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Friday Bird Droppings: Zen and the art of Ubaldo maintenance

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Can Ubaldo hold it together the rest of the season?

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Of course, every series in meaningful coming down the stretch in a season where playoff baseball is on the line, but at present, the Orioles are in direct competition with this weekend's opponent, the Detroit Tigers, for the second wild card spot. After two straight series wins, one hopes the O's can continue their recent winning ways. Ubaldo is looking decent, YoGa is...YoGa and Kevin Gausman hasn't allowed a run in 19 innings (that's good). On top of all that, Chris Tillman is coming off of the DL for this weekend's series. Yes, there's a full slate of NFL games this weekend, but these games mean something. Buckle up?

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On this day in 1928, Urban Shocker passed away. In 1921, Shocker won 27 games and pitched 326 innings for the Browns, but, generally, his 1919-1924 are among the best for a pitcher in franchise history. On this day in 1999, Cal Ripken Jr. broke the all time record for GDPs in a 6-5 win over the Twins. Albert Belle drove in a run in that game to his career streak of seasons with 100 RBI to nine. Brian Roberts became the fourth major leaguer to reach the 50 double plateau three times, though his doubling ways couldn't save the Birds in a 7-5 loss to the Red Sox.

The perfectly adequate Todd Zeile celebrates a birthday today.Jim Corsi, Kurt Ainsworth, Rhyne "Baby Rhino" Hughes, Michael Bowden and Joey Terdoslavich also celebrate birthdays today.