The Baltimore Orioles haven’t had this strong a start at home in eight years.
They hope to win a seventh consecutive game at Camden Yards on Tuesday night when they conclude their two-game series with the AL East rival Toronto Blue Jays.
The Orioles (8-5) won their sixth home game in a row on Monday, holding on for a 4-3 victory after going 2-4 on a six-game road trip to Tampa Bay and Texas.
They are now 6-1 at Camden Yards for the first time since the 2000 season when they went 9-1 before losing a second time there. Baltimore hasn’t won seven home games in a row since an eight-game run from July 13-28 - their longest home streak last season. The club finished 2007 with a 35-46 home record, tied with Kansas City for the worst in the majors.
The Orioles, who have won their last three home games by one run, are hitting .313 during their streak compared to .228 during their road trip.
First baseman Kevin Millar feels the team has shaken out of its funk.
“The team’s back on track,” said Millar, who homered and drove in three runs Monday.
Millar is batting .346 (9-for-26) with a pair of doubles, two homers and six RBIs at home, while hitting .136 and driving in one run away from Camden Yards.
The Orioles hope Steve Trachsel (1-1, 3.00 ERA) can help extend their winning streak by continuing his dominance of the Blue Jays.
The veteran right-hander is 6-0 with a 3.12 ERA in seven career starts against them, including 3-0 with a 3.00 ERA in three outings last season. He made 11 starts for Toronto during a brief stint in 2000.
Trachsel has been solid in two starts this season.
After allowing two runs and four hits in 5 2-3 innings of a 7-4 win over Seattle on April 4, he gave up three runs and five hits in 6 1-3 innings of a 3-1 loss at Texas on Thursday.
The Jays give the ball to Shaun Marcum (1-0, 2.57), who has started the season with a pair of impressive seven-inning outings.
The right-hander won his season debut on April 4, allowing three runs and three hits with eight strikeouts in a 6-3 victory over Boston. He followed that up by striking out eight again while giving up one run and six hits in Toronto’s 3-2, 12-inning loss to Oakland on Thursday.
“I’ve never been a guy to worry about myself,” Marcum told the team’s official Web site. “It’s more about the team. So if I go out there and do my job and we lost, then I don’t feel like I did my job. We’ve just got to move on.”
Marcum, though, hasn’t fared well against Baltimore, going 0-1 with a 7.40 ERA in six games - four starts. He’s been even worse in four games - two starts - at Camden Yards, where he is 0-1 with a 10.66 ERA while allowing the Orioles to hit .320.
Vernon Wells has two hits in each of his last two games, adding an RBI Monday. The All-Star center fielder is hitting .333 with three homers and 13 RBIs through 13 games.
He is 7-for-17 (.412) in his last five games against Baltimore.