It’s a good thing the Orioles are playing well early on in games against the AL East because they sure seem to play a lot of games against AL East opponents right now.
In fact, this series with Toronto will end a stretch where the Orioles have opened the season playing 15 of their first 21 games against teams from the division.
Their 2-1, walk-off win over Toronto Monday night improved the O’s record to 8-5 in the East. They have back-to-back walk off wins in division games after Matt Wieters hit a 10th inning grand slam on Thursday against Tampa Bay.
The Orioles are now playing .615 ball in the division after playing .597 ball (43-29) last year against the AL East. The Orioles are 4-2 against Tampa, 2-1 vs. Boston, 1-2 against New York and 1-0 against Toronto.
Right now the standings of the clubs in winning percentage only within the division mirrors the exact overall standings. Here are the records of the clubs just in AL East games so far:
.667 - Boston (8-4)
.615 - Baltimore (8-5)
.500 - New York (5-5)
.300 - Tampa Bay (3-7)
.286 - Toronto (2-5)
The Orioles improved to 4-2 in AL East games decided by two runs or fewer with Monday night’s win. If they win one of the next two games they will be 4-1 in five series within the division. After this series, the O’s don’t play again within the division until May 17.
With the division race looking like it could be tight all year, playing well within the AL East will be important and the Orioles are off to a good start in that regard.
Other notes after Monday’s win:
* In giving up just one run over 6 2/3 innings, Chris Tillman provided the club with its eighth quality start of 2013 and the Orioles are 5-3 in those games. It was the first time this year in eight starts between Tillman and Jake Arrieta, that they got a quality start.
* The Orioles were 0-for-7 last night batting with runners in scoring position until Nick Markakis’ game-winning single in the ninth. In the previous four games before Monday, the Orioles were batting .519 (14-for-27) with runners in scoring position.
* Toronto fell to 8-12 with the loss. The Blue Jays have scored three runs or less in seven of their past 10 games and 12 times this year. They are now 3-11 in the 14 games where their opponent has scored first.
* Markakis has now hit safely in 16 of 19 games on the season. Since going 2-for-14 in the first series of the year, he is batting .354. He has seven multi-hit games in 10 home contests and is batting .439 (18-for-41) at Camden Yards.