The Toronto Blue Jays slowed the success of the Baltimore Orioles, but Orioles reliever Bryan Baker answered back with infuriating trash talk — and a win.

The Baltimore Orioles have long maintained their reputation as one of the worst teams in the AL East, but in 2022, they’re climbing the standings one game at a time.

The Orioles currently rank fourth in a tight AL East race, but the difference between Baltimore and the top-ranked New York Yankees is only nine games. It remains entirely possible that the Orioles could contend for a playoff spot, but their current series against the Toronto Blue Jays is certainly making it more difficult. During the series, the Blue Jays have pulled ahead with an additional two wins, giving Toronto a 75-60 record to Baltimore’s 72-64 record.

Even though the Orioles battled back with a 9-6 win on Tuesday night, Blue Jays shortstop Bo Bichette certainly didn’t make it easy for them on Monday night.

Bichette became the first shortstop in AL history with 6+ hits and 3+ home runs in a single day, according to the Blue Jays’ official Twitter account.

The Orioles fired back Tuesday night, but the way in which they did so had the entire Blue Jays bench approaching the diamond. Tensions flared in the heated AL East battle when the benches cleared during the Tuesday night game. After seeing a flippant gesture by Orioles reliever Bryan Baker, both teams rushed the field as the Blue Jays confronted Baker, per New York Post’s Joseph Staszewski:

“After Baker struck out Matt Chapman to end the top of the seventh, he turned and appeared to say something to the Toronto dugout and made a “chirping” hand gesture that seemed to indicate he was tired of the talk from his opponent. It led to both benches and the bullpens clearing after Baker started to walk to the Blue Jays side at Camden Yards on Tuesday night.”

Even if the Orioles took an early celebration, the Blue Jays are still currently ahead in the series — but the Orioles could tie it if they win Wednesday night’s game. They’re just three games behind Toronto, and if they move up to third in the standings, this will be their first time since 2014 finishing above Toronto.

However, even if the Orioles move up to third, it’s unlikely they’ll finish above Toronto.

The Blue Jays will likely finish above the Orioles in the AL East

The Blue Jays are currently on pace to pass the Tampa Bay Rays. They’re just one game behind the Rays, so it’s possible that they could move up past them. However, they may not stay above Tampa Bay. They begin a five-game series against the Rays on Monday, which could alter the standings directly.

The Rays are having a good season, so it’s hard to say exactly what will happen. However, regardless of what happens in the standings, the Orioles likely won’t be able to stay above Toronto through the end of the regular season.

Even though the Orioles have seen one of their most impressive seasons in recent years, it may not be enough to overcome the titans in the AL East. Still, an upcoming series against the Red Sox could give them a welcome intradivisional boost.

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