The Orioles begin a big series with the first-place Boston Red Sox tonight, looking to continue a recent run of success against a team they went 2-16 against in 2009 and 17-55 against from 2006-09.
This year, the Orioles have won both their series against the Red Sox, going 5-2. Last season, the Orioles went 13-5 versus Boston.
Here is maybe the most stunning stat of all: The Orioles have won six straight and nine of the last 10 series between these teams.
The Orioles have won 14 of the last 19 games and 24 of 34 against the Red Sox.
When the Orioles took three of four at Camden Yards against the Sox from June 13-16, they moved to within 1 1/2 games of first place. That four-game series drew 142,989 fans for an average attendance of 35,747. No doubt this weekend will top that average.
The Orioles' pitching has held the Red Sox to 22 runs and a .194 average in the seven games in 2013. Jacoby Ellsbury is 5-for-30 with two stolen bases in three attempts, Dustin Pedroia is 4-for-22 and David Ortiz is 2-for-16.
The team stats in the series this year:
Orioles: .245 avg, 4.1 runs/game, nine homers, .737 OPS, 3.00 ERA.
Boston: .194 avg, 3.1 runs/game, eight homers, .596 OPS, 3.62 ERA.
Chris Davis is 7-for-25 in the season series and has four of the Orioles' nine homers. Manny Machado is batting .438 with five doubles, a homer and six RBIs. Adam Jones is batting .323 with three doubles, a homer and six RBIs in the seven games against Boston.
But after losing the last three nights, the O's will be looking to end a losing streak tonight and to cut into their four-game deficit in the American League East.
Over the last three games, the O's scored just six runs on 21 hits with a .214 team average and they went 1-for-17 with runners in scoring position.
How will the Orioles fare in this weekend's series at Camden Yards?
The scoop on Schoop: If Jonathan Schoop never plays again at Ripken Stadium - and he may not - he left the fans there with quite a memory last night. Continuing his rehab assignment, Schoop went 4-for-5 with a grand slam, three-run homer and an IronBirds-record seven RBIs in Aberdeen's 14-4 win over Vermont. In three Aberdeen games, Schoop went 8-for-14 with a 1.671 OPS.
He earlier hit .360 in eight games in the Gulf Coast League. So in 11 rehab games, Schoop has batted .436 (17-for-39) with five homers and 17 RBIs. He's been rehabbing and coming back from a stress fracture in his lower back. He appears ready to rejoin Triple-A Norfolk and he is expected to do just that in time for the Tides' game this evening at Rochester.