SEATTLE - The Orioles’ pitching staff gave up 24 runs the last four games. But the Orioles offense scored 43. At some point, the O’s offense will slow down, but it sure didn’t happen in San Diego.
Over the last four games, the Orioles have scored 8, 12, 11 and 12 runs. That is 35 runs in three games and 43 in four. In that four-game stretch, the Orioles are 60-for-155 (.387) with 15 doubles and 11 home runs. They have gone 20-for-42 (.476) with runners in scoring position in the four games.
The Orioles now have a third seven-game win streak of the 2016 season. They began the year 7-0 and won seven in a row from May 7-14. Now they have won seven in a row again.
Their last eight games have been against last-place teams and they cleaned up. They went 7-1 in this stretch versus San Diego and Tampa Bay.
The Orioles have scored 10 runs or more four times in their last 10 games, scoring 82 runs in that span for 8.2 per game. Despite what you may think, this is not slow-pitch softball.
Here are the updated O’s team offensive stats, the best offense in the majors this month. In June, the Orioles have a team batting average of .303, on-base percentage of .360, slugging percentage of .539 and OPS of .899. The Orioles have scored 182 runs in going 19-8 in June, 6.74 runs per game during the month.
They have tied the major league record (set by Oakland in 1996) with 55 homers in June and can break the mark tonight here in Seattle at Safeco Field. The big league record for most home runs in any single month is 58 (by Baltimore, May 1987 and Seattle, May 1999). The Orioles need three to tie and four to set a new mark tonight.
The Orioles’ OPS leaders in June:
1.041 - Chris Davis
1.032 - Jonathan Schoop
1.023 - Pedro Alvarez
.998 - Adam Jones
.996 - Manny Machado
.894 - Mark Trumbo
.865 - Matt Wieters and Ryan Flaherty
.859 - Hyun Soo Kim
Now the Orioles begin a four-game series this evening against the only team to win a series against them this year at Camden Yards: Seattle, which won 10-0, lost 7-2 and won 7-2 last month. They held the Orioles to nine runs in those three games.
By the way, as the Orioles arrive in Seattle, the Mariners have lost catcher Steve Clevenger, the Baltimore native and former Oriole, to a broken right hand. He took a foul tip off his hand in the third inning last night and the team announced he fractured the third metacarpal bone in the hand. Clevenger, who was traded to the Mariners for Trumbo on Dec. 2, is batting .221 in 21 games with Seattle. But now as the O’s arrive, he is headed to the disabled list and will not play against his former team in this series.
Chris Tillman (10-1, 3.52 ERA) pitches tonight against right-hander Taijuan Walker (3-6, 3.45 ERA). The 23-year-old Walker has pitched to an ERA of 1.65 his past three starts and maybe will be up for the challenge of the Orioles offense. Of course, he’ll be opposite Tillman, and the Orioles are 14-2 in his starts this year, winning the last six in a row. Tillman also has a career mark of 7-0 and 2.96 ERA against the Mariners organization that sent him to Baltimore in the Erik Bedard trade of Feb. 8, 2008.
The Orioles may be reminding fans right now of the 2014 edition that won 96 games and an American League East championship. This team is playing at a greater pace so far than that one. After 77 games two years ago, the Orioles were 41-36 and in second place, 1 1/2 games out.
This team was three games out of first after the games of May 31. But during this remarkable June run, they have gone from three out to now leading the AL East by 5 1/2 games over both the Red Sox and Blue Jays.
The Orioles offense has taken off and the team has, too, now 17 games over .500. The West Coast trip is off to a great start. The Mariners are next.