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Division showdown begins tonight

Posted By Chad Jennings On August 31, 2012 @ 9:01 am In Misc | 319 Comments

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Here’s what Russell Martin said about this weekend’s three-game series against Baltimore:

“It’s important regardless. Even if we’d swept the Blue Jays, we have to bring it against the Orioles this weekend, for sure.”

Ever think you read a quote like that on the last day of August? Ever think such words would be said with such sincerity?

When the Orioles got off to a hot start this season, it was a nice novelty act, but the novelty is over. It’s not entirely clear how they’re doing this — the Orioles have allowed more runs than they’ve scored — but their bullpen is incredible, Adam Jones is having a very good year and the Orioles keep winning games.

After a win yesterday, the Orioles have cut the division lead to three games. That means Baltimore sweep this weekend makes it even. A Yankees sweep likely helps Tampa Bay pull into second place leading into next week’s series between the Rays and Yankees at Tropicana Field. The Yankees next 10 games are against the two teams chasing them for the division title.

“I’ve been saying it for a while, I think every game is a big game,” Nick Swisher said. “We’re not exactly making it easier on ourselves. Tough series here the past three days. Big series coming up this weekend. I’m expecting us to really step it up and get this thing turned around.”

Associated Press photo

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