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There were signs all week that the Orioles offense was starting to click, except maybe in Tuesday night’s shutout loss to the Tampa Bay Rays. In the other five games, the O’s scored a total of 33 runs, which would have been more than enough for another winning week if the Yankees had not started a meteor shower late in Friday night’s game. Even that frustrating night, there was a breakout performance by Manny Machado and a grand slam from Mark Trumbo, and Saturday’s loss featured the long-awaited run-scoring hit by Caleb Joseph, who waited 19 months for his next RBI and got two of them in one big swing. Meanwhile, Adam Jones and Jonathan Schoop continued to be the most consistent hitters in the Orioles lineup. Overall, O’s hitters combined for a .251 batting average and produced runs throughout the lineup, even though they were just 10-for-42 with runners in scoring position. Grade: B-
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Hopefully, the most memorable defensive play of the week will not be pitcher Logan Verrett’s brain cramp on Brett Gardner’s sacrifice bunt in the 10th inning of Sunday’s game. Verrett redeemed himself by battling out of a seemingly inescapable jam and pitching two scoreless innings to get the win. The Orioles “D” helped bail him out and finished the week with only two errors. The team has a total of 12 for the first month of the season and rank 10th in the major leagues in fielding percentage and seventh in fewest errors.
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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.