After taking care of the last-place White Sox this weekend, the Orioles will surely have their work cut out for them this week in a critical four-game series against the Yankees, who are also chasing a playoff spot.
Baltimore took three of four from Chicago, while the Yankees lost three of four against the first-place Red Sox, placing an even greater importance on this series in Baltimore.
Baltimore right-hander Chris Tillman will square off against New York southpaw CC Sabathia in Monday night's opener at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. The Orioles will enter the series tied with the Indians two games back of the Rays for the second American League Wild Card spot, while the Yankees are 2 1/2 games back.
Monday's contest gives Sabathia the chance to come through with an ace-like performance when his team needs it most, toward the tail end of what's been a disappointing season for him. He's 13-11 with a 4.86 ERA, and hasn't fared well against the Orioles, either. He's 2-1 with a 4.67 ERA in four starts against Baltimore.
Sabathia gave up three runs on five hits over 7 1/3 innings on Wednesday against the White Sox, and has won each of his last two starts and four of his last five. Still, in that span, his ERA has climbed from 4.66 to 4.86.
"I feel like I'm getting better," Sabathia said. "Like I've said, I'll keep building, keep working and try to help the team win."
Tillman had unusual control issues in his last outing, walking five in 5 1/3 innings against the Indians for just his second loss in his last 10 starts.
"I need to be better than that," Tillman said. "It's coming down to the wire here and I think I expect better from myself. It was close. I was a couple pitches from getting through there."
The Yankees took two of three from the Orioles in last weekend's three-game series, which kicked off the Yankees' 10-game homestand.
Orioles: Machado on double duty
• Third baseman Manny Machado's 48th double on Sunday passed Vada Pinson (47 with the Reds in 1959) for the second most by a player in his age-20 or younger season. Only Alex Rodriguez hit more, with 54 in 1996.
Machado is on pace to challenge Brian Roberts' club record of 56, set in 2009.
• Chris Davis' 48 home runs this season give him 81 over the course of the last two seasons, tying Rafael Palmeiro (1997-98) for most in consecutive seasons in club history.
Yankees: Jeter likely out
• Shortstop Derek Jeter was out of the Yankees lineup on Sunday with soreness in his surgically repaired left ankle, and is likely to miss a few days with the issue.
Jeter had a precautionary CT scan after Saturday's game, and the results returned negative. Manager Joe Girardi said the team has not considered shutting him down for the season.
• The Yanks have scored at least four runs in an inning in five of their last seven games.
• Of Baltimore's last 24 runs, 19 have come via the home run. Twenty-nine of their 47 runs scored in the last 13 games came from the long ball.
• The Yankees are 33-30 against the AL East this year. The Orioles are 27-30 against the division.