BALTIMORE -- Home-field advantage has taken on a serious meaning in the first month-and-a-half for the Orioles, who lost their first home series of the season on Thursday with a 7-2 defeat against the Mariners.
Baltimore has been a remarkable 17-8 at Camden Yards this season, leading the Majors in home victories and using that to secure an early spot atop the American League East. But the Mariners, leaders in the AL West, did what no opponent has been able to in Baltimore: close out a series.
"They're doing really well. They're really hot, obviously," former Mariner Mark Trumbo said of a Seattle club that is 6-0-1 in road series this year. "Their record shows that and they did all the little things that added up to a nice win for them."
After handing the Orioles their worst loss of the season, Tuesday's 10-0 defeat, Seattle took the rubber match on Thursday, sending the O's on the road in unprecedented fashion.
"Really? That's good," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said when informed of the streak. "That's bad [that we lost]. It's an ongoing process. You always want that to be newsworthy -- I want that [home series loss] to be something that's a break from the norm, but that goes out the window. Now we go away for 10 days. Some tough places [in Anaheim, Houston and Cleveland]. They are all playing pretty well, catching them at a good time for all of them. So, get on a plane, fly six hours and put the good and bad behind you. Because there's another challenge here shortly."
The road swing will be the Orioles' first-three city trip of the season. They are 7-7 away from Camden Yards, with their last series loss -- prior to Thursday -- coming April 25-27 at Tampa Bay.
"It's two common denominators of teams that play in October -- having an advantage at home and being competitive on the road. We know we have to follow that trend," Showalter said. "It's long, tried and tested. We're going to some places where people are playing well. Everybody's trying to seek their level right now. We're in the middle of May. Everybody's trying to figure out who they are, whether they're a dancer or someone who spins the records."