The No. 21 has an ominous connotation for the Orioles organization.
In 1988, the club set a major league record with the most consecutive losses to start a season, dropping their first 21 contests.
The Orioles had a chance for another dubious 21, but right-hander Dylan Bundy and relievers Donnie Hart and Mychal Givens made sure the Orioles avoided some infamy.
Heading into Saturday afternoon at Tropicana Field, the Orioles’ pitching staff had allowed five runs or more in 20 consecutive games – an American League record and a tie for the major league record set by the 1924 Philadelphia Phillies.
But Bundy pitched seven strong innings, allowing just three earned runs, Hart and Givens kept it scoreless after that and the Orioles’ offense exploded in an 8-3 win.
The Orioles also ended their three-game losing streak.
Beating a division rival on the road and receiving a quality start from Bundy (8-6, 3.73 ERA), who had struggled a little recently after being so good for much of the season, was way more important, of course, than sidestepping some obscure record.
But I’m sure the Orioles are all glad that 20-game albatross is over, too.