Daniel Cabrera pitched seven strong innings and three Orioles batters homered in a 5-2 victory versus the Seattle Mariners that moved the team to a season-high 14 games over .500 on this day in Orioles history, May 26, 2005. The O’s 30-16 record was the high-water mark of a season that moved from disappointing to disastrous.
Cabrera finished having allowed only three hits and one run while striking out eight and walking two to pick up the win and move his record to 4-3. Meanwhile, Melvin Mora, Miguel Tejada, and Rafael Palmeiro all homered to provide more than enough run support to complete the three-game sweep of the Mariners.
It was the best of times, with the O’s up 4.5 games in the division for what would be their largest lead of the season. The worst of times would soon follow as the team fell out of first place by late June, fell below .500 in late July, and bottomed out with a nine-game losing streak in late September. Two days after the O’s had fallen below .500, MLB suspended Palmeiro for a steroid violation.
The 2005 Orioles finished 74-88, 21 games behind the New York Yankees. It was the closest the team would come to winning baseball again until they finally topped the .500 mark again in 2012.