— Going Deep. These Orioles are patterned after those Earl Weaver teams of long ago. Rarely do they seek to manufacture runs with bunts and steals; rather, they rely on the three-run homer. The formula has worked. Baltimore hit 127 homers at Camden Yards, its most at home in one season.
— Banged-Up Beltre. A top-five MVP candidate with his performance at the plate and in the field (career-low eight errors), Beltre was the DH during the final series in Oakland because of a strained left shoulder. He has also been dealing with stomach pain caused by what doctors believe is scar tissue from appendix surgery more than a decade ago, and could require additional surgery after the season.
— Closing Time: If the Orioles take a lead into the ninth, Johnson is a pretty good bet to seal the win. He hasn't blown a save opportunity since July 27 and has 20 saves and an ERA under 1.00 since July 30. The right-hander didn't allow an earned run until May 10 and hasn't given up a HR since June 5. The only players on the Rangers with homers against Johnson are Murphy and Kinsler. Johnson's 2.49 ERA would be a whole lot better if not for two appearances in which he yielded a total of 11 runs. He allowed 10 runs in his other 69 games.