No surprise: As pitching improved, wins came more often

Here are two stats that are clearly related: Since Aug. 3, the Orioles are 20-9. Since Aug. 3, their starting pitching ERA is 3.75.

Around that time in early August, the Orioles' starting pitching ERA for the year was 4.81, just a tick under its highest mark on the year. Now that figure is 4.58 to rank ninth in the AL; earlier, the Orioles were ranked 11th and 12th in starting pitcher ERA. That still rates a little below average in the AL, where the average mark is 4.40, but it's trending in the right direction.

The Orioles' team ERA has been reduced to 4.01, and that is seventh-best in the AL and better than the league average of 4.08.

The Orioles' pitching has been real good over the last 10 games:

* The team ERA is 2.53
* The starters' ERA is 2.47.
* The Orioles are 8-2 in those games.

The Orioles have gotten eight quality starts in those 10 games and are 7-1 in those contests.

On the season, when the Orioles get a quality start (three earned runs or less over at least six innings) they have a record of 55-9. When their starter goes seven innings or more, the Orioles are 31-2.

Tonight's starter, Zach Britton, has gone seven innings or more twice in his last three starts and went 6 2/3 innings in the other outing. His ERA is 1.25 over those three games and he is 3-0.

It's not rocket science. Quality pitching leads to quality starts, which leads to wins for the 2012 Orioles.

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