SEATTLE -- The Orioles' 10-game, West Coast road trip is finished, and while it was a disappointment, the Orioles are still in the playoff hunt and there are reasons for optimism.
For one, all of the Orioles' remaining 41 games are in the Eastern Time Zone. Their first 33 games of the season were on Eastern Time, and they played their best ball of 2017 with a 22-11 record.
Plus, 23 of their remaining games are at home, where they're 35-23, and 27 of the 41 games are against the American League East. They're 27-22 against the Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees, Tampa Bay Rays and Toronto Blue Jays, all of whom they play home-and-home series' against.
They'll try and forget their frustrating, 4-6 road trip, which ended with a 7-6 loss to the Seattle Mariners Aug. 16.
"You like to play .500 on the road," catcher Caleb Joseph said. "I thought we had a couple of games that we kind of let slip away. … We probably could have been 6-4. That looks totally different, and the way the standings are shaping up now, who knows? But it's over with, and got to get ready because we're getting these same teams coming in here next week and we have to take care of business. We can't let those games slip away like we did this past week."
The Orioles resume play Aug. 18 with three games against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, whom they trail by three games for the second wild-card spot.
"We're home for six days, then we go back on the road," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "You're playing [the Angels] that had an off-day, then two in Washington, and then another off-day, and they're sitting there waiting on you. You're going to have to make a quick turnaround. It's that time of year."
The Orioles left Seattle with a 59-62 record. Of their six losses, three were by one run and another by two.
"Any time we have to come to the West Coast it's always a challenge," said Orioles starter Ubaldo Jimenez, who took the loss Aug. 16. "Things didn't go the way we wanted to. We wanted to win more games, but, I mean, we just fought."
After a six-game homestand, the Orioles go to Fenway Park for three games against the Red Sox, and then have a 10-game stretch at home against the Mariners, Blue Jays and Yankees.
Roster changes are coming. Utility infielder Ryan Flaherty and Rule 5 outfielder Anthony Santander will be added to the 25-man roster, and on Sept.1, the Orioles will be able to make roster additions.
While Showalter has long decried the rule that allows rosters to be expanded to 40 players, he's made great use of it. He's never had a losing record after Sept. 1 in his first seven years as Orioles manager.
The AL wild-card chase is much more complex than it was a year ago. Nine teams are currently vying for two spots.
A year ago, the Orioles were 67-54 through 121 games. They were in the second wild-card spot, a position they maintained. Only two teams were within 3.5 games of the Orioles.
Showalter expects a team jockeying for the second wild card to get hot.
"It seems like every year … someone takes off," he said. "There's a big snowball time of the year. That's probably what's been a little surprising sometimes. Teams, kind of mentally it becomes a challenge because of the wear-and-tear on the emotional and mental side of the game to stay engaged. So you're always hoping you get on that positive roll."
If the Orioles make the postseason for the fourth time in six seasons, Showalter will look at what the team went through and feel positive.
"There's a great return for the hardship that you go through," Showalter said.