Not expecting a repeat of last season for the Orioles

Can lightning strike twice for the Orioles?

Last year they went to Texas for the last series before the All-Star break and swept that four-game series. Tonight they begin a four-game series in Boston that leads into the break.

I'm pretty sure most fans are not expecting four O's wins over the next four days, but last year's team did lose six of seven before that Texas sweep.

This club has now lost eight of nine and is 6-17 over the past 23 games. In that stretch the team ERA is 5.78, the Orioles have made 18 errors and are batting just .184 with runners in scoring position.

So, except for a lack of pitching, hitting and defense, some things have been going well.

Maybe Nick Markakis can keep his bat hot at Fenway Park. He is a career .299 hitter versus Boston. Markakis has eight multi-hit games over his last 11 contests, batting .449 in that time. He is batting .412 (47-for-114) over his last 25 games.

Boston is 51-35 overall and 49-25 since their 2-10 start to this season. The Red Sox have won six of their last seven and are 21-9 over their last 30.

The Orioles will not have to face Jon Lester or Carl Crawford in this series with both on the disabled list. They will have to face Adrian Gonzalez, who was the American League Player of the Month for June when he batted .404 with six homers and 25 RBIs in 25 games.

After going 17-55 against Boston from 2006 through 2009, including a 2-16 mark in '09, the Orioles went 9-9 against Boston last year and they are 2-2 versus the Sox this year.

But the Orioles are just 5-18 over their last 23 games at the Fens. Now we'll see if they can turn around a wretched stretch of baseball with a few wins before the break.

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