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Friday Bird Droppings: Where the Orioles will try to bring some wins home

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The O’s have scratched and clawed to a bunch of hard-fought wins on the road. At home, though...not so much.

Baltimore Orioles v Tampa Bay Rays Photo by Mike Carlson/Getty Images

Good morning, Camden Chatters.

The Orioles continued to show some impressive spunk last night, outlasting the best team in baseball with a hard-earned 6-5, 11-inning victory in Tampa. A game that could’ve gone sour after a ninth-inning blown save turned exhilarating behind heroic efforts from Joey Rickard, Chris Davis, and John Means. Just how they drew it up. Tyler Young recapped the wild extra-inning affair.

The Orioles completed their seven-game road trip with a 3-4 record, giving them a 7-6 mark on the road this season. But O’s fans who turn up at Camden Yards can’t help thinking, “When do we get to see this kind of competence?”

The Orioles, for all their gritty play on the road, have yet to find the same success at home. The Birds went 1-6 in their opening homestand, sandwiching a lone win over Oakland between three losses apiece to the Yankees and Athletics. After losing the first two games on bullpen meltdowns, the other four defeats weren’t particularly close, with the Birds getting outscored by a 46-13 margin. In those seven home games, including the one victory, Orioles pitchers were tagged for an unfathomable 28 home runs.

The O’s are one of only two major league teams who have won fewer than two home games, joining the 1-5 Colorado Rockies. Starting tonight, though, they’re entering a stretch of 15 home games in their next 21 — kicking off with a three-game series against the Twins this weekend — so now’s the time to start reversing their ill fortunes in Baltimore.

And maybe try not to give up so many home runs this time, OK, guys?

Links

Orioles manager Brandon Hyde impresses others through his support for Davis - BaltimoreBaseball.com
Through his first 20 games as O’s manager, Brandon Hyde is receiving rave reviews from players and executives alike. I have to agree that I like what I’ve seen from him so far, not that my opinion means much.

Orioles to reward Means for solid pitching - Orioles.com
John Means has been the most pleasant surprise on the Orioles’ pitching staff, and even though Alex Cobb is returning, the O’s want Means to keep starting. How they’ll make that happen, exactly, is yet to be determined.

Cobb ready for rotation return - School of Roch
Speaking of Alex Cobb, he says he’s healthy and ready to go for tomorrow night’s start. With only one appearance in the Orioles’ first 20 games, poor Cobb seems like he’s barely been part of the team so far.

A look at the Orioles’ draft bonus pool and more - Steve Melewski
Steve Melewski runs down the Orioles’ slot pool for their top 10 picks in the upcoming June draft, and also passes along some rave reviews for Grayson Rodriguez. And that was BEFORE Rodriguez’s latest dominant outing last night.

Orioles birthdays and history

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! You have three O’s birthday buddies, including 2008 All-Star George Sherrill (42), who spent a year and a half as the Birds’ closer after they acquired him as part of the Erik Bedard haul. Sherrill posted a 3.71 ERA and racked up 51 saves in 99 games. It’s also the birthday of 1997-99 righty Scott Kamieniecki (55) and 1998-99 infielder Willis Otanez (46).

On this day in 1996, Orioles pitchers melted down in the Texas heat, giving up 26 runs — including 16 in a single inning, one shy of the modern MLB record. Rangers leadoff man Darryl Hamilton batted three times in the eighth inning, and everyone else batted twice, as Armando Benitez and Jesse Orosco imploded, forcing utility infielder Manny Alexander to pitch. The inning went like this: single, walk, walk, two-run double, sac fly, two-run homer, single, single, RBI single, walk, RBI single, four consecutive bases-loaded walks, sac fly, walk, grand slam, groundout. Fun times.

The sad thing is, 26 runs aren’t even the most the Orioles have ever allowed to the Rangers in a game. The less said about that, the better.