MINNEAPOLIS — If the Orioles' current power surge — in which they've continued to bludgeon opponents with home run balls in unfavorable weather conditions — follows the blueprint of most seasons, it spells good fortunes for the club's offense when the temperatures rise.
This isn't the time of the year that teams are usually able to hit this many home runs. That's for the summer time, when baseballs carry through the light, humid air.
Still, the cold and rain have followed the Orioles through the first 5 1/2 weeks of the season, and they're still leading the American League with 49 homers in 32 games.
The Orioles' six-homer game Sunday in Baltimore under rare sunny skies offered a glimpse of what could come. But what they continued to do in soggy conditions at Target Field showed that you can't keep the power-hitting Orioles bats down right now.
In taking two games from the Minnesota Twins this week, the Orioles hit six homers, accounting for nine of their 14 runs in the rain-shortened series.
"I think the biggest thing for us is we weren't really concerned with conditions," Orioles first baseman Chris Davis said. "We weren't going up there thinking about hitting the ball over the fence. We were just going up there looking for a certain pitch. And if we can continue to do that, we are a dangerous lineup."
Meanwhile, the 9-2 victory over the Twins on Wednesday afternoon — a game that was only able to be played because the teams played most of the first five innings through steady downpour — gave the Orioles a 20-12 record, putting them eight games over .500 for the first time since the end of their division title season in 2014.
"These guys have high expectations of themselves," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "Someone said the other day [defending division champion] Toronto has the same record they had last year at this point, so what does it mean over the long haul? It means you played through May 11 and so far so good. Comparatively speaking, this doesn't mean that and that doesn't mean this. It's just keep grinding and be prepared for whatever gets thrown your way."
On Wednesday afternoon, three of the Orioles' four homers were hit in the rain, including back-to-back homers from Davis and Mark Trumbo in the fourth, the third straight game the Orioles have homered in consecutive at bats for a new franchise record.
"That's obviously huge for our offense when we can swing the bats like that, even in a place like this when it's a bigger park and the weather wasn't necessarily home-run friendly," Davis said. "I'm proud of the guys going up there with their at-bats and really focusing on one pitch and not missing it."
The Orioles have hit 12 homers over their past three games. Twenty of their 25 runs during that stretch have been scored by home run. In all, the Orioles have scored 54.7 percent of their runs (81 of 148) this season by home run.
"It's not a big topic of conversation," Showalter said of his team's home run surge. "They don't go in the cage and work on hitting home runs. They go in the cage to work on their timing, and all that other stuff just comes with it. They're strong and when they square a ball up … But I'm impressed with the conditions that we've been playing under and the professional approach that our guys have had. That bodes well over a long season."
Trumbo had his third multi-homer game this season, adding a two-run blast in the second inning, and Adam Jones capped a four-hit game with a two-run homer in the ninth.
"It's always tough to hit," Trumbo said of the conditions. "I think we were able to put the conditions behind us. I think it's all we know this year anyway, so it's not like it's a huge change. I think this ballpark played pretty fair for us. If you got it, it seems to go. So that's pretty much all you can really ask for."
The Orioles' middle-of-the-order trio of Jones, Davis and Trumbo were a combined 10-for-15 with four homers, seven runs scored and nine RBIs on Wednesday.
"They were hitting together there, a little triangle there that was pretty good today," Showalter said. "They're fun to watch. I'm so impressed by the way our guys, with the conditions — you come out of the clubhouse and it's misty and it's cold and it's raining and the weather report is bad. Our guys, they don't talk about it. They play games and they compete. We know Minnesota's better, will be better. Get it while you can because you know somebody's going to pay the price for their challenges they've had early in the season."
Back-to-back jacks back-to-back-to-back
The Orioles hit back-to-back homers for the third consecutive game in Wednesday's 9-2 win over the Twins, marking the first time that has been done in club history. Here's who got it done:
Sunday, second inning vs. Athletics
Pedro Alvarez and Jonathan Schoop
Tuesday, fifth inning at Twins
Manny Machado and Adam Jones
Wednesday, fourth inning at Twins
Chris Davis and Mark Trumbo
Orioles homers by the numbers
Baltimore Orioles Insider
Homers hit by Orioles through 32 games
Orioles' AL rank in homers
Runs scored via home runs by Orioles this season
Percentage of Orioles' 148 total runs scored via home run