When the Orioles headed off on their 11-game West Coast road trip, it was fair to assume that it would be a very difficult trip and probably just as fair to think that the O's would be satisfied to get back with something close to a .500 record on the trip.
Apparently, Buck Showalter was telling the truth earlier this week when he said that his players don't think that way.
Maybe the Orioles would be just fine if they ended up 5-6 or 6-5 in this 11-game midnight run against the Oakland A's, Seattle Mariners and Los Angeles Angels, but they obviously have set their sights a little higher than that. They're one win away from sweeping the A's on the road for the first time in about a quarter century, though they'll have to get by a rejuvenated Bartolo Colon (3-0, 2.42 ERA) to improving to 4-0 on the trip.
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So far, they've caught the A's at the right time and -- for once -- made themselves at home in the spacious O.co Coliseum.
More importantly, Jason Hammel and Wei-Yin Chen put up a lot of innings in the first two games when the bullpen badly needed a blow, and the Orioles offense continues to deliver in clutch situations to provide a cushion for the pitching staff.
Manager Buck Showalter -- and Orioles fans -- could not ask for much more. The Orioles have won 8 of their last 10 games and are now 8-4 overall on the road. What makes that even more impressive is that the four road series have been against the Rays, Red Sox, Yankees and A's.