O's offense slows a bit, but McLouth remains upbeat about the lineup's potential

Even though he was hitless on Sunday night against Hiroki Kuroda - like most of his teammates - Orioles leadoff man Nate McLouth feels his swing is pretty solid right now as the Orioles host Tampa Bay tonight to begin a nine-game homestand.

"I feel good about it. I'm happy with my at-bats. Maybe don't have a ton to show for it yet, but feel like I've been pretty decent so far this season and yeah, I feel good," said McLouth, who is batting .263 in 10 games.

The Orioles got shut out in their last game, but McLouth said all the players need to put that game in the rear-view mirror now.

"It can have a carryover if you let it, but it was nice to have a day off yesterday and get away for a day. I don't think it will bother us though," he said of getting shut out by the Yankees right-hander.

It has been a bit of a mixed bag for the Orioles on offense so far. They scored 34 runs the first five games, but have just 22 over the last seven games and scored only seven in three games at Yankee Stadium.

"I think we have a good chance to score a lot of runs," McLouth said. "There will be times you get shut down over a stretch, but I think we have a very balanced lineup. We miss (Brian Roberts), we do, but there are a lot of ways we can score runs with this lineup.

"There is some damage coming behind me. I'm the least of a pitcher's worries when you have Manny (Machado), Nick (Markakis), Chris Davis, (Adam) Jonesy and (Matt) Wieters coming up."

The Orioles have played nine games already against the AL East and have three more starting tonight against the Rays. Just two games separate the top three teams in the division right now and just four separate first from last at this stage.

"It might be almost impossible for a wild card to come out of here. The way it looks, the records are going to be very close. It's a deep division for sure," McLouth said.

The Orioles are 5-4 so far in AL East games while Tampa Bay is 1-5. The Orioles are 8-3 against Tampa Bay since Aug. 4.


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