The Orioles had a great week, going 5-2 against Washington, Toronto, and St. Louis. They scored a whopping 44 runs and allowed just 25. If only the team could do that every week!
The team is still in first place in the AL East at 67-50, five games ahead of the Blue Jays. They've improved their predicted finish to 92-70.
Best Hitter / Worst Hitter
J.J. Hardy captures this week's award with an eye-popping .478/.500/.870 (2 HR) line. That's a 287 wRC+. Nelson Cruz remained the team's worst hitter for the second week in a row, but he raised his batting line to .231/.300/.423 (97 wRC+). When your worst hitter is basically league average, you've got something going.
Best Start / Worst Start
Chris Tillman turned in a good start against the Cardinals on Friday. In 6.2 innings he struck out 7 and walked just one while getting 53% goundballs. He was charged with just two earned runs. Ubaldo Jimenez was the worst of the group after coming off the DL. He pitched six innings and struck out five but walked three. He gave up a home run and just 5.6% of batted balls against him stayed on the ground. Ah, same old Ubaldo.
Clutch PA of the Week
Wouldn't you know it? For the third straight week, Manny Machado takes home this honor. On Friday August 8th, the Orioles were tied 0-0 with the Cardinals in the bottom of the second. Ryan Flaherty singled and moved to second when David Lough bunted him over. Nick Hundley cracked a single to score Flaherty, and Nick Markakis walked, putting runners at first and second. Manny Machado then launched the first pitch he saw to deep left-center for a three-run home run, putting the Orioles up 4-0.
Clutch Relief Appearance of the Week
The Orioles didn't have a lot of tight spots this week due to the offensive explosion. So it's not surprising that their best relief appearance was a regular save by Zach Britton that preserved a 2-1 win against Toronto. Nothing fancy: just three groundouts by Juan Francisco, Danny Valencia, and Colby Rasmus.
The Orioles begin a series at home against the Yankees that could be described as "key", although it's difficult to get too worked up because the Yankees are six games back. Maybe it's key for the Yankees. They're off Thursday before traveling to Cleveland for a three-game set.