Every time the Orioles turn a corner it seems they discover another negative streak.
The most recent is one they'll have to break this weekend if they harbor any notion of overtaking the Cleveland Indians for fourth place in the AL East. With a two-game cushion over the Orioles, the Indians most likely would secure their position by splitting the four-game series, and recent history indicates that should be no problem.
The Orioles need three wins to draw even with the Indians and four to move ahead of them. But they haven't won a series on the road in their last seven tries dating back to July 27-29, when they won two of three in Kansas City.
Cleveland will finish the season with one more game played than the Orioles (as a result of a rainout with Kansas City that wasn't made up), so even if the Orioles manage to win this series, fourth place could be decided by the extra game. The Indians (74-82) have three more wins and one less loss than the Orioles (71-83).
Another sidelight (there are no real highlights) to the series is that the Indians can win the season series between the teams by winning just one of the four games. The only Eastern Division team that failed to win its season series against the Orioles is Milwaukee, which lost three straight in Baltimore last weekend to finish 6-7 for the year. The Orioles' 29-42 record against the East is the worst in the division.
Dave Johnson (12-8, 4.30) faces the Indians' John Farrell (4-4, 4.09) in tonight's game (7:35, HTS). Despite missing almost a month because of a back problem, Johnson is guaranteed to finish the season as the Orioles' winningest pitcher, and he'll make one more start, against Toronto Tuesday night at home.