Will the O's bats join in the fun?

The Orioles' five-game win streak has certainly been fueled by excellent starting pitching, and the Orioles have given up just ten runs over those five games.

As for the offense, the Orioles are certainly not putting up big numbers there. They currently rank third in the AL in homers and ninth in slugging, but only 11th in runs and batting average and 12th in OBP.

But they have averaged 4.6 runs per game during the win streak, a tick up from their season average of 4.15 runs per game. Last season's Orioles averaged 4.37 runs per game to rank seventh in the AL.

It seems like the O's have more players contributing now on offense than they have at times over the last few weeks.

Nick Markakis' return has been a big boost, and he is batting .364 at 16-for-44 in ten games since coming off the DL. Jim Thome is batting .333 at 10-for-30 over his last seven games with five extra-base hits. Thome and Markakis, heated up at the same time, could mean solid things for the O's offense.

Also, it was certainly a good sign to see J.J. Hardy hit a big homer yesterday. Hardy suddenly has a six-game hitting streak, during which he is 7-for-26 for an average of .269. Certainly he's not red-hot, but his bat and stats are finally trending up a bit.

When players like Markakis, Thome and Hardy get it going in the first three spots in the order, that should mean good things and more RBI chances for those that follow, including Adam Jones and Matt Wieters. Seeing that big duo heat up at the plate would be huge for this team in the remaining 67 games.

It's still mostly about the pitching to me. The pitching the Orioles have gotten during a five-game win streak will overcome plenty of other issues, but if some of these bats pick it up, the club's recent resurgence also might last a while.

Meanwhile here is a note from the Orioles' PR department:

The Birds will go for a four-game sweep in Cleveland tonight. The last time the O's swept a four-game set from the Tribe in Cleveland was September 24-26, 1971 (doubleheader on the 24th). The O's have won three games in Cleveland for the first time since 1998 (3-3). The last time the O's won four games in Cleveland in one season was 1992 (4-3). The last four-game road sweep by the Birds was August 22-25, 2011 at Minnesota.

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