Orioles showing that they might fly higher in 2012

The Sports Xchange

If the first four series of 2012 are any indication, this Orioles team won't go away quietly.

The Orioles won their third series of the year, taking three out of four games in Chicago with a 5-3 victory on Thursday.

Jason Hammel wasn't dominant, but he was strong, scattering two runs on six hits and three walks. His 10 strikeouts, although instrumental in the victory, also contributed to his high pitch count. Hew left after six innings and 108 pitches.

Hammel improved to 2-0 after clinching the season-opening sweep of the Twins with a near-no-hitter.

The Orioles haven't been out of only two games this season, both of those started by lefty Brian Matusz. Even in the three-game sweep by the Yankees, the Orioles blew lead in the last two games.

Even with a sweep at the hands of the Angels this weekend, the worst the Orioles will finish on their longest trip of the season is an even 5-5.

Matusz opens the series looking for his first victory, followed by Jake Arrieta and Wei-Yin Chen, both coming off strong starts on the trip.

If the Orioles can return to Camden Yards, where they will play three against Toronto and Oakland, with a 9-7 or 10-6 record, the once-daunting trip will have to be considered a major success.

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