Baltimore (25-14) held a one-game lead over the Rays (24-15) in the American League East entering Friday's series opener. The Orioles were 13-5 on the road in their first 18 games away from Camden Yards.
The O's didn't win a 13th road game until July 3 of last year, and their 30 wins tied with the Twins for the second fewest in the AL -- the Mariners were last with 28 road victories.
But it's a new year, and the Orioles have become a force on the road. They have won seven consecutive games away from home, their longest winning streak on the road since they took 10 straight in 1999.
In addition, they're trying for a third consecutive winning road trip. One win against the Nationals will give the Orioles that mark.
Catcher Matt Wieters said the Orioles aren't looking at road games any differently than home contests.
"It doesn't matter for us whether we're playing home, away, or at a neutral site," he said "It doesn't really matter. We're just going to go out there and play that game, and whatever situation's presented to us is what we're going to deal with."
Center fielder Adam Jones said he thinks pitching's been a key in the road games. The Orioles have wins in long games -- 13, 15 and 17 innings -- all on the road, and they got solid efforts from the pitching staff every time.
"We've played a lot of long games on the road," Jones said. "The pitching staff has held up their end of the bargain."