It’s a stat that probably doesn’t lend itself to a solid, reasonable explanation, but for an Orioles team that is having a good season, they are not a good team in the first game of a series.
They lost the series opener in Detroit, before winning the next two and they lost the opener in Texas last night. The Orioles are just 16-24 in the first game of a series this year (8-12 at home, 8-12 on the road) In the remaining games, the O’s are 50-32 (24-17 at home and 26-15 on the road). That 50-32 mark is tied for the second-best in baseball.
Some other notes as the O’s battle the Rangers again tonight:
* The Orioles have lost nine of their last 10 games against Texas. They have been outscored 87-28 in that time. Texas is batting .345 in those games with a team ERA of 2.58.
* Texas is 12-7 in August and has scored an AL-best 104 runs this month. Believe it or not, the Rangers scored a major league-worst 81 runs in July when they went 9-14. Now, there is a surprising stat.
* After going 5-1 with an ERA of 2.38 in his first six starts for the Orioles, Chris Tillman is 0-1 with a 7.84 ERA over his last two starts, covering 10 1/3 innings. Tillman has a first-inning ERA of 8.22 and is 3-1 with a 2.61 ERA in road games in 2012.
* When Texas took three of four from the Orioles in early May in Baltimore, Josh Hamilton had a four-homer game in the second game of that series and, in the four-game series, he went 8-for-17 with six homers, 12 RBIs and a 2.138 OPS. He went 1-for-4 with a run scored last night.
* The Orioles have won four straight road series and are 11-5 in their last 16 road games. They are 34-27 on the road in 2012.
* Buck Showalter has a record of 169-172 as O’s skipper. The Orioles are on pace to win 88 games which would be a 19-win improvement over last season’s 69-93 squad.
* Since their loss July 17 at Minnesota, which dropped their record to 46-44, the Orioles are 20-12 - one win behind Tampa Bay for most wins in the AL since then. During that 32-game span, the O’s have the second-best bullpen ERA (2.67) and the fourth-best team ERA (3.80).
* Over his last four games, Nick Markakis is 7-for-15 with three doubles and two RBIs. Over his past 14 games, he’s batting .321 (18-for-56) with four doubles, a triple, three homers and nine RBIs. In his 37 games in the leadoff spot, Markakis is batting .333 with an OPS of .894.