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How the Orioles fared through 40 games in seasons they made the playoffs

The Orioles play the Kansas City Royals in their 41st game of the season tonight at Kauffman Stadium. Orioles right-hander Bud Norris is scheduled to pitch against Royals left-hander Danny Duffy, and first pitch is set for 7:10 p.m.

How does this year's squad stack up through 40 games against successful Orioles teams of the past? With high expectations this season, we'll try to track how the club is performing periodically compared to previous years when they made the playoffs.

As long as the Orioles remain in playoff contention, we'll track their performance against history. If they fall out of the pennant chase, we'll look at their record in different ways.

With a 22-18 record, the Orioles are in first place in the American League East. They're one game ahead of the New York Yankees (21-19).

Here's how the Orioles fared in previous seasons when they made the playoffs.

Interesting game

Nick Markakis hit his seventh home run of the year, a solo shot in the top of the 11th inning off Washington Nationals right-hander Ryan Mattheus, to give the Orioles a 2-1 win at Nationals Park on May 18, 2012. Markakis finished 2-for-5 in the game, and left fielder Xavier Avery was 2-for-4 with a double and a run scored. Orioles right-hander Kevin Gregg pitched a scoreless inning for the win, and right-hander Pedro Strop earned his third save after retiring the Nationals in the bottom of the 11th.

2012

Record: 26-14

Season finish: 93-69, lost in AL Division Series to New York Yankees

1997

Record: 27-13

Season finish: 98-64, lost in AL Championship Series to Cleveland Indians

1996

Record: 22-18

Season finish: 88-74, lost in ALCS to Yankees

1983

Record: 23-17

Season finish: 98-64, beat Philadelphia Phillies in World Series

1979

Record: 26-14

Season finish: 102-57, lost in World Series to Pittsburgh Pirates

1974

Record: 21-19

Season finish: 91-71, lost in ALCS to Oakland Athletics

1973

Record: 20-20

Season finish: 97-65, lost in ALCS to Athletics

1971

Record: 24-16

Season finish: 101-57, lost in World Series to Pirates

1970

Record: 28-12

Season finish: 108-54, beat Cincinnati Reds in World Series

1969

Record: 27-13

Season finish: 109-53, lost in World Series to New York Mets

1966

Record: 24-16

Season finish: 97-63, beat Los Angeles Dodgers in World Series

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