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Orioles Weekly Wrap: July 22nd - July 28th

Brian Matusz, Wei-Yin Chen, Nelson Cruz, and Manny Machado were key to the Orioles' West Coast success this week.

Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports

Results

The Orioles went 4-2 against the Angels and Mariners to cap a 6-4 road trip. Their offense sputtered as they scored just 18 runs. Luckily their pitching and defense held together to allow just 12.

Standings

The Orioles remain in first place in the AL East with a 58-46 record, 2.5 games ahead of Toronto who is riding a three-game winning streak and is 8-2 in their last 10 games. The Orioles' predicted end-of-season record is 89-73.

Best Hitter / Worst Hitter

The team's offense was not good at all this week. You can tell because Nelson Cruz led the Orioles with just a 103 wRC+ (.158/.360/.368 with one home run). Maybe being out on the West Coast, and facing some good teams, tired them out? At any rate, Ryan Flaherty got a bunch of playing time this week and made the most of -- err, no, wait, he stunk it up to the tune of a -41 wRC+ (.105/.105/.158).

Best Start / Worst Start

Similar to how no one on the offense had a good week, no one in the rotation had a bad week. Wei-Yin Chen was the best, though: In 8 innings he struck out three, walked one, and gave up five hits (no home runs). Miguel Gonzalez probably had the worst start. Against the Mariners, he struck out one, walked two, and gave up eight hits in 6.0 innings.

Clutch PA of the Week

This one goes to Manny Machado, who put the Orioles on top in the 10th inning against the Mariners on July 27th. The Orioles entered the inning tied 2-2 and facing Yoervis Medina. Adam Jones doubled on the first pitch he saw to get into scoring position. Nelson Cruz and Chris Davis then worked back-to-back walks to load the bases.

J.J. Hardy swung at the second pitch he saw but popped it up over the infield. Machado came up to bat and it looked like he would strike out, especially after an awful swing on and 0-1 fastball up and in. But the next pitch was over the plate and Manny took it to left-center field,  which was plenty deep enough for Jones to score the go-ahead run.

Clutch Relief Appearance of the Week

Believe it or not, this week's award goes to Brian Matusz. On July 25th, the Orioles were tied with the Mariners 1-1 in the bottom of the 7th. Matusz relieved Kevin Gausman and retired Stefan Romero on a fly ball to left field. The Orioles failed to score in the 8th, but Matusz allowed only one baserunner (and got three strikeouts!) in the bottom half.

The Orioles didn't score in the top of the 9th either. Matusz started the bottom half by retiring Logan Morrison on a pop fly before giving way to Darren O'Day, who struck out Mike Zunino and Brad Miller. In the top of the 10th, Chris Davis homered to put the Orioles up 2-1 and they went on to win the game.

Upcoming Week

The Orioles host the Angels and Mariners, whom they just played against, before playing a make-up game against the Nationals and then heading out to Toronto for a divisional showdown. That series has the makings of a tense one.

Your Moment of Zen