THE BIG PICTURE

The current West Coast swing sure looked a lot better last Saturday, when the Orioles were knocking off the Oakland A's for the third straight time to get a big jump on an 11-game, three-city trip, but there's still some perspective to be kept. The O's have lost three of their last four and the offense was beguiled in Seattle by two starting pitchers (Joe Saunders and Aaron Harang) who had a combined 12.49 ERA in their previous five starts, but they still headed into Anaheim needing only a split of the final four to come home with a 6-5 record in the three road series -- two of which were against teams expected to be strong playoff contenders this year. That would be a successful trip by any measure.

( Otto Greule Jr. / Getty Images / May 1, 2013 )

The current West Coast swing sure looked a lot better last Saturday, when the Orioles were knocking off the Oakland A's for the third straight time to get a big jump on an 11-game, three-city trip, but there's still some perspective to be kept. The O's have lost three of their last four and the offense was beguiled in Seattle by two starting pitchers (Joe Saunders and Aaron Harang) who had a combined 12.49 ERA in their previous five starts, but they still headed into Anaheim needing only a split of the final four to come home with a 6-5 record in the three road series -- two of which were against teams expected to be strong playoff contenders this year. That would be a successful trip by any measure.

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