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Sunday Bird Droppings

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Chris Tillman goes boom, so do a bunch of relievers, and suddenly, this pennant race isn't much fun anymore.

Last time Ryan Flaherty pitched was high school. "Wasn’t very good then, and still not," said Flaherty.
Last time Ryan Flaherty pitched was high school. "Wasn’t very good then, and still not," said Flaherty.
Greg Fiume/Getty Images

The Orioles rotation looks like Nate Diaz's face after last night's fight. For those of you not UFC fans, that's not a good thing.

Salt The Wound

Castro homers, drives in 4 as Astros rout Orioles 12-2
Jason Castro homered and drove in four runs, Alex Bregman and George Springer also connected and the Astros beat Baltimore 12-2 on Saturday night.

Orioles infielder Ryan Flaherty pitches ninth inning in loss to Astros - Baltimore Sun
"I don’t like it period, but what are you going to do?" Buck Showalter said. "I started looking at options about four innings earlier because I knew we had a chance to get there."

Flaherty pitches for first time since high school - says he was bad then, too - BaltimoreBaseball.com
It was the first time Ryan Flaherty had pitched in a game since high school. "Wasn’t very good then, and still not," said Flaherty, who threw his fastball between 81 and 85 mph.

Tillman on his outing, Flaherty on pitching, Jones on team struggles - Steve Melewski
"I think I was a little timid early on," Chris Tillman said. "There was some apprehension there. But the more I got into it, it started to come around. I had a pretty good feeling it wasn’t going to be a thing anymore. I felt really good at the end and felt like it was coming out a little better. Physically, I felt fine. Probably the only positive you can find, I felt good. But just couldn’t command the baseball."

Your panic lit the fuel, Now it's you against you

Orioles trying not to succumb to on-field volatility as playoff races intensify - Baltimore Sun
"We're a team where people find things to pick on us," center fielder Adam Jones said. "We're not doing this well, we're not doing that well. What are we doing well? I'm just saying, it's always something. If we're pitching good, we're not hitting good. If we're hitting good, we're not pitching good. It's always something. We go out and give our effort every single day. Does everybody in life do that? No."

Orioles’ Matt Wieters placed on paternity leave – HardballTalk
The Baltimore Orioles have placed starting catcher Matt Wieters on paternity leave. Wieters left the team Saturday to join his wife, Maria, who is due to give birth to the couple’s second child.

Orioles option Despaigne (plus Showalter quotes) - School of Roch
The Orioles optioned right-hander Odrisamer Despaigne to Triple-A Norfolk tonight after he worked three innings in relief in a 12-2 loss to the Astros at Camden Yards.

Best laid plans of mice and men

O's to sign outfielder Chris Dickerson to minors deal (with Dickerson quote) - BaltimoreBaseball.com
"I’m just grateful that an organization has belief in my abilities to call me back in this very exciting time in the season," Chris Dickerson said. "It’s an organization and team I’ve greatly respected. It was great to see the guys this week and I look forward to being back in an O’s uniform and helping in any way I can."

Mancini Assured He's In Orioles' Plans - BaseballAmerica.com
"I definitely want the callup," Trey Mancini said. "I’ve been playing baseball my whole life with the goal of making it to the major leagues. It’s something I’ve worked hard for and something that would definitely be awesome.

Orioles minor league report: Top draft picks Sedlock, Akin, Humpal pitching well at Aberdeen - Baltimore Sun
Top pick Cody Sedlock has a 2.14 ERA with 21 strikeouts in 21 innings, while left-hander Keegan Akin entered Saturday having fanned 18 in 17 innings with a 1.59 ERA

Birthdays and History

Happy birthday to former Oriole Jerry DaVanon. He shares this birthday with famous people including 1904 Count Basie, jazz musician and band leader; 1905 Isadore (Friz) Freleng, animator (Warner Bros cartoons); 1924 Jack Buck, American sports announcer; 1936 Wilt Chamberlain, American NBA Legend; 1938 Kenny Rogers, singer, and probably most famous person with nystagmus; 1952 Joe Strummer, lead singer of the British punk band The Clash; 1956 Kim Cattrall, actress; 1986 Usain Bolt, Jamaican sprinter and gold medal collector; 1989 Hayden Panettiere, actress.

On this day in Baltimore baseball history...

1901 - In Baltimore, Orioles pitcher Joe McGinnity is tossed for spitting in the face of umpire Tom Connolly. When Detroit's Kid Elberfeld intervenes, he is decked by Baltimore's Mike Donlin. Bill Keister also gets involved, as do some fans, and the police, who arrest the players and a fan. Judge Harry Goldman, a part-owner of the O's, releases the players and fines the fan $100.

1963 - In the Orioles sweep of the Angels, Orioles SS Luis Aparicio becomes the first major league player since George Case in 1945 to reach 300 career steals. The O's win, 7 - 4 and 3 - 2.

1977 - Rick Dempsey returns to active duty for the Baltimore Orioles after breaking his finger, and Brooks Robinson goes on the voluntary retired list, ending his illustrious 23-year career, all with the Orioles.

On this day in world history...

1192 Minamoto Yoritomo becomes Seii Tai Shōgun and the de facto ruler of Japan. (Traditional Japanese date: July 12, 1192)

1703 The Edirne Event: Turkish army removes Sultan Mustafa II, lessening the power of the sultans

1772 King Gustav III of Sweden completes coup d'etat by adopting a new Constitution and installing himself as an enlightened despot - ends 50 years of parliamentary rule

1911 "Mona Lisa" stolen from the Louvre by Vincenzo Perugia (Recovered in 1913)

1959 Hawaii becomes 50th US state

1991 Conservative coup in the Soviet Union is crushed by popular resistance led by Boris Yeltsin in three days

2000 82nd PGA Championship: Tiger Woods become the first golfer since Ben Hogan in 1953 to win 3 majors in a calendar year. He ties the to-par record for the PGA (-18) with Bob May, and wins in a playoff

Consider this your discussion space for the awesomeness that is Maryland native and U.S. Olympic wrestler Kyle Snyder on his path towards a gold medal in 97KG freestyle wrestling.