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Friday Bird Droppings

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Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The Orioles have drifted 4.5 games back from the surging Blue Jays and irritatingly resilient Yankees. Is this all there is or can they put together a little run and right the ship? One hopes.

Johan Santana looks good, as Orioles work to keep him in the fold - CBSSports.com
Help on the way? Can he hit, too?

Matt Wieters: (Elbow) Will Attempt Throwing Friday (Rotowire) Expect the beats to be all over this on twitter.

Steve Melewski: Minor league notes on extended spring training and more
Steve-arino checks in some of the kids and long term rehab projects at Twin Lakes.

...and in the spirit of keeping things light, I am celebrating one of the greatest things of this season so far: Nelson Cruz.. So, here's a rock block of new and newish articles on Cruz that I'll call Cruzapalooza.

Cruz Carrying Orioles with Monster May - Stats & Info Blog - ESPN
The four letter network loves the Cruz.

Orioles: Cruz keeping up with Davis' 2013 torrid pace - CapitalGazette.com The inevitable comparison piece.

Nelson Cruz is enjoying a power surge in Baltimore. | SportsonEarth.com Jon Bernhardt offers up his own take on the Cruz renaissance.

On this day in 1982, Cal Ripken, Jr. began the Streak.

It's the birthday of Mike Oquist, Jairo Asencio and John Miller (a pitcher, not Jon the announcer).