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Tuesday Bird Droppings: Where the O’s sweated out a road win

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The Orioles got their fifth road win of the year, and it only took them until May 21. In other O’s news, Chris Davis isn’t going to be benched and Manny Machado is still probably going to be traded.

MLB: Baltimore Orioles at Chicago White Sox Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning, Camden Chatters.

For those who haven’t stopped watching the Orioles in disgust this season, the club pulled out their fifth road win of the year with a tight 3-2 decision in Chicago on Monday. It turns out that when you pit the worst team in the majors against the second-worst, you may not get great baseball, but you’ll probably get a close game.

Sure enough, the lead was never more than two runs in either direction, and the O’s had to sweat things out at the end, but they held on by the skin of their teeth for the victory. Tyler Young’s recap has the full details.

The Orioles are less than a week away from Memorial Day, the date that Dan Duquette earlier proclaimed would be the target for the O’s to assess their organizational direction for this season. Nothing that will happen in the next six days can change the fact that the Orioles should be sellers, trading away as many players as they need to rebuild their team and restock the farm system.

Links

Manny Machado smashes 15th home run (MLB.com)
Manny Machado homer Monday, his 15th, was his hardest-hit ball of the season and was measured at 411 feet. You guys, I think he might be pretty good.

Chris Davis remains in the lineup, plus other notes - Steve Melewski
Among Buck Showalter’s pre-game tidbits: Chris Davis isn’t going to be benched regularly, Zach Britton is starting a rehab assignment May 30, and David Hess is remaining in the rotation.

Manny Machado of Baltimore Orioles says free-agency talk not a distraction (ESPN)
Another day, another round of trade speculation swirling around Manny. The writer of this article informs us that Machado was “dressed in a Gucci wool cardigan adorned with tiger heads.”

Looking at the worst road teams in club history - and where the 2018 Orioles fit - BaltimoreBaseball.com
Here’s a look at the worst road teams in Orioles history, written by some guy named Paul Folkemer. I hear he’s ruggedly handsome!

Baltimore Orioles: Bullpens Reimagined - The Case for an O's "Opener" (Eutaw Street Report)
The Rays have recently started using “The Opener,” a relief pitcher to pitch the first inning before bringing in the “regular” starter. Riley Blake analyzes whether the O’s could use an “Opener” and who might fit that role.

Baltimore orioles are easy to spot, a little harder to keep around | lehighvalleylive.com
Not baseball related, but Lehigh Valley Live’s resident bird expert has some insight into how the Baltimore orioles got their name. I learned something today.

Orioles birthdays and history

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! You have three Orioles birthday buddies, none of whom stood out in Baltimore. Jose Mesa turns 52 today. He began his career with the Orioles in 1987 and washed out as a starting pitcher before the O’s traded him in ‘92. He converted to relief and was a reasonably successful closer for the Indians, Mariners, Phillies, and Pirates, pitching until he was 41. His son, Jose Mesa Jr., was in camp with the Orioles this spring as a Rule 5 pick but was returned to the Yankees before the season started.

It’s also the birthday of Maryland-born lefty John Bale (44), who pitched 14 games for the 2001 Orioles, as well as Dutch right-hander Rick van den Hurk (33), an Oriole from 2010-11. Van den Hurk has spent the past six years pitching overseas, first in Korea and now Japan.

On this day in 1976, Ken Singleton hit a walkoff grand slam to lead the Orioles over the Tigers, 8-4.

2018 Orioles vs. 1988 Orioles

In the battle for worst record in franchise history, the 2018 Orioles are still a few games better than the ‘88 Birds were at this point of the season. In their 47th game, the ‘88 Orioles were blanked by the California Angels, 5-0, in what was already their eighth shutout loss of the season. Angels All-Star righty Mike Witt went the distance for his ninth career shutout. O’s right-hander Jose Bautista (not the Jose Bautista everyone hates) lasted just 2.2 innings, giving up three runs on six hits. After the loss, the Orioles were 9-38, six games behind the pace of the present-day club.