In 1970, the Orioles opened the season with five consecutive wins. They would go on to win 103 more, finishing 108-54, and they would vanquish the Reds in five games in the World Series. That season featured three 20-game winners in Jim Palmer, Mike Cuellar, and Dave McNally.
Could a similar fate await the 2016 Orioles? The club beat the Rays 5-3 on Sunday, jumping out to a 5-0 start and tying the ’70 Orioles for the best start in team history. Third baseman Manny Machado went 4-for-4 with a two-run home run, his third of the year. Starter Vance Worley couldn’t escape the fifth inning, but the bullpen put up 4 1/3 scoreless innings of relief.
Excepting Pedro Alvarez and Adam Jones, the entire team has been hitting. Machado, Joey Rickard, and Mark Trumbo are each hitting above .400. In fact, Trumbo — who had two singles in four at-bats Sunday — has hit only singles. As a unit, the Orioles are hitting just under .300. It’s hard to imagine the O’s hitting .300 for an entire season, but stranger things have happened.