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The Orioles' offensive attack is finally starting to come around after a very disappointing July, but it remains a gradual process. The O’s averaged five runs per game for the week and batted a combined .279 with 14 home runs. That’s all pretty good, but the numbers were juiced a bit by Sunday’s breakout performance, which featured more than a third of the club’s offensive production for the last week. Still there were some strong individual performances, most notably Manny Machado’s record-tying three-homer game on Sunday and Pedro Alvarez’s continuing hot streak. He appeared in five games and batted .500 with five home runs. On paper, Chris Davis continues to struggle with just three hits last week, but he hit his first homer in a month on Sunday and walked enough to register a .360 on-base percentage. Adam Jones, J.J. Hardy and Hyun Soo Kim all had solid weeks. It’s not all good yet, but it’s getting better.
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Every once in awhile the Orioles have one of those games like they had on Friday night, but the four errors they committed in the series opener against the White Sox didn’t leave a mark. The O’s won that game and did not commit an error in any of the other games last week. The defense, which hiccupped early in the season and fell deep into the major league rankings, has climbed back to sixth in the majors in fielding percentage and into a tie for fifth in fewest errors. Chris Davis committed two errors on a rare off night with the glove on Friday, but the overall defensive performance for the week was quite good.
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Every week, Orioles columnist Peter Schmuck will grade the performance of the Orioles in five categories. The letter grades are not directly tied to any particular statistic, but are representative of a cumulative evaluation of everything – tangible or intangible – that falls under that particular category.