Original Story | ESPN
April 13, 2016
ESPN stats and information

The Baltimore Orioles, off to the second-best start in franchise history, visit the Boston Red Sox on Wednesday night (7 ET, ESPN2/WatchESPN). Here’s a look at the top stats to know heading into the game:

Orioles’ hot start

The Orioles are 7-0 for the second time in franchise history. Their most consecutive wins to begin a season is nine, done in 1944 as the St. Louis Browns. That team went on to win the American League pennant.

The Elias Sports Bureau notes that this season’s Orioles are the 28th team since 1903 to start 7-0 or better. Five of those teams went on to win the World Series, including the 2015 Royals.

The Orioles’ undefeated start has come on the strength of their hitting. Baltimore is tied for the American League lead in runs (40) and home runs (13), and leads the league in slugging percentage (.522) and OPS (.877). Their OPS is the best in the majors.

Their contributions have come from both familiar and possibly unexpected sources. Chris Davis and Manny Machado are tied for the team lead with three home runs each, with Machado boasting a .414 average and 1.227 OPS. The team leader in average through seven games is offseason acquisition Mark Trumbo, who is hitting .464 (13-for-28), third in the AL among qualified hitters.

One area of weakness for the Orioles has been the inability of their starting pitchers to go deep into games. Wednesday’s starter, Ubaldo Jimenez, went seven innings in his first start of the season, the only Orioles starter to go more than five this season (Chris Tillman’s opening-day start was cut short by rain).

Baltimore’s bullpen has picked up the slack. Despite having worked 29 1/3 innings this season, third-most in the majors, the Orioles’ bullpen has a 1.84 ERA, fifth-best in the majors.

Red Sox rotation struggling

Entering play Wednesday, Boston’s starting pitchers have a combined ERA of 7.32, worst in the majors. Their 1.63 WHIP is worst in the AL, ahead of only the Rockies in the majors.

None of their starters have made it through seven innings in a game, and in four of the Red Sox’s seven outings the starting pitcher has allowed five or more runs, including each of the first two games of this series.

Wednesday’s starter, Joe Kelly, falls into that group, having allowed seven runs in three innings in his season debut against the Blue Jays.

Kelly threw his fastball 65.5 percent of the time last season, third-most in the AL and 11th in the majors among pitchers who made at least 25 starts. The Orioles are hitting an AL-best .357 against fastballs this season, with a major-league best 1.117 OPS. Nine of their 13 home runs have come off fastballs, tied for most in the majors.

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Hannah Mosley