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Sunday Bird Droppings: Where the Orioles are now in second place

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The Orioles need to bring some of their road mojo back to Baltimore. They’re 6-2 away from home after Saturday’s win.

Baltimore Orioles v Texas Rangers Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images

Hello, friends.

The Orioles are tied for second place! It’s a three-way tie for second between the O’s, Blue Jays, and Rays at 7-8. Those teams are all ahead of the last place New York Yankees, who have scored fewer runs than all but one American League team. Too bad, so sad! The O’s have played some stupid games to end up with that record, but for this squad, one game below .500 after 15 games isn’t so bad. Over a full season, that’s a 76 win pace. I’ll take the under.

Last night, the Orioles surged past the Rangers with six runs of late offense to win by a 6-1 score. Trey Mancini had his first multi-hit game in nearly two weeks. Hopefully that’s a sign of better things coming. Freddy Galvis went 4-4, Maikel Franco added three hits, including a home run, and the bullpen combined for 4.1 innings of scoreless relief. That’s a good way to win. Check out Drew Bonifant’s recap of the game, and don’t forget to vote in the MBP poll.

After the game, the Orioles optioned the starter, Dean Kremer, to the alternate training site. O’s beat writers on Twitter, including The Baltimore Sun’s Nathan Ruiz, noted that with off days coming on Monday and Thursday, the Orioles will not need a fifth starter for at least as long as Kremer would have to be in the minors.

Wins on Friday and Saturday set up the O’s with a chance to go for the sweep today. The finale is set to get under way at 2:35 Eastern time. John Means is scheduled to start for the Orioles, with Kyle Gibson pitching for the Rangers. Let’s hope Means is not due to get bombed.

The Orioles have been real road warriors so far this season, now sporting a 6-2 record in road games. That may just be a function of who they’ve played and when. Their season-opening sweep just seems to have come before the Red Sox heated up, since Boston is now 10-4 overall. The Rangers are picking #2 in this year’s draft after being no good last year and it looks like they’re in tanking territory again for 2021.

If the O’s are going to keep winning games on the road, or manage to win games at home, they’re probably going to need to start getting more from their offense than they have been. After yesterday’s game, the O’s are batting .226/.286/.376 as a team. That .662 OPS is 26th out of 30 teams in MLB - though the Rangers, at a .656 OPS, are a bit below the O’s.

Even if you didn’t expect much from a lot of these players, they should be hitting better than this. The best day for some of them to start the turnaround is today.

Around the blogO’sphere

Updating Austin Hays’ quest to come off the injured list (School of Roch)
Hays could return as soon as today, but Roch thinks it’s more likely he’ll be activated on Tuesday for the beginning of the Marlins series in Miami.

Austin Hays’ pending return means Brandon Hyde will have fully stocked Orioles outfield for first time (Baltimore Sun)
I’ve spent about three seasons telling myself this is finally the year that the Orioles will regularly put three real outfielders in the outfield. Hasn’t happened for long yet. Maybe Hays’s return will be the spark to get this going for good.

Means to an end: An inside look at Orioles pitching development (Press Box)
This is an in-depth story that’s the cover of the latest edition of Press Box. Lots of interesting stuff here.

Brandon Hyde preaches patience with Trey Mancini (Orioles.com)
The patience was rewarded a bit last night when Mancini got his first multi-hit game in nearly two weeks, including a go-ahead double.

Cedric Mullins goes lefty full-time (Fangraphs)
The folks at Fangraphs have noticed the positive early results from Cedric Mullins giving up being a switch hitter.

Birthdays and Orioles anniversaries

Today in 2013, the O’s walked off the Rays in extra innings, taking a 10-6 victory when Matt Wieters hit a grand slam. This marked the 17th straight extra inning (regular season) win for the Orioles, dating back to the 2012 season. They lost their next extra inning game six days later.

There are a pair of former Orioles who were born on this day. They are: 1987-88 reserve Pete Stanicek, and 1986 reliever Rich Bordi. Today is Bordi’s 62nd birthday, so an extra happy birthday to him.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you as well! Your birthday buddies for today include: lawyer Clarence Darrow (1857), actor Rick Moranis (1953), late night funny man Conan O’Brien (1963), and actress Melissa Joan Hart (1976).

On this day in history...

In 1521, the trial of Martin Luther at the Diet of Worms entered its second day. Luther would not recant his Ninety-Five Theses and other writings, eventually leading to his excommunication.

In 1775, Paul Revere went on his midnight ride to warn the colonists of the coming British army. Though fairly well known today, the knowledge of this ride only became widespread following a Henry Wadsworth Longfellow poem in 1860.

In 1942, during World War II, 16 American bombers led by James Doolittle struck targets on the Japanese mainland.

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And that’s the way it is in Birdland on April 18, or at least until things change a bit when the Orioles play the Rangers later. Have a safe Sunday. Go O’s!