Two games and 24 runs for both Baltimore and Norfolk

What has been better for the Orioles so far, their starting pitching or their offense? Their starters have allowed two runs in two games with one walk and 20 strikeouts over 12 innings. The offense has produced 24 runs and 24 hits.

Flip a coin.

The Orioles go for a three-game sweep of the Angels today at Oriole Park after beating them 11-3 in the opener and 13-4 last night.

Leading 3-1 to the last of the sixth, the first nine O's to bat reached base and the Orioles scored nine runs before an out was recorded. 

Per Elias Sports Bureau, the O's had not scored nine-or-more runs in an inning before recording an out since at least 1957.

Anthony Santander has seven RBIs in two games to lead the American League and tie Chris Davis' club record from 2013 for most RBIs in the season's first two games.

Oh, by the way, the pitchers have fanned 27 in two games. That has never been done before in the first two games by O's pitchers.

But as for that offense, scoring 800 runs over a full season is a strong number for a big league baseball club. In 70 years of Orioles baseball, through 2023, the Birds have scored 800 or more just eight times.

The 2023 Orioles did it, scoring 807 runs to rank fourth-best in the American League and seventh-best among 30 major league teams. Before last year, an O’s team had not scored 800 or more runs since the 2004 team scored 842.

No doubt skipper Brandon Hyde thinks his club can score that big again, especially watching them so far. As he said yesterday before the game, some of his players have big upside on offense and are still getting better.

But he also pointed out yesterday that when the team has a real “pass the baton” mentality, as we saw on Opening Day and yesterday, some real good things can happen.

“It’s tough to be consistent offensively in this league because of the amount of good pitching there are in the bullpens that you see,” said Hyde. “But I was really impressed (on Thursday) with our at bats, especially the first two innings off (Patrick) Sandoval. Especially with Opening Day, packed house, young team situation with all that excitement.

“And to watch Gunnar Henderson take four pitches just off the plate for a walk. To watch (Adley) Rutschman work the count, to watch (Ryan Mountcastle) get a walk. For me, those are maturing at-bats.

“A keep the line moving not try to do too much at-bat. If we don’t try to do too much at the plate, we’re in a really good situation. If we can keep guys in the strike zone, we’ll battle with two strikes and we’re really good at situational hitting and we’ll be good at it again. But to get the rally started and to keep it going, for me those were good, veteran-type at bats."

Hyde loves to see his hitters make good swing decisions and not try to do it all themselves. 

“For me, that is the kind of offense we can be. It kind of goes in and out sometimes. We didn’t end the season offensively (last year) as well as I thought we could have. But for the most part we have some guys with huge upside offensively and when we swing at strikes we’re in good shape," he said of his team, which is batting .338 (24-for-71) through two games and is 9-for-21 batting with runners in scoring position.

If you google when was the steroid era in the majors, you see it runs from 1994 to 2004. Of the eight times when the O’s scored 800 runs or more, five came in that span:

949 runs – 1996
851 runs – 1999
842 runs – 2004
818 runs – 1985
817 runs – 1998
812 runs – 1997
807 runs – 2023
805 runs – 1980

Last year in the majors, there were seven teams that scored 800 runs or more but the year before that there were just two.

Of the eight O’s teams to do that over the years, just three of those clubs, counting last year, made the playoffs.

This sure looks like a playoff team with massive offensive potential thus far.

And on the farm: Triple-A Norfolk beat Durham 12-6 last night and has scored 24 runs in their 2-0 start.

The prospects raked again. The five-some of Jackson Holliday, Connor Norby, Heston Kjerstad, Coby Mayo and Kyle Stowers went a combined 12-for-22 with two doubles, two homers, 11 runs and 10 RBIs. Stowers hit a three-run jack and drove in five runs.

The first few days - in the majors and minors - have been something around Birdland.

Orioles and Angels lineups in series finale (Pérez...
Leftovers for breakfast

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