MLB

Orioles off to historic start

PHOTO CREDIT: AP Photo/Nick Wass
Orioles off to historic start

If starting off the season 5-0 and winning a World Series in the same year is any indication, this season will be very good to the Baltimore Orioles. The team has come of the gates red-hot, winning their first five games of the young season.

The last time they started off 5-0 and won the World Series (for the second time) in the same year was 1970.

The Baltimore bats have started off the season on a good foot, outscoring the opposition 22-10 through the first five games. The O’s rank second in the MLB in both batting average (.298) and slugging percentage (.503) and also rank third in OPS (.850) and fifth in on-base percentage (.347).

Leading the way is third baseman Manny Machado, who has hit a home run in three-straight games. After his fifth-career four-hit game on Sunday – in a 5-3 Baltimore win – his averaged jumped all the way up to .429. Along with his three homers, he has a double, four RBIs, and has scored five runs.

Baltimore has eight home runs as a team, with Machado leading the way and Chris Davis right behind him with two. Unfortunately for Davis, those two dingers are two of his three total hits this season. He is batting .176 but has scored five times and walked four times. If the Orioles really want to compete this season, Davis has to find his groove and be more productive. If he doesn’t, it might shift the thinking of how the O’s spend money going forward. After all, they are paying him a boatload of money and so far, he isn’t living up to that contract.

Center fielder Adam Jones has been hampered with a rib injury and has missed three straight games. Rookie Joey Rickard is filling in just fine. He has a slash line of .444/.400/.667 and hit his first career home run in a 4-2 win over the Twins on Thursday. He has three RBIs, two runs and has only struck out once in 18 at-bats.

Second baseman Jonathan Schoop is off to a good start as well. He has a slash line of .313/.353/.688 and an OPS of 1.040. He has hit a home run and driven in four runs and has only struck out twice in 16 at-bats. Designated hitter Pedro Alvarez, who was acquired in the offseason, has not been productive at all. He is batting .097 with just one hit one the season. He is a player that can go on a tear, but it will take some time before we see him starting to belt long balls.

The pitching for the O’s has been solid thus far as well. The O’s rank first in team ERA at 1.80 and are fifth in both average (.211) and WHIP (1.04). The bullpen has three saves, led by closer Zach Britton who has two. The three team saves are tied for most in the league. Yovani Gallardo picked up his first win of the season in a 4-2 win on Tuesday against Minnesota. He scattered just two hits over five innings of work giving up just one run and striking out four. So far, so good for the former Texas Ranger.

Ubaldo Jimenez went seven strong innings on Thursday when the O’s finished off the three-game sweep of the Twins with a 4-2 victory. Jimenez gave up eight hits over his seven innings, but gave up just two runs (one earned) and striking out nine. He also did not allow a walk. Starter Chris Tillman, who pitched two innings due to postponements on Opening Day (struck out five) took the hill again on Friday, picking up his first win of the season. He allowed four hits over five innings while giving up a run, two walks and striking out five. He was helped out by his offense, who scored a run in the second, third, fourth and fifth innings.

Baltimore is off to the best start since 1970 and are proving some people wrong in the early goings of the season. Can they keep this up? If the pitching and hitting have been any indication, then yes the good play will most certainly continue to be a top team in not only the American League East, but the American League in general.

The O’s will play on the road for the first time this season on Monday, when they travel to Boston for an early-season showdown of AL East rivals, beginning a three-game series. After taking on the Red Sox, Baltimore will travel to Texas for a four-game series against the Rangers.

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I am a 2013 graduate of Clarion University with a bachelor's degree in communications and a concentration in journalism. I aspire to be great. I love sports and professional wrestling. Follow me on Twitter @KIngEdward15 and engage in sports talk with me.

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