DETROIT -- After winning five of seven and taking both series in last week’s homestand against the Angels and Red Sox, the Orioles hit the road today to open a six-game, seven-day road trip to Detroit and Toronto.
There must not be much to do in downtown Detroit, nearly 10 players are already here at Comerica Park participating in early batting practice.
Since the beginning of the 2012 season, the Orioles have played very well away from Camden Yards.
The Orioles, who now lead the majors with 15 series wins after taking three of four from the Red Sox, are second in the American League with 20 wins, trailing only Boston’s 21. The Orioles also lead the majors in road batting average (.279), slugging percentage (.461), OPS (.791) and homers per game (1.34).
Third baseman Manny Machado, who entered tonight’s game with a season-high 14-game hitting streak, has hit safely in 24 of his last 26 road games and is hitting .378 (45-for-119) over that span with 15 doubles, three homers, 14 RBIs and 20 runs. He’s posted at least three hits in eight road games this season, most in the majors.
Machado, who also enters today with majors-leading 99 hits, can tie for the third-fastest player to 100 hits to start a season for a player under the age of 21 with a hit tonight in the Orioles 71st game of the season. Both Alex Rodriguez (1996) and Ty Cobb (1907) reached 100 hits in 71 games. Al Kaline was the fastest to 100 hits under 21 – recording 101 hits in 68 games – and Mike Trout was second (100 in 69 games last season).
The Tigers have tallied 37 starts in which a starting pitcher has gone more than seven innings and tonight’s starter, right-hander Max Scherzer (9-0, 3.19 ERA), is going for his 10th win without a defeat to open the season, which would set a new Tigers record. George Uhle (1929) and Vern Kennedy (1938) each opened the season with nine straight.
Scherzer held the Orioles to three runs on three hits with 10 strikeouts and two walks on May 31 at Camden Yards, but the Tigers lost that game 7-5 on Chris Dickerson’s three-run walk-off homer with two outs in the bottom of the ninth off Jose Valverde. (It looks like Valverde officially lost the Tigers’ closer job on Sunday.) That was just the third time that the Tigers lost in Scherzer’s 13 starts in 2013. He’s been exceptionally dominating. He is 25-7 since the beginning of the 2012 season and his .781 winning percentage in that span is the best in the AL.