Sometimes, there is nothing wrong with a productive out

I don’t expect everyone to share this opinion, but I think Nick Johnson did a good job in the top of the first inning today, even though he made another out.

Johnson is now 0-for-17 on the year and that is the most at-bats by anyone so far this year without a hit in the majors.

He came up today with a run in, after an Adam Jones RBI double, and runners at second and third with one out. He was down 0-1 on the count when he hit a groundout to second base to score a run and give the Orioles a 2-0 lead.

The defense was playing back in the infield. They were giving the O’s a run, even by making an out, so Johnson took it. When you are 0-for-16, you better at least get the run in when you are in that spot and Johnson at least did that.

For a team that had scored just four runs on 11 hits in the last two games of this series, getting some early offense today was a good thing. Johnson made a productive out, but he plated a run and he did his job there.

A three-run homer would have been better, of course, or a two-run single, but we’ve seen plenty of times when the batter would pop out or strike out in that spot. Johnson got the run home.

The Orioles took a 2-0 lead into the third inning this afternoon.

Some other notes on today’s game:

* The Orioles went 5-19 in road series last year. A win today and they would take this series, three games to one, in Chicago. It would make them 2-0 this year in road series.

* The Orioles have won five of their last seven games in Chicago. They are now 27-21 against the American League Central since the start of last year.

* Buck Showalter is now eight wins away from becoming the 58th manager in major league history to record 1,000 wins.

* Baltimorean Gavin Floyd, who is starting today against the Orioles, has a 1.97 ERA over his last five home starts. Chicago pitching has allowed three runs or less in eight of 11 games so far.

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