This and that

The Orioles have a chance tonight to move 11 games above .500 for the first time since June 18, when they were 39-28 after the first of three straight losses to the Mets at Citi Field.

They're 10 games above .500 for the first time since June 24, right before they lost six of their next seven games.

Brian Matusz and Jason Hammel each lost twice during that span. Matusz is currently at Triple-A Norfolk and on the verge of moving to the bullpen. Hammel is on the disabled list and on the verge of throwing his second bullpen session.

I'm not counting the front slope session. Otherwise, this would be his third.

The Orioles just won't go away. They hit the skids and then they start hitting. The rotation falls apart and then it holds the team together. The defense is porous and then it's perfect.

Troy Patton goes on the disabled list yesterday and J.C. Romero tosses a scoreless eighth inning as the new left-hander in the bullpen. He threw 11 of his 14 pitches for strikes.

ODay Delivers Orange Wide.jpgDarren O'Day didn't let an inherited runner score last night after replacing starter Wei-Yin Chen. He's only let five of 31 cross the plate this season. He's also made 11 straight scoreless appearances, six fewer than Patton and five fewer than Pedro Strop.

Matt Lindstrom made his seventh straight scoreless appearance last night.

Luis Ayala has registered a 1.80 ERA in his last 12 games since July 15.

Jim Johnson's 34 saves tie him with Don Aase for sixth on the Orioles' single-season list and leave him two away from tying B.J. Ryan (2005), Jorge Julio (2003) and Gregg Olson (1992) for third.

Would it be acceptable to cast one vote for the bullpen for Most Valuable Oriole?

Chen could end up with his share. The Taiwanese left-hander notched his 11th win last night. Zach Britton led the team in wins last year with ... wait for it ... 11.

Chen held the Red Sox to one run in six innings. They were 23-14 against left-handed starters - the best record in the American League - and batting .270.

Chris Davis went 2-for-3 with an RBI and a walk after collecting only two hits in his previous 25 at-bats since Aug. 6. Maybe he's heating up again.

Mark Reynolds certainly is showing signs of heating up. Last night, he became the seventh Oriole to hit 10 or more home runs, allowing them to join the White Sox, Reds, Indians, A's and Rangers as the only teams with seven players who have reached that total. The Yankees lead the majors with nine.

Just wait until Adam Jones rediscovers his power stroke. He still needs one more home run to reach 25 for the season and 100 for his career. He hasn't homered since July 27 against the Athletics.

Nate McLouth went 0-for-4 last night, but he's batting .286 and playing an outstanding left field. He robbed Ryan Lavarnway in the sixth inning with a catch on the warning track that concluded with his back slamming into the fence.

"The play that Nate made going back, that's a difficult play with the spin on that ball," said manager Buck Showalter.

The Orioles are 22-6 (.786) in one-run games, putting them on pace to finish with the highest winning percentage in major league history. Who holds the current record? The 1981 Orioles, who went 21-7 for a .750 winning percentage.

I did not know that.

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