{}
CLOSE

Now Commenting On:

Baltimore begins challenging slate of games

Baltimore begins challenging slate of games

|
Baltimore begins challenging slate of games

BALTIMORE-- Let the homestretch begin.

With Monday's series opener against Tampa Bay, the third-place Orioles -- who entered the day 3 1/2 games behind the Rays -- embarked on a challenging slate to conclude the regular season.

Baltimore, which has two off-days remaining in August, has just one day off in September and will play almost exclusively against American League East teams with the exception of Oakland and Cleveland, both of which are in the hunt for an AL Wild Card berth.

"I haven't looked a whole lot further than the rest of this month, but I think I got it memorized," manager Buck Showalter said of his team's schedule. "There's not many teams that are not going to be potentially someone you are going to be watching the scoreboard with a little bit. So from that standpoint it should be entertaining for the fans. I don't know about the rest of us.

"It's going to be a ride, because you've got to keep your emotions and sense of reality, because the season's not going to end on one night. If you let yourself get on a roller coaster here, you will. But it's part of it. It's why we do these things, it's why we started in Spring Training -- to have the chance to do this, to play meaningful games the last month or so."

The expectation is that both the division race and the Wild Card chase will come down to the wire. Showalter said that the Orioles -- who reached the playoffs last season for the first time in 15 years -- are approaching the final 30-plus games the right way.

"It's something we should be looking forward to," he said. "Not some sense of negativity at all. Believe me, our guys aren't [negative] at all. We have a lot of respect for the competition."

Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

{}
{}
Boys and Girls Club of America

©2014 MLBAM, LP. All rights reserved.

The following are trademarks or service marks of Major League Baseball entities and may be used only with permission of Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. or the relevant Major League Baseball entity: Major League, Major League Baseball, MLB, the silhouetted batter logo, World Series, National League, American League, Division Series, League Championship Series, All-Star Game, and the names, nicknames, logos, uniform designs, color combinations, and slogans designating the Major League Baseball clubs and entities, and their respective mascots, events and exhibitions. Use of the Website signifies your agreement to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy (updated May 24, 2013).

View MLB.com in English | En Español