Orioles: Broom or bust
The Orioles got a very solid performance from spot starter Chris Jakubauskas tonight on the way to their fourth shutout victory of the year, but that isn't enough. They need to put the hammer down one more time on the slumping A's and inch closer to .500 before the weekend series against the Tampa Bay Rays.
They'll face Jeremy Hellickson, David Price and Wade Davis, which means it's going to be a very difficult home series for a team that is averaging 3.3 runs in its last 11 games.
It would certainly help if Luke Scott is really breaking out again at the plate...and it would help even more if Nick Markakis could get his groove back. He hasn't had an extra-base hit in his last 84 at-bats and has just five singles in 40 at-bats over the last 10 games. He's got to snap out of this at some point. This weekend would be a particularly good time as the O's try go sneak up on .500 again.
Look for Zach Britton to snap a five-week winless streak today. He has lost three straight decisions, though his three no-decisions during that span were quality starts and one of them featured nine shutout innings. The Orioles were 2-1 in his no-decision games.