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Sunday Bird Droppings - Well done, Beef!

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Welington Castillo does it again, as Kevin Gausman shows signs he might be OK this year after all.

MLB: Toronto Blue Jays at Baltimore Orioles
Not bad, Kevin Gausman, but we’d still like better.
Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

Good Sunday morning! Any morning that finds the Orioles in first place in the AL East by themselves is ripe to be a good one, and that’s where we are this morning. Enjoy the view from the top!

About Last Night

Castillo leads Orioles past Blue Jays 7-5 - USA Today
The Orioles improved to 15-3 at home — the best mark in the majors — and can complete a three-game sweep Sunday. Baltimore took over first place in the American League East by a half-game over the New York Yankees, who lost to Tampa Bay earlier Saturday.

Orioles' Brad Brach: 'I’d be lying if I said the confidence wasn’t a little shaken' - Baltimore Sun
Brad Brach admits this week was a bit taxing on him mentally. "It’s one of those things where I’ve got to learn, pitching the eighth and ninth inning, what it’s like to have a lot of games, pitching out of a lot of innings. For me, it’s tough just sitting on those couple of performances. It was great to get back out there, and hopefully I can just continue doing this from here on out.”

Decisions, decisions...

Orioles lefty Wade Miley's strange year has him allowing few runs but in dangerous fashion - Baltimore Sun
Buck Showalter would like to see Wade Miley be a tad more efficient. "He's got a lot of borderline pitches that are balls, but they're very close to strikes. When guys don't pass at them, it makes for some deep counts. That's really what has got him in trouble. It's not stuff. The command, I don't think it's as bad as the walks indicate. But it's been pretty obvious it's been a challenge for him. And it shouldn't be, with his command."

Orioles deciding whether to recall Janish - School of Roch
Ryan Flaherty's shoulder hurts again, so don't be surprised to see the triumphant return to Paul Janish.

Orioles notes: Katz acquired for international signing slots; Duquette on Britton, Bourn - Baltimore Sun
Dan Duquette said closer Zach Britton threw for a second time Saturday after first playing catch Thursday, marking the first steps back on his comeback from left forearm soreness in Sarasota, Fla.

Duquette on Katz, Jackson, Bourn, Britton and more - School of Roch
“(Alex) Katz has got a good curveball,” said executive vice president Dan Duquette. “A good fastball and an excellent strikeout record. Our guys like him and they project him to be a major league reliever.

Orioles minor league report: Michael Bourn nearing opt-out date - Baltimore Sun
Michael Bourn has an opt-out in his minor league contract on Monday, and while he hasn’t exactly been setting the world on fire in his rehab, he may still find himself in Baltimore very, very soon.

Birthdays and History

Happy Birthday to current Orioles Joey Rickard and to former Orioles Matt Wieters, Andrew Miller, Tommy Davis, Chris Widger, and Bob Molinaro. They share today with famous people including Plato 427 B.C.; woodcut artist Albrecht Durer 1471 (seriously, his stuff is amazing); actor Raymond Burr 1917; Soviet physicist and dissident Andrei Sakharov 1921; actor Mr. T 1952; actor Judge Reinhold 1957; rapper Notorious B.I.G. (Christopher George Latore Wallace) 1972; and actress Fairuza Balk 1974.

On this day in Baltimore baseball history...

1956 - The White Sox send 3B George Kell, OF Bob Nieman, and pitchers Mike Fornieles and Connie Johnson to the Orioles for P Jim Wilson and OF Dave Philley. Kell will play solid 3B until Brooks Robinson is ready, while Johnson will lead the Birds' starters in wins in 1957.

1962 - The Orioles sign veteran Robin Roberts, released by the Yankees on April 30th. Roberts will win 42 games for Baltimore before going to Houston.

Today in world history...

1471 - King Henry VI was killed in the tower of London. Edward IV took the throne.

1832 - In the U.S., the Democratic Party held its first national convention.

1856 - Lawrence, Kansas was captured by pro-slavery forces.

1927 - Charles A. Lindberg completed the first solo nonstop airplane flight across the Atlantic Ocean. The trip began May 20.

1956 - The U.S. exploded the first airborne hydrogen bomb in the Pacific Ocean over Bikini Atoll.

1980 - The movie "The Empire Strikes Back" was released.

Consider this your discussion space for NBA Playoff: Game 3: Celtics at Cavaliers. I’m sure it will be as exciting and competitive as the first two games!