 137.
Santander again shined at the plate going 2-4 with two RBI and another home run. Cedric Mullins also went 2-4 with a home run (11), double and two RBI. He is batting .253 and has 19 doubles and 55 RBI for the season. Rutschman went 3-4, all singles. The Orioles won the season series against the Blue Jays 10-3.
The Orioles won the first game of the Rockies series 5-4 before 28,872 jubilant fans on a hot 85-degree night.
Starter Cole Irwin went six innings allowing six hits while striking out five and giving up four runs and walking one. His ERA is 4.78. He tossed 85 pitches, 63 for strikes.
With Baltimore losing 4-3 in the eighth inning Gunnar Henderson hit a two-run 374 feet homer to give the Orioles the lead. He finished 2-3 with three RBI. Ryan Mountcastle went 2-4 with a home run. Henderson is having a fine season batting .251 with 22 home runs and 65 RBI. He is definitely in the hunt for AL Rookie of the Year.
Although they won the series the Birds suffered a big lost as Bautista with one out to go to win the game threw awkwardly to home and was taken out of the game. It was later revealed that he has a right elbow injury and was placed on the 15-day IL.
As they have done all year other pitchers will have to step up and close games out until his return.
Baltimore won the middle game of the Colorado series again with a 5-4 score before a crowd of 42,535 on ironically Felix Bautista Bobble Head Night.
Starter Kyle Bradish (9-6) struck out eight and went six innings allowing six hits, two runs and walking one. He has a team-best 3.03 ERA. He threw 87 pitches, 59 for strikes.
Mountcastle went 2-3 with two RBI including a two-run double in the sixth inning to give the Orioles a 3-2 lead. Mountcastle is having a fine season batting .275 with 18 home runs and 64 RBI.
Sizzling at the plate this home stand, Santander went 2-4 with a seventh inning double bringing in a run and giving his team a 5-2 lead.
Left-Handed reliever DL Hall (H 1) who was the 21st pick in the 2017 draft, was called up from the minors to replace Bautista. He looked good pitching one inning allowing one hit while earning his first hold of the season.
The bullpen allowed two eighth inning runs and Bautista’s usual set up man Yennier Cano earned his fifth save in his absence. The Cuban has a 1.60 ERA and has appeared in 60 games and has 58 strikeouts.
Baltimore dropped the final game of the Rockies series 4-3.
The Orioles won the first game of the Chicago series 9-0 before 12,325 on a cloudy 79-degree night.
Rookie starter Grayson Rodriquez (4-3) was great. He went six innings striking out six while allowing one hit. He threw 96 pitches and 62 were strikes.
He has a 5.03 ERA. The tall right-hander, the 11th pick in the 2018 draft, has pitched 93 innings and has 97 strikeouts.
Santander had a great home stand and went 2-4 with three RBI and a home run in the game. Ryan O’Hearn went 2-5 with two RBI. Ryan McKenna went 1-3 with two RBI. O’Hearn is having a fine season batting .300 with 11 home runs and 44 RBI.
Before 14,903 fans the Orioles won the middle game of the White Sox series 9-3. The game was close sitting at 1-1 in the sixth inning.
Baltimore scored three runs in the seventh and five more in the eighth inning to put the game out of reach.
Again, Santander was the man going 2-4 with four RBI including a three-run bases-loaded double in the seventh inning to give the Birds a 4-1 lead.
The Baltimore bats stayed hot in the eighth inning as McKenna (.263 BA) doubled to bring in two runs making the score 7-1 and Rutschman and Santander had RBI singles. Rutschman is having a fine season batting leadoff and hitting .275 with 16 home runs and 62 RBI.
After the hot home stand Santander (.258 BA) leads the team with 26 home runs and is tied with Austin Hays with 32 doubles. He also leads the team with79 RBI. His .492 slugging percentage leads the team, and he is second in hits with 124.
Baltimore lost the series finale to the White Sox 10-5.
They had a four-run first inning lead, but Gibson was roughed up surrendering seven runs in three innings and the Orioles never recovered.
They now enter the month of September well on their way to a playoff berth. They went 18-9 in the month of August.
Baltimore begins September by flying back out West to take on the Arizona Diamondbacks, Los Angeles Angels and then coming back East to visit the Boston Red Sox.