Congrats to the American League Player of the Week.
Most articles about Scott’s award including the following “throw-away” facts:
“Scott became the first Oriole to homer in four straight games since Miguel Tejada in 2005, and his consecutive multi-homer games were the first for the club since Albert Belle did it in 2000.”
Roar from 34 loves recycling discarded facts (note: Green is in), so let’s take a closer look at Scott, Tejada, and Belle’s efforts.
All three players went on home-run binges as part of an extended winning streak. Scott’s blasts came as part of a five-game win streak, although his final home run came during a loss that ended that streak. Both Tejada and Belle did nothing but win during their respective long-ball binges.
Tejada homered during the last four games of an eight-game win streak that moved the Birds up four in the AL East. The teams’ biggest lead was 4.5 games on May 26. Tejada, the All-Star Game MVP in Detroit, finished the 2005 season batting .304 with 26 home runs and 98 RBI.
Belle’s consecutive multi-homer games came in the final two games of six-game O’s win streak; unfortunately, a nine-game losing streak followed. Belle finished the 2000 season, his last in baseball, with a .281 average, 23 home runs, and 103 RBIs. The 23 homers were the lowest total of Belle’s 10 seasons as a full-time player.
Deja vu all over again
During both the 2000 and 2005 seasons, when Belle and then Tejada got homer happy, the Orioles finished the year with identical 74-88 records. In 2000, the record left them 13.5 games back of the Yankees; in 2005, they found themselves 21 games back of the Yankees and Red Sox, both of whom finished 95-67.
Results and linked box scores for games during Tejada’s streak
April 26, 2005
O’s 11 – Red Sox 8
April 29, 2005
O’s 5 – Rays 0
April 30, 2005
O’s 7 – Rays 5
May 1, 2005
O’s 7 – Rays 4
Excerpt from a May 1 USA Today game story:
Bruce Chen has discovered what the rest of the American League is quickly learning: Baltimore has a fearsome offense.
Melvin Mora hit a pair of home runs, Miguel Tejada homered for the fourth consecutive game and the Orioles won their eighth straight, beating the Tampa Bay Devil Rays 7-4 Sunday. (Related item: Box score)
“I was talking to some of our pitchers, and it would be tough to face us,” Chen said. “I’m glad we’re pitching for this team. This team has been unbelievable.”
Chen (3-1) allowed three runs in six-plus innings and struck out a season-high seven as the Orioles matched their longest winning streak last year. Baltimore has not won nine straight since a 13-game streak from Sept. 7-22, 1999.
“It’s crazy. This team is crazy,” Mora said. “We’ve got power hitters. We’ve got speed. Everything.”
B.J. Ryan pitched the ninth for his fifth save in as many chances.
“We came out of camp knowing that we had a pretty good offensive team,” Baltimore manager Lee Mazzilli said. “But how good? You never know until you get into the season.”
Results and linked box scores for games during Belle’s streak
June 15, 2000
O’s 10 – Rangers 1
Belle finished 2-for-4 with 6 RBIs, which came by way of his two homers and a sacrifice fly. 8th inning grand slam.
June 16, 2000
O’s 4 – Angels 3
Belle finished 2-for-3 with 4 RBIs. Intentionally walked in the bottom of the fifth after homering in his first two at-bats. (third straight at-bat where he homered).