The Baltimore Orioles took advantage of an early start time to pull within one game of the second Wild Card spot with a 10-3 victory over the San Diego Padres. The Orioles have bounced back from dropping two of three at home against the Seattle Mariners to take two straight against the Padres. The key to this afternoon’s victory was the power surge by two of their most consistent offensive players.
Chris Davis provided the boom for the league leading 41st time. He also drove in three runs to bring his league-leading total up to 106. Davis is having a career year and has a legitimate chance of the original, steroid-free record set by Roger Maris of 61 home runs.
Davis had help on this day though as his output was duplicated by shortstop J.J. Hardy. Hardy slugged his 19th home run of the year and also drove in three to bring his season total up to 63. While Davis has the numbers of a potential MVP candidate, Hardy has been one of the best hitting shortstops in all of baseball. He is second in home runs and leads all shortstops in RBI.
The American League is stacked this year and if the Orioles are going to duplicate last season’s magic and make the playoffs for a second year in a row, the offense is going to have to continue to carry the load.
Davis, Hardy, Manny Machado and Adam Jones have all had remarkable years and they will need it to continue for the next two months if they hope to catch the Texas Rangers for the Wild Card or the Tampa Bay Rays and Boston Red Sox for the division title.