In 2012 the Baltimore Orioles shocked the baseball world and made the playoffs for the first time since 1997.
To accomplish this, the Orioles had an excellent bullpen, stellar defense and they used the long ball.
The O’s ranked second in all of baseball in home runs last season, belting 214 homers — trailing on the New York Yankees in that category.
In 2013, it seems as though round trippers will once again be the key to Orioles success.
Currently with a 4-4 record, the Orioles can thank long balls in each of those victories.
On Opening Day against the Tampa Bay Rays, the Orioles belted two homers, one from Matt Wieters and one from Chris Davis. The home runs drove in five of the teams seven runs.
The next day the O’s hit two more homers, Davis hit his third of the season while J.J. Hardy smacked his first. Those dingers scored four of the six Oriole runs.
When the Orioles opened Camden Yards this year, Davis once again went yard when he hit a grand slam in the eighth against Minnesota Twins pitcher Tyler Robertson. It was Davis’ fourth homer in as many games — he joined Willie Mays, Mark McGwire and Nelson Cruz as the only players in history to accomplish that feat.
Davis’ slam scored four of the O’s nine runs that afternoon.
Most recently, the Orioles beat the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park by clobbering three home runs. Right fielder Nick Markakis, Davis (again), and third baseman Manny Machado strolled around the bases accounting for five of Baltimore’s eight runs.
Machado’s homer was his first of the season and came with two on and two out in the ninth.
As of now the Orioles rank 12th in the majors in team home runs (11). However, only five homers separate them from the Oakland Athletics as the leaders (16) in that category.
Only two Orioles, Davis and center fielder Adam Jones have more than one home runs, meaning the Birds are a power threat throughout their lineup. The Orioles may not go on a home run tear all at once, but that in itself can be a dangerous thing.
If Baltimore can consistently hit the big fly, the Orioles will consistently score runs and in turn will climb the league standings.