McLouth talks stolen bases and a look at Verlander’s recent outings

He didn’t get any stolen bases last night, but Nate McLouth ranks second in the American League with 17, four behind Boston’s Jacoby Ellsbury. At his current pace, he would end the season with 50 steals, something done just three times in Orioles history.

57 - Luis Aparicio, 1964
53 - Brady Anderson, 1992
50 - Brian Roberts, 2007

The Orioles have gone from worst to almost first in the AL in stolen bases. After swiping just 58 bags total in 2012, they now have stolen 41 bases, one behind Kansas City for the AL lead.

McLouth said it is not just about trying to have more stolen bases, but doing it with a high percentage. The Orioles are doing that, too. Their team success rate of 84 percent is second in the AL to their current opponent. Detroit tops the league at 86 percent.

“It’s not like we’ve put a bunch of emphasis on it, but we steal at high percentage,” McLouth said. “If you are going to steal a lot of bases, but get thrown out 30 or 35 percent of the time, it’s kind of pointless.

“Why am I going to get thrown out with Manny (Machado) and Nick (Markakis) and all these guys behind me? I’m not going to go every time I get on, but if I feel I’m in a high-percentage situation, I’m going to take it.”

He certainly has done that. Among players with 10 or more steals, McLouth’s 94.4 percent success rate (17-of-18) is second in the majors to Kansas City’s Alcides Escobar (10-for-10).

Since getting thrown out April 20, McLouth has 14 straight without getting caught.

Well, let’s see what today brings for the Orioles after one of the season’s most dramatic comeback wins last night on the Chris Dickerson walk-off homer.

The O’s face Justin Verlander today, who is 6-4 with a 3.98 ERA over 11 starts. He had an ERA of 1.93 over his first eight outings, but has an ERA of 9.82 over his last three games. Opponents are hitting .354 off Verlander those past three outings.

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