For Orioles, a lack of fans this series and a lack of runs of late

The Orioles' first home series of the season, a three-game set against Minnesota, drew a total attendance of 121,788. The last two games against Tampa Bay have drawn a total of 27,182 fans.

Frankly, I thought we'd see a little better attendance than that. The club is playing a division rival and the weather has been good.

But then I remembered the deal. It's a weeknight home game in April. They usually are pretty poorly attended and so these two games have fit the bill.

Will the Orioles' attendance this season top last year's figure of 2,102,240? Probably so. But when will we see bigger crowds? Well, probably as soon as this weekend because, well, it's the weekend.

The fans returned late last season during the pennant race. If the Orioles give them a reason to come back in big numbers this year, we'll see bigger crowds with plenty of enthusiasm soon enough at the Yard. Just usually not on a weeknight in April.

So there's been a lack of fans in this series and recently for this club, there has also been a lack of runs.

In the first five games this year, the Orioles had double-figure hits four times and scored a total of 34 runs. Over the past nine games, they have had 10 hits or more just one time and scored a total of 29 runs.

The Orioles' 6-9 hitters are just 2-for-28 in this series. Orioles designated hitters are 0-for-7 with five strikeouts in this series and are batting a dismal .064 (3-for-47) for the season. Yes, that is really, really bad.

The Orioles have just 16 hits and a team average of .170 beginning with Sunday's game where they were shut out by Hiroki Kuroda. The Orioles had just one runner get into scoring position on Sunday and again last night. Hard to score much under those conditions.

All they have to do to get it going is beat David Price tonight. Maybe his ERA of 5.82 this year means they have a chance. Or maybe the fact that they scored just one run off him in 22 1/3 innings last season means it could be another tough night.

The Orioles won opening night in St. Petersburg and Price started that game even if he didn't take the loss. He gave up a two-run homer in the first to Matt Wieters that night and then pitched five shutout innings.

Tonight we'll see if the offense will get right against Price.

What is your take?: How do you feel about the attendance in the Tampa series? Will the Orioles' season attendance top last year's total? What about the recent struggles of the offense? Will it get better anytime soon?

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