A victory in either of the remaining two games of this series would clinch the Orioles' first season series win over the Athletics since 1998, when they went 8-3.
Warning: In the last six series where the Orioles won the opening game, they've gone 1-12 in the remaining games. They've won seven series openers on the road this year, including their last four in a row. However, the Orioles have won just two of the six road series after claiming the opening game - April 1-3 at Tampa Bay and April 29-May 2 at Chicago.
The Orioles haven't won a road series since May 13-15 at Tropicana Field.
The Orioles won for the second time on the road last night when being out-hit, making them 2-27, and are 5-58 overall when being out-hit. It was their second road win of the year when allowing at least 10 hits (also July 3 at Atlanta).
Jo-Jo Reyes and Tommy Hunter have given the Orioles two straight quality starts. The last time the Orioles had consecutive quality starts was July 19-24, when they registered five in a row. The Orioles played 19 games between consecutive quality starts.
Since June 1, the Orioles' 94 home runs lead the majors by eight over the Red Sox, and they've hit at least two homers in 30 of the 66 games since that date.
Does that mean chicks dig the long ball, but its value otherwise is a bit overstated?
I wrote about Michael Gonzalez last night, but it's worth repeating that he hasn't allowed a run in his last nine appearances, and 14 of his last 15. He struck out three batters in 1 1/3 innings last night and escaped a two-on, two-out jam with one pitch after replacing Hunter.
His stuff is nasty. Too bad it hasn't been that way all season.
I don't know whether Gonzalez has cleared waivers, though that's been the assumption. Maybe a contender will make the Orioles an offer before Aug. 31. It would be a modest proposal, but it's better than nothing.
Also, I wrote last week about Brian's Baseball Bash being canceled and included a statement from the second baseman, who explained that his health issues were the primary reason.
I know a lot of fans were perplexed, and a few agitated, that Roberts would cancel. It should be noted that ticket sales were way down - it doesn't do much good to have memorabilia up for auction if there aren't enough people to bid on it - and I'm told Roberts is presenting a check to the University of Maryland Children's Hospital to match the amount of money that's normally generated by the event. We're talking in the neighborhood of $150,000.