The Baltimore Orioles have lived and died by the home run all season long. But for the last four series, home runs seem to be the only way they can score runs.
When the O’s departed Baltimore on Aug. 26 to play the Boston Red Sox, they were about to begin one of the most critical stretches of their season schedule. Unfortunately for the Orioles, that was also about the time hits with runners in scoring position begun eluding them.
The O’s went 3-19 in the series with RISP. When they traveled to New York to play the Yankees, things improved slightly as they managed seven hits in 19 opportunities. Then the Birds took a step backward in Cleveland against the Indians managing just four hits in 17 at-bats with RISP. In their latest series against the Chicago White Sox, the O’s were 3-37 with RISP.
To summarize, in 13 games the Orioles were 17/102 with RISP. That’s a .167 average, nearly 100 points off the team’s .263 average.
From the top of the fourth on Sept. 2 through the bottom of the fifth on Sept. 6, all 15 Oriole runs were via the home run — the Orioles continue to lead the majors in home runs with 193.
Luckily for the Orioles they still managed to win some games despite not getting timely hits. After a miserable 3-6 road trip, the O’s returned home to take three of four games from the White Sox.
The remainder of their regular season will be against division foes, including four games against the Yankees beginning on Monday.
“You won’t have to do as much scoreboard watching as some people normally do,” said Orioles manager Buck Showalter following Sunday’s, 4-2, loss. “It will be right in front of you.”
The Orioles will also play the Red Sox another six times and the Tampa Bay Rays another four games.
Currently, the Orioles trail the Red Sox by 9.5 games in the American League East and the Rays by two games for the second spot in the AL Wild Card.