Over the last month the Baltimore Orioles (67-53) have been average at best.
Baltimore has played at a pace of one game under .500 since the All-Star break. The pitching has wavered, and for a vast majority of the Orioles 33 games since the Mid Summer Classic the offense hasn’t been the same high-powered machine fans saw through the first 3 ½ months of the season.
Maybe, just maybe, the offense is starting to return to the Birds.
Baltimore failed to score six runs in any of its first 16 games following the break, finally breaking the streak in a much-needed 6-2 win in extra innings over Toronto on the last day of July that ended a five-game losing streak.
Over such time, Baltimore saw its lead in the division dwindle, only to be over taken by a combination of Toronto and Boston. Toronto currently leads both the O’s and the Red Sox by 1.5 games.
In the 16 games the Orioles have played in the month of August, they have scored at least six runs in five such contests. More importantly, three of those games have come in the last week; two on the west coast against Oakland and San Francisco and the other in Camden Yards Thursday night in a 13-5 routing of the Houston Astros.
Not surprisingly to O’s fans, the long ball has played a big part in aiding in the return of the offense.
With the six home runs four players combined to slug Thursday night, Baltimore equaled its home run output from July – 29 – in 10 fewer games. July was the only month this season the Orioles have hit under 30 home runs.
The 13 runs Baltimore tallied in last night’s game brought their monthly total to 74. After only managing to score 89 runs in July, the Birds are on pace to have 134 runners cross the plate in August, which would be their second-best month of the season.
Baltimore’s recent offensive outburst has been despite going up against a grueling August schedule that, including the four-game series against the Astros it started Thursday, has already pitted them up against four teams with winning records. The rest of the month doesn’t get any easier, with series against division leaders Washington and Toronto upcoming.
However, with a majority of Baltimore’s remaining games at home, a park the Orioles hit very well in, there’s a good chance the offense that could propel them back into the top spot in the division stays for good.