Orioles' measuring stick: Yankees come to town

Orioles' measuring stick: Yankees come to town
As the Orioles begin another series versus the New York Yankees tonight, O's fans are probably quite aware of the Birds' struggles against this club. The Orioles are 0-2 this year and went 5-13 last season versus New York. They have lost 26 of the last 33 in this series and the Yankees are 16-6 in their last 22 games against the O's at Camden Yards. The Yankees' winning percentage all-time at Camden Yards of .644 is the best by any visiting team. If the Orioles are indeed improved this...
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Still not worrying about Markakis

Still not worrying about Markakis
So we are now 18 games into the season and Nick Markakis is batting .203 with two homers and six RBIs. He has a slugging percentage of .319 and OPS of .592. Last night he went 0-for-4 and twice failed to come up with the clutch hit when batting with two men on base. He has just three hits over his last 28 at-bats for an average of .107 and just eight hits over his last 55 at-bats for a mark of .145 since April 6. Last night, reader Gerry O. left this comment about Markakis and his struggles...
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O's try to beat Twins to end three-series losing streak

O's try to beat Twins to end three-series losing streak
It's a little early in the season to call any single game that big or important, but this would be a nice night for an Orioles' victory. They are playing the Twins who still are without some key players like Justin Morneau and Joe Mauer. Also, the Twins have scored the fewest runs in the majors this year and have a major league low six homers. Get 'em while you can. Also, the O's could use a series victory and a win tonight would give them the series win here, three to one. The Birds won...
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Bergesen looks to recapture his good sinker as he gets set to face Yankees

Bergesen looks to recapture his good sinker as he gets set to face Yankees
It's been an interesting few weeks for O's pitcher Brad Bergesen. Late in spring training, he took a line drive off his right forearm and he had to battle back from that. For four days, he was optioned to Triple-A Norfolk even if he never actually physically was with that team. Now Bergesen is trying to regain the form that made him the best Orioles starter in 2009 when he went 7-5 with a 3.43 ERA. He is trying to recapture the form that allowed him to crank out quality sinker after quality...
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Who will be the next Oriole to break out on offense?

Who will be the next Oriole to break out on offense?
In recent days the Orioles have seen Matt Wieters' bat come to life, Vladimir Guerrero homer in back-to-back games and Brian Roberts and Adam Jones extend hitting streaks. Who is next to break out on offense? Not just because I wrote about his defense earlier today, but I predict we will soon see hits coming from Derrek Lee's bat. I've been thinking that for a few days now and Buck Showalter said today he feels like Lee "is close." Lee is 2-for-11 in this series against Minnesota and...
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The art of the scoop: D. Lee is making all the plays at first base

The art of the scoop: D. Lee is making all the plays at first base
There is a lot more to the game of baseball than offense and Derrek Lee is an example of that right now with the Orioles. They don't keep a stat for "runs saved" or "errors saved" but if they did, Lee would rank high in that category. He seems to have an amazing ability to scoop low throws out of the dirt and he has done it multiple times already for several O's infielders. The Orioles, of course, have had some good fielding first baseman over the years like Boog Powell and Eddie...
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A couple of notes from Delmarva

A couple of notes from Delmarva
The Single-A Delmarva Shorebirds play their 15th game of the new season tonight at Augusta trying to snap a four-game losing streak that has dropped their record to 5-9. The Birds have given up 41 runs over those four games. The Shorebirds lost a wild one, 11-10 at Augusta in 10 innings last night in a game that featured 21 runs, 28 hits and nine errors. During this losing streak, the Delmarva bullpen has allowed 17 earned runs and 27 hits over 14 innings. Tonight, Scott Copeland (1-0, 4.50)...
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Gregg will be a key to the Orioles bullpen

Gregg will be a key to the Orioles bullpen
While Kevin Gregg may have already fallen out of favor with some fans, I'm sure Orioles manager Buck Showalter looks at the situation differently, He knows Gregg will be an important piece in his bullpen and that he has to get him right. Showalter has to help him to start pitching well. Maybe last night was a start. Despite a loud out that ended the game, Gregg did pitch a 1-2-3 ninth inning to pick up his second O's save in three chances. He got the job done, even if the fans' hearts...
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Some postgame notes after the O's latest win

Some postgame notes after the O's latest win
Checking in with some notes after the Orioles' 5-4 win over Minnesota. Matt at bat: Matt Wieters drove in one run in the first game of the series Monday, then had four RBIs Tuesday and two more last night. Over the three games of this series, he is 4-for-9 with a double, two homers and seven RBIs. Wieters' six RBIs over his last two games is more than he had in his first 13 games, when he drove in a total of five runs. Wieters has a four-game hitting streak and has homered three times on...
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Two in a row: O's post narrow win over Twins

Two in a row: O's post narrow win over Twins
The Orioles didn't get any runs after the third inning tonight, but they got just enough by then to win and they've now posted back-to-back victories after an eight-game losing streak. Matt Wieters hit a two-run homer and Zach Britton picked up his third win as the Orioles edged Minnesota, 5-4, to improve to 8-9 on the year. It was just the second one-run game the Orioles have played this season and their first win. Kevin Gregg, who had allowed three runs in his last two games, picked up...
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Schoop's hit streak for Delmarva

Schoop's hit streak for Delmarva
Delmarva Shorebirds infielder Jonathan Schoop, a 19-year-old from Curacao, takes a seven-game hitting streak into tonight's game at Augusta. Schoop, who went 3-for-4 with 4 RBI last night, is batting .467 during the streak with 14 hits over 30 at bats and just three strikeouts in that stretch. His play has been a bit overshadowed by Manny Machado's South Atlantic League rookie season, but the youngster is off to a good start. He is second on the club in batting and slugging. By the way, his...
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Britton takes the ball as O's starters hope to get on a roll

Britton takes the ball as O's starters hope to get on a roll
When the Orioles got off to that 6-1 start, they were getting brilliant starting pitching. While they can't expect it to be like that a lot, they can hope as the games start coming every day now, that their rotation can get into a little groove, stay healthy and start cranking out more solid outings. Over the first seven games, when the O's did go 6-1, they had five quality starts. Over the last nine games, during a 1-8 run, they have had four quality starts. Zach Britton makes his fourth...
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Wieters delievers clutch hits as his bat gets going

Wieters delievers clutch hits as his bat gets going
Here is an impressive stat for O's catcher Matt Wieters: After driving in four runs last night, he is now 5-for-5 on the season hitting with runners in scoring position. Four of the hits, including two last night, came with two outs. He has a double, homer and eight RBIs with RISP. That's very solid stuff for Wieters. The switch-hitter recently made an adjustment to his batting stance and is now standing more upright in the box than he was for some of the season's earlier games. "I just...
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Nick note

Nick note
If fans are going to be concerned about any struggling Orioles hitters, probably the guy that should be last on that list is Nick Markakis. I'm pretty sure the hits will be coming soon. But for now, Markakis is slumping. He had six hits in the season's first four games and has had six hits in the 12 games since. He has just one hit over his last 20 at-bats as his average has dropped from .268 to its current .197. He is batting just .128 over the last 12 games. Markakis, who hit .284...
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Hoey's long road back took him to Camden Yards to face his former team

Hoey's long road back took him to Camden Yards to face his former team
When the tall right-hander came into the game for the Minnesota Twins on Monday night at Camden Yards, there were some in the O's organization that must have been experiencing mixed emotions. While they wanted the Orioles to win, they must have also felt really good for pitcher Jim Hoey. His long road back to the majors had culminated in Hoey facing his former team, the Orioles. He had last pitched in the majors for the Orioles on Sept. 29, 2007. Hoey, drafted by the Birds in Round 13 out...
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Roberts the RBI machine

Roberts the RBI machine
Brian Roberts is off to quite a start driving in runs. After his three RBI night in the 11-0 win Tuesday over Minnesota, Roberts now has a team-leading 14 RBI. Contrast that to the 2010 season, when Roberts had 15 RBI all season. He had 15 RBI in 59 games and 230 at bats a year ago and now has 14 RBI in 16 games and 69 at bats. Roberts delivered two clutch hits in the win with a two-run single in the 2nd for a 3-0 lead and an RBI double two innings later for a 4-0 lead which helped the O's...
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Eight was enough: O's end streak with blowout win

Eight was enough: O's end streak with blowout win
After not hitting much and not winning for eight games, the Orioles' offense broke out Tuesday night at Camden Yards as the Birds beat Minnesota, 11-0 to end the eight-game losing streak. Brian Roberts and Matt Wieters combined for seven RBI, and Vladimir Guerrero added a three-run home run as the Orioles evened the series with the win and improved to 7-9 on the year. Tom Davis catches up with Matt Wieters following the Orioles' 11-0 win over the Twins Minnesota starter Carl Pavano had...
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Quick Mahoney update

Quick Mahoney update
While there was some talk that first baseman Joe Mahoney could return from the disabled list and play tonight, he is not in the Bowie Baysox lineup and has still not been activated off the DL. Mahoney has been out since he played on April 9th for Double-A Bowie with a quad injury. It doesn't appear that the O's 2010 minor league Player of the Year will return tomorrow, but it's possible. A late-week return seems more likely. It is still a day-to-day type injury and no MRI or further tests...
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Getting an early clutch hit

Getting an early clutch hit
After they went 0-for-9 the last two games and 2-for-20 the past three games with runners in scoring position, the Orioles got some big hits early tonight to lead Minnesota 3-0 in the third. After Carl Pavano breezed through a quick first inning on just seven pitches, the Orioles got to him for three runs on three hits in the last of the second. The rally started with a two-out, none-on infield hit to deep short by Adam Jones. After a walk, Matt Wieters delivered an RBI single to center....
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Arrieta can take more than a good fastball to the mound

Arrieta can take more than a good fastball to the mound
In the major leagues, it can take more than quality pitches for a starting pitcher to succeed. He may need poise, confidence, solid mound presence and a short memory to forget a bad outing as he navigates his way through a long season, hoping to make 32 or 33 starts and pitch over 200 innings. Jake Arrieta looks like a pitcher that might score well in some of those qualities a pitcher can take to the mound in addition to having a good fastball. "He has that potential," O's manager Buck...
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