Is the middle of the order heating up?

After they combined for three hits and three RBI last night, both Derrek Lee and Vladimir Guerrero hit the ball pretty hard off Brad Penny in their first at-bats tonight.

Lee, who hit a two-run homer last night, lined out to short to end the first and Vlad led off the last of the second with a bomb to center. It’s his first homer as an Oriole, traveling 395 feet on the first pitch.

It’s Guerrero’s 437th career homer, that is fourth best among active big leaguers. He hit 29 last year.

Guerrero hit five homers in spring and had a Grapefruit League-leading 20 RBI.

The Orioles could use some more juice from a lineup that has produced just 20 runs and a .217 average in the first five games. In three of the first five games, the O’s had six hits or fewer.

Through five games, while the O’s lead the majors in ERA at 1.80, they are 11th in the American League in batting average, 13th in team OBP and 10th in runs.

Yes, it’s a small sample size, but some offense will soon be forthcoming, the fans hope.

By the way, Manny Machado grounded out tonight in his first at-bat for Delmarva. Hope Baseball Prospectus doesn’t call him a bust now.

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