Often this year we have discussed the Orioles shortcomings when batting with runners in scoring position. There were times during this season when it looked like they'd never get another clutch hit.
But it's not that way anymore. The Orioles are showing signs of improvement here.
Take last night, for instance. The Orioles had runners in scoring position in just two of their nine at-bats but they scored in those two frames. They went 2-for-3 with runners in scoring position and both hits were critical. J.J. Hardy came up with a two-out, RBI double to right in the fifth to give the O's a 3-1 lead and Nate McLouth followed with a two-run homer to make it 5-1.
Sunday when the Orioles rallied from 5-0 down to win 7-5 at Detroit they went 4-for-6 with RISP as they scored seven times in the first four innings.
Over the last four games, the Orioles are batting .444 (8-for-18) with RISP. Over the last 11 games, they are hitting .308 (24-for-78) in those situations. Those hits have been important because the Orioles have now gone ten games - their second longest drought of the year - without a double-figure hits game.
Get some solid starting pitching and a lock down bullpen and throw in a few clutch hits and it can take you a long way.
Here are some O's batting averages with RISP:
Chris Davis .275
J.J. Hardy .250
Adam Jones .272
Manny Machado .273
Nick Markakis .254
Nate McLouth .471
Omar Quintanilla .182
Mark Reynolds .274
Matt Wieters .234
If it seems like there has been less reason to complain about the Orioles in this area lately, it's because they are doing better in some key at-bats and it's led to more wins.