05/18/12 6:57 PM ET
O's bashing at near club-record pace
By Jeff Seidel and Greg Luca / MLB.com
Baltimore entered Friday's series opener with 61 homers in 39 games, the most long balls in the Major Leagues. They are the only team in either league with seven players who've hit at least five homers.
Adam Jones led the team with 13 homers. J.J. Hardy (nine), Matt Wieters (eight), Wilson Betemit and Nick Markakis (six for each), and Nolan Reimold and Chris Davis (five apiece) are the others with at least five homers.
In addition, the Orioles ranked first in the Major Leagues with homers against right-handers (48), solo homers (40) and road homers (30).
If the Orioles keep hitting homers at this pace, they would finish the season with 253. That would be second in franchise history. The 1996 team that made the American League playoffs as a Wild Card team set the club record with 257 homers.
O's have been road warriors this season
WASHINGTON -- The Orioles came into this weekend's series with the Nationals boasting the best road record in the Major Leagues. It's a big reason they also had the second best overall record in the Majors, trailing the Dodgers.
Baltimore (25-14) held a one-game lead over the Rays (24-15) in the American League East entering Friday's series opener. The Orioles were 13-5 on the road in their first 18 games away from Camden Yards.
The O's didn't win a 13th road game until July 3 of last year, and their 30 wins tied with the Twins for the second fewest in the AL -- the Mariners were last with 28 road victories.
But it's a new year, and the Orioles have become a force on the road. They have won seven consecutive games away from home, their longest winning streak on the road since they took 10 straight in 1999.
In addition, they're trying for a third consecutive winning road trip. One win against the Nationals will give the Orioles that mark.
Catcher Matt Wieters said the Orioles aren't looking at road games any differently than home contests.
"It doesn't matter for us whether we're playing home, away, or at a neutral site," he said "It doesn't really matter. We're just going to go out there and play that game, and whatever situation's presented to us is what we're going to deal with."
Center fielder Adam Jones said he thinks pitching's been a key in the road games. The Orioles have wins in long games -- 13, 15 and 17 innings -- all on the road, and they got solid efforts from the pitching staff every time.
"We've played a lot of long games on the road," Jones said. "The pitching staff has held up their end of the bargain."
Britton slated to throw again on Monday
WASHINGTON -- Orioles lefty Zach Britton is scheduled to pitch in extended spring action on Monday, and could then move on to a rehab assignment if everything goes well, manager Buck Showalter said Friday.
Britton is expected to throw about 80 pitches in his Monday start. He last appeared on Tuesday, throwing 47 pitches in four scoreless innings against Boston Minor Leaguers before adding another 20 pitches in the bullpen. A strong outing on Monday would put him on track to begin a rehab stint later in the week.
"We've looked at the schedule, we know exactly where he'd go if things go well Monday," Showalter said. "But we'll see."
Showalter said Britton has performed better and improved his velocity with each outing.
"The whole key is when he comes out of there, he's prepared to go 90 to 100 pitches when he gets to an affiliate," Showalter said.
Following the normal rotation, Britton would have been scheduled to throw on Sunday, but he was pushed back since there are no extended spring games on Sundays. The O's could have used him in a simulated game or intrasquad game, but chose to instead push him back to Monday so he could face real competition.
"The look in his eyes, his demeanor and everything is upbeat the last 10 days," Showalter said. "He's excited about where he is."
Showalter said Mark Reynolds is doing well and is almost ready to resume baseball activities, adding that Reynolds is ahead of Endy Chavez, as both are in Sarasota, Fla., recovering from strained obliques that landed them on the 15-day disabled list. Showalter also set a timetable of "hopefully" two-to-three weeks for Matt Lindstrom to recover from the partial tear of a ligament in his right middle finger. Nolan Reimold's (herniated disc) status is still unclear, and the team has yet to determine whether he will undergo a second epidural.
Hall of Fame third baseman Brooks Robinson celebrates his 75th birthday Friday. The Orioles are gong to have a ceremony to unveil a statue of Robinson on Sept. 29 at Camden Yards.
The Orioles have won 13 of their last 18 series since Sept. 12. They've also tied two and lost three with a 36-20 record during that time.
Adam Jones entered Friday with a homer in three straight games. This is the second time he's done this in his career -- the other stretch coming from July 27-29, 2009. Jones singled in his first at-bat to extend his hitting streak 10 games.
Pitcher Brad Bergesen cleared waivers and was outrighted to Triple-A Norfolk. He was designated for assignment last week to make room on the roster when Bill Hall had his contract purchased.
Outfielder Lew Ford signed with Norfolk.
Jeff Seidel is a contributor to MLB.com. Greg Luca is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.