Sports

Steady work begins for the Orioles down the stretch

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On Sunday, the Orioles escaped Oakland – their house of horrors – and avoided a three-game sweep.

Two of three would have been nice, but not getting swept was paramount.

Now the Orioles step into a stretch in which they have to dominate. Their next dozen games are against sub.500 teams. That span (of 13) started Monday, when they pounded the Seattle Mariners, 10-4.

They have two more here at Safeco and then travel to Boston (66-81) for three games against the worst roster ever, to paraphrase Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine. The Orioles then come home for four (in three days) against the Toronto Blue Jays (66-79) and three with Valentine’s own personal Titanic before finishing the season with three at Tampa Bay.

The Yankees (83-63) have a slightly easier schedule. They were off Monday and now play nine of their remaining 16 games at home. And they also have only one winning team remaining, the wild card leading Oakland A’s. Otherwise, the Yankees have Toronto for seven, Minnesota for three (at Target Field) and finish up with Boston at home.

The Rays (78-69) are free-falling and have the roughest road. They have to go to the AL Central leading Chicago White Sox for four games and host the Orioles for three in the season finale. They have five more against Boston and three at home versus Toronto.

The schedule sets up nicely for the Orioles. Let’s see if they can take advantage of some down teams.

“I think we really focus on the game we are playing on any certain day and not look ahead,” Orioles left fielder Nate McLouth said. “And we take everybody as serious as the next team. You definitely can’t look past anybody.”

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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