Taking a closer look at the Orioles' shutout streak (and more)

The Orioles have been involved in four consecutive shutouts, winning the first two in Atlanta behind Jason Hammel and Wei-Yin Chen, and losing the next two in New York.

So when's the last time the Orioles were involved in a streak of four or more consecutive shutouts? Elias has the answer, which the Orioles' PR department obtained earlier today.

The Orioles were involved in five straight shutouts to end the 1995 season, and they won all five games by scores of 5-0 on Sept. 26 at Toronto, 7-0 on Sept. 27 at Toronto, 6-0 on Sept. 29 vs. Detroit, 12-0 on Sept. 30 vs. Detroit and 4-0 on Oct. 1 vs. Detroit.

(I looked up the scores. I couldn't have everyone else doing all the research.)

Mike Mussina, Scott Erickson, Kevin Brown, Ben McDonald and Mussina started those games. McDonald was the only pitcher who didn't go the distance despite the 12-run margin. He allowed one hit and walked five in six innings. Jimmy Haynes (two) and Jesse Orosco (one) covered the last three innings.

Chris Hoiles (@c23hoiles) was behind the plate for all five shutouts.

Those games were a sportswriter's dream. They lasted 2:34, 2:20, 2:31, 2:56 and 2:24.

Yes, the fourth one dragged.

Mussina finished the season with 19 victories.

The five consecutive shutouts, and nine wins in the last 10 games, weren't enough to save manager Phil Regan's job. Davey Johnson took over and guided the Orioles to back-to-back appearances in the American League Championship Series.

Sparky Anderson retired as Tigers manager after the '95 season.

OK, back to the present.

The Orioles are batting .154 without a home run in the first five games of this road trip.

The Yankees lost to the Braves today, 10-5. The Orioles can move within 1 1/2 games of first place in the American League East with a victory tonight.

We have a change in the Nationals' rotation for this weekend. Ross Detwiler will start on Sunday, with Chien-Ming Wang going to the bullpen.

OK, back to the past.

If the Orioles fail to score tonight, they will tie the franchise record by being shut out in three straight games. It happened on July 29-31, 1957, when they were blanked by the White Sox (once) and Cleveland (twice).

The Orioles haven't hit a home run in their last five games, their longest stretch since going seven games without one Aug. 4-11, 1992. The franchise record for consecutive games without a home run is 20, set July 20-Aug. 5, 1955.

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