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Monday Bird Droppings: Where the Orioles finally won a home series

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The Orioles escaped April with a home series win under their belt. Also, Buck Showalter shares his thoughts on the recently benched Chris Davis.

MLB: Detroit Tigers at Baltimore Orioles Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning, Camden Chatters.

The Orioles are heading out for their West Coast trip on a positive note...or, at least, as positive as it gets for this moribund crew. The O’s took the rubber game against the Tigers on Sunday — check out Tyler’s recap for the full deets — and finally won their first home series of 2018 in their fifth attempt. It’s only their second series win overall, their first since April 5-8 when they took three out of four at Yankee Stadium.

The Birds now prepare for their first and only full-fledged West Coast road trip this year (not including a random three-game series in Seattle in September, wedged between trips to Kansas City and Tampa Bay). This one will take them to California to face the Angels and Athletics.

Angels two-way rookie sensation Shohei Ohtani was originally slated to start against the Orioles on Tuesday, but a left ankle sprain scuttled that plan. Still, he might start Wednesday or Thursday, depending on how well he recovers. I’m kind of excited to see this guy, even though I’m positive he will completely dominate the Orioles.

Links

Pedro Alvarez on last-minute start and Kevin Gausman on outing - Steve Melewski
Told he would be an emergency starter at third base Sunday, Alvarez wants us to know he "put on my jock strap and cup and headed downstairs." Probably more information than we needed, Pedro, but thanks for all the home runs.

Showalter talks Chris Davis - and he believes the talent and ability 'is there' - BaltimoreBaseball.com
Chris Davis was benched against a lefty for the second straight day, and Buck Showalter shared his thoughts on what the slumping slugger needs to do to improve. It's a wordier version of, "Hit better."

Orioles left fielder Trey Mancini learning to grind through adversity since knee injury (Baltimore Sun)
In happier news, Trey Mancini has been one of the few successful hitters in the Orioles’ lineup this year, although his numbers have dipped a bit since his recent knee injury.

Orioles notes: Joey Rickard sent back to Norfolk; Luis Sardinas headed for DL with lower back pain (Baltimore Sun)
The O’s have more roster shuffling ahead of them as Rickard was sent back to the minors after his two-game stint, while Sardinas has apparently been hurt. That answers the question, “Why was Pedro Alvarez starting at third base instead of an actual infielder?”

Orioles birthdays and history

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Your lone Orioles birthday buddy is light-hitting utility infielder Jeff Reboulet, who turns 54 today. Reboulet, a 1997-99 Oriole, is perhaps best known for being an inexplicably awesome hitter against Hall of Famer Randy Johnson. Reboulet hit two homers off the Big Unit, including one in the decisive Game 4 of the ALDS between the O’s and M’s in ‘97. Skipper Davey Johnson’s decision to start Reboulet over Roberto Alomar in that game paid off.

On this day in 1967, the Orioles’ Steve Barber and Stu Miller combined to throw a no-hitter against the Tigers. That’s good! But they lost the game. That’s bad! How do you lose a no-hitter, you ask? Well, walking 10 batters — as Barber did — doesn’t help.

Barber actually carried a 1-0 lead into the ninth despite seven free passes to that point. But he walked the first two batters and uncorked a wild pitch that tied the game, and a run-scoring fielder’s choice against Miller gave the Tigers the lead. That was the first game of a doubleheader; the Orioles lost the second one, too.