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Down the Stretch (Sept. 30)

[Down the stretch is a daily Orioles Insider blog that will set up the coming day for the O's and their American League competition as the push for the postseason continues.]


About last night

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AL East Standings


BAL       91-67     --
NYY       91-67     --
TB         87-71     4

AL Wild-Card Standings

BAL/NYY    91-67      --
OAK         90-68         --
LAA          87-70      2.5
TB            87-71      3

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Today's game

Red Sox at Orioles, 1:35 p.m.

RHP Zach Stewart (1-3, 7.91 ERA) vs. LHP Joe Saunders (8-13, 4.09 ERA)

Key matchup

Nobody on the Orioles has more than four at-bats against Stewart, but J.J. Hardy is 3-for-4 against the former White Sox right-hander with a homer and a double.

Other games that matter


Angels (Greinke) at Rangers (Darvish), 1:05 p.m.

Angels (Santana) at Rangers (Holland), 7:05 p.m.

Yankees (Hughes) at Blue Jays (Alvarez), 1:07 p.m.

Rays (Price) at White Sox (Quintana), 2:10 p.m.

Tigers (Sanchez) at Twins (Hendriks), 2:10 p.m.

Mariners (Ramirez) at Athletics (Milone), 4:05 p.m.

Thought of the day

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As if an AL East pennant race and a four-way battle for the wild card weren't enough, Orioles manager Buck Showalter mentioned another reason the Orioles felt they needed to win Saturday.

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It was Brooks Robinson's night at the ballpark so, as Showalter said, "We had a lot of pressure on us."

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This year's six sculpture unveiling ceremonies, held to honor each of the Orioles' Hall of Famers for the 20th anniversary of Camden Yards, were clearly a home run for the fans. And it seemed like they were just as much of a hit in the O's clubhouse.

"We get to see the legends out there, and it's unbelievable," said first baseman

Mark Reynolds

, who admitted to getting Robinson to autograph a ball for him Saturday. "I went out there to see Brooks today, and I had chill bumps the whole time hearing people talk about him and what a great guy he was.

"It was a fun night."

It was also a successful one, as the Orioles improved to 4-2 in the games following those sculpture ceremonies.

Sure, that's a meaningless stat, but with the playoff race as it stands, every one of those wins counts.

Inside the enemy clubhouses


Dana Eveland (@DanaEveland): Keep it going ! Best team I've ever been a part of. Wish I was there to be part of this magic.

Poll question

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