Orioles allow 5-plus runs in 15th straight game to tie AL record

Tommy Gilligan / USA TODAY Sports

The Baltimore Orioles beat the St. Louis Cardinals 8-5 on Sunday to earn a series win and get back to .500 - and they did this in spite of a pitching staff that's getting worse with each passing day.

Sunday marked the 15th consecutive game in which the Orioles allowed five or more runs, moving them into a tie with the 1937 St. Louis Browns for the longest such streak in American League history, according to Eduardo A. Encina of the Baltimore Sun.

Over the life of the dubious streak, which began with a 5-2 loss to Boston on June 3, Baltimore owns a 5-10 record and has been outscored by a 43-run margin (117-74). Four of the team's losses during this run came after Baltimore pitchers allowed over 10 runs, including three straight games with 16, 14, and 10 runs allowed from June 10-12.

While pitching has long been a weak spot for this group of Orioles, their arms have been particularly awful over this latest stretch. O's pitchers came into Sunday's game owning the league's highest ERA (7.52) and WHIP (1.84) over the life of the streak, while opponents are hitting the Orioles at a .317 clip.

Including the four Cardinals homers Sunday, the Orioles have allowed 36 big flies since June 3 at an average of 2.4 allowed per nine innings.

On Sunday, three Baltimore pitchers spread out the damage: Starter Ubaldo Jimenez and reliever Vidal Nuno allowed two runs, while Miguel Castro gave up the fifth run of the afternoon. Fortunately for them, the bats bailed out another putrid pitching performance, as four Baltimore homers powered the club to victory anyway.

Baltimore is now five games away from matching the major-league record of 20 consecutive games allowing five-plus runs, currently held by the 1927 Philadelphia Phillies, per Encina.

For the record, the 1937 Browns finished that season with 108 losses and 1,023 runs allowed. Of the pitchers on that '37 Browns squad who pitched at least 100 innings that season, only one - the immortal Jack Knott - finished the year with an ERA below 5.00.

In 1954, the Browns moved to Baltimore and became the Orioles.