Friday night the Orioles open up a nine-game, three-city road trip in Southern California against the Los Angeles Angels who deny they play in Anaheim. It’ll be game number 40 for the Orioles and that’s as close as you can get to the quarter-pole in a 162 game season.

The Orioles start the road trip with a 24-15 record, they lead the AL East by percentage points over Boston and their .615 win percentage is the best in the American League and second to only the Cubs (.715) in all of Major League Baseball. The first quarter of the season has included two 7-game win streaks. I think I heard Buck say, “I like our guys.”

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I’ll give the Orioles an A- on their first quarter report card. Here’s 4 up and 4 down from the first quarter.

Four O’s Up

Chris Tillman— My first quarter O’s MVP. The team’s biggest need starting pitching and Tillman has been great. He’s 6-1 with a 2.61 ERA and 1.16 WHIP. He’s bounced back from a bad 2015 season with extra life in his arm and ranks in the top 10 in the league in strikeouts.

Mark Trumbo—Who knew? Sure we knew Trumbo had power but he leads the club in homers and RBI’s (12/29) and he’s hitting .309. A first baseman by trade he’s held his own in right field.

Manny Machado— What a joy to watch! Golden in the field at short or third and the bat is one of the best in the game. A recent slump has his average way down to .319. He’s on pace to hit over 40 homers, drive in 100 runs and hit 50 doubles. Orioles fans don’t worry about his future enjoy the right here, right now.

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Zach Britton— 2 wins and 11 for 11 in save opportunities, the Orioles closer over-matches hitters with one of nastiest sinkers in baseball history. Britton his 20 strikeouts and only 3 walks in his 17 inning, batters usually can’t hit it and when they do it’s a weak ground ball.  Opponents are hitting .125 against Britton.

Four O’s Down

Pedro Alvarez— The adjustment to a new team and league hasn’t been smooth. A .200 average with 2 home runs and 9 batted in needs improvement. He’s hit 36 homers and driven in 100 in past seasons.

Ubaldo Jimenez— He is what he is. Frustrating!! A real good one followed by two real ugly ones so goes this box of chocolates. When you lead the team in walks and opponents are hitting over .300 against you it’ll add up to about a 5.60 ERA.

Caleb Joseph — Caleb the catcher is doing just fine, he’s cut down 6 base stealers and gets high marks for his work behind the plate. The bat is a different story; Joseph is hitting .200 and is still looking for his first RBI of the season.

Hyun Soo Kim — Is this piling on? Kim is hitting .379 numbers worthy of a batting crown, but how many of his 11 hits have left the infield? In limited at bats he has only 1 extra base hit and no home runs. I’m pulling for him but not sure how this one turns out.

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