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About the best thing you could say about the Orioles offense lately is that it has been consistently inconsistent. The O’s scored just five runs during the three-game series in Toronto, but that was good enough to win the series. They scored a total of seven runs in the first two games against the Rays over the weekend and lost both those games before breaking out a bit in the series finale. The club can only hope that Manny Machado is in breakout mode after his big three-run homer Sunday. He’s the guy who could carry this offense into the All-Star break and help get the O’s back above .500. Jonathan Schoop and Trey Mancini have been the most consistent hitters on the team, but Mancini cooled off last week. Mark Trumbo still isn’t hitting for average, but he finds a way to get it done. He had five hits last week, but they drove in five runs, and he appears to have recaptured his home run stroke. And, congratulations to Caleb Joseph for a very nice week at the plate.
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Orioles fielders made just two errors last week, which is their lowest error total in several weeks, but they still slipped from 12th to 13th in the majors in fielding percentage and remained tied for 13th for fewest errors (47). The team does miss infield captain J.J. Hardy, but Ruben Tejada has done a decent job as his main fill-in. Mancini also seems comfortable in the full-time first base role, but might have to start thinking about the outfield again if Chris Davis shows progress in his recovery from that oblique injury over the next couple of weeks.
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Every week of the regular season, 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.