A few early notes from Tropicana Field

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Jonathan Schoop and Ryan Flaherty are on the field early today, doing drills at second base with Bobby Dickerson and Mike Bordick.

Delmon Young and Tampa Bay’s Jerry Sands delivered pinch-hit home runs last night, the fifth time in Orioles history that each team had a player come off the bench and go deep. It happened most recently on June 10, 1985 with Floyd Rayford and Detroit’s Barbaro Garbey, according to the Orioles’ public relations department.

The Orioles lost four of those five games, with four decided by one run.

The Orioles are batting .385/.448/.692 in 26 pinch-hit at-bats this season, leading the majors in all three categories.

Orioles starting pitchers have posted eight consecutive quality starts, their longest stretch since recording nine straight over two seasons, Sept. 29, 2010-April 4, 2011. The most recent single-season streak of more than eight was July 9-21, 2003, when the Orioles had 10 quality starts in a row.

The club record is 20 straight from Aug. 3-22, 1961.

The rotation has allowed two earned runs or fewer in 13 of the last 18 games, pitching to a 1.51 ERA in those 13 games.

Nick Markakis ranks sixth in Orioles history with 1,456 hits, fourth with a .293 average and ninth with a .360 on-base percentage (minimum 3,000 plate appearances).

Reliever Darren O’Day has allowed earned runs in consecutive appearances for the first time since June 22-24, 2013. He had gone 60 games, posting a 1.46 ERA in 55 2/3 innings, with 13 walks and 47 strikeouts.

The Orioles are 26-10 (.722) when scoring four runs or more and 9-24 (.273) when scoring three runs or fewer. Before last night, they had won eight of their last nine when scoring four or more.

The Birds are 13-11 in one-run games this season despite going 3-8 in their last 11. They’re 6-4 in one-run games against the American League East this season.

Left-hander Zach Britton ranks second in the AL in relief ERA at 0.76, with three earned runs in 35 2/3 innings. He also leads the majors in groundball percentage (78.3) and groundball-to-flyball ratio (10.29).

The Orioles lead the American League with a .281 average with runners in scoring position. Not sure how that’s still possible, given their struggles, but it’s true.

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