On June 1, the Orioles lost 5-0 on the road against Tampa Bay. They trailed 5-0 in the first inning and never got on the board as they lost for the ninth time in an 11-game stretch.
There was, for some fans, a feeling of impending doom and that the other shoe had, in fact, dropped at that point. Some fans said, “It’s been fun, but they’re done now.”
It was looking like an 11-game stretch of losing could turn into a 20-, 30-, 50- or even an 80-game run of futility.
That could still happen, but for now, the Orioles have steadied the ship and are back to winning. They have now won three in a row, five of the last seven and are 6-3 since that shutout loss against Tampa Bay.
If they win one of the next two games, they will have three straight series victories after losing four in a row.
The Orioles’ starting pitching is still dicey at times. During that 2-9 run, the starters pitched to an ERA of 6.15 with four quality starts. Now, over the 6-3 stretch, the starters have not fared that much better with an ERA of 5.66 and three quality starts. Jake Arrieta giving up nine runs in one game skews that a bit, but the starters have still been inconsistent.
But maybe as the weather heats up, so will the Orioles’ offense. It is showing signs of getting better. During that recent nine-game road trip, the club scored just 25 runs.
But over the last four games of this homestand, the Orioles have scored 25 runs with 12 extra-base hits, including seven homers and a team average of .271. They are batting .290 (9-for-31) during those games with runners in scoring position.
During that road trip, the Orioles scored two runs or less six times. But over these last few games they have scored six, six, five and eight runs.
Matt Wieters is 14-for-40 (.350) over his last 10 games and Adam Jones is 8-for-16 (.500) the last three games. Chris Davis is batting .342 over his last 20 games. So some bats are heating up and Brian Roberts now joins that group.
The Yankees have surged into first place in the American League East by winning five in a row, eight of nine and going 15-4 over a 19-game stretch. But the Orioles are hanging with them, just one game back at 35-26.
Only New York and Texas have better records in the AL than the Orioles, with 61 games down and 101 to go. Who knows how long they can hang in the race, but for now they are back to playing winning baseball.