It’s been two weeks since the start of the season, and the Baltimore Orioles have managed to remain atop the American League East with a 7-3 record as of April 15.
Every opponent Baltimore has faced during its first 10 games have been AL East divisional rivals, including the New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox and Toronto Blue Jays. The Orioles split a two-game series in Boston on April 11 and 12, and then went on to win two of three games in Toronto from April 13 to 15.
After an impressive 4-0 start to the season, Baltimore has ground out wins despite an unexpected lack of scoring. Aside from their 12-5 victory over Boston on April 12, the Orioles haven’t scored more than six runs in any game this season.
Last season’s home run king, Mark Trumbo, hasn’t been able to find his rhythm yet; he’s batting just .179 and has only one homer in 10 games. Ten games into last season, he already had five home runs. Fortunately, Chris Davis has found the ball well, hitting .324 with three homers so far.
While Baltimore’s offense hasn’t met the high-scoring expectations, sound play in the field has kept the O’s in first place. The starting rotation has also surprisingly held up, keeping the score close and allowing closer Zach Britton to put games away. Britton has five saves so far this season.
Kevin Gausman got the job done in the Orioles’ 2-1 win over Toronto on April 13. He gave up just one run in six innings before Baltimore’s top-notch bullpen took over. Even Alec Asher pitched well in his spot-start on April 15, holding Toronto to just three hits and one run in seven innings. Baltimore probably would have won that game had it turned to the elite arms in its bullpen. But manager Buck Showhalter decided to go with reliever Tyler Wilson, who surrendered a home run in the ninth inning, resulting in a 2-1 loss.
The Orioles reported April 16 that Britton has been placed on a 10-day disabled list due to left forearm soreness. He could miss the next seven games, putting pressure on the team to find a way to win games without him. If they can get their offense going, that would be a start.
Next: Baltimore will face the Reds in a three-game series in Cincinnati from April 18 through 20, and then returns home to Camden Yards to host the Red Sox in a three-game series from April 21 through 23.