8:13 PM PDT, September 4, 2012
Mark Reynolds has struggled at the plate for most of the 2012 season, but he certainly picked the right time to snap out of a long power slump and start making Orioles opponents pay for those months of frustration.
Reynolds, who hit four homers in New York over the weekend, launched a three-run shot in the fifth inning on Tuesday night to kick off the late 12-run onslaught that helped boost the Orioles into a tie for first place in the American League East.
These are heady times for the surprising O’s, but Reynolds echoed manager Buck Showalter after the game by stressing that the most important thing the players can do right now is keep their heads on straight.
“We’re still just looking at tomorrow,’’ Reynolds said on the MASN postgame show. “That’s what Buck preaches and that’s what we’re trying to do.”
There’s about a month left of the regular season and there are a lot of big games left to play. The Orioles have another one Wednesday night, even though the Jays are in full retreat right now. The final game of the series could be an opportunity to jump a game ahead of the Yankees right before the start of the huge four-game series against them this weekend at Oriole Park.
The Jays have failed to score a run in the first 18 innings of the series and Orioles starter Miguel Gonzalez will try to keep it that way. Jays starter Brandon Morrow has been very tough this year (2.93 ERA), so look for both offenses to start slowly.
Attendance update: The Orioles are expecting some big crowds this weekend and could draw more than 150,000 for the four-game series. The Thursday and Saturday games are close to being sold out, but club officials say many tickets still remain for the Friday and Sunday games and encourage fans to purchase tickets in advance to avoid long lines at the walk-up windows. Obviously, the Tampa Bay series next week is a different story, so the club has announced that seats in the Eutaw St. bleachers will be sold for $4 apiece and seats in the left field bleachers will be priced at $8 for the entire series. Fans who paid higher prices for advance tickets in those sections will receive a refund of the difference.