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Friday Bird Droppings: Where the Orioles will try to win at home

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The Birds are sitting on just one victory at Camden Yards this season. Perhaps they can change that over the next week.

MLB: Seattle Mariners at Baltimore Orioles
The Orioles have done the congratulatory high-five in their home jerseys only once this season.
Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning, Camden Chatters.

After a week on the road, the Orioles are back in Baltimore for seven games starting tonight. I’m not sure if I should be writing that with glee or with dread.

The Birds’ two road trips this year have been successful ones, as they just finished a 3-2 trek through Arlington and Miami and opened the season with a 4-2 jaunt through Boston and New York. But their one previous homestand was a disaster, a 1-6 effort against the Red Sox and Mariners that threw cold water on the long-awaited return of O’s fans to Camden Yards.

It would behoove the Orioles to start winning some games at home, but it’s not going to be easy. Their first matchup is against the hottest team in baseball, the Oakland Athletics, winners of 11 straight games. During that stretch, the A’s have outscored their opponents by an astounding 71-33 margin, and four of their last six victories have been shutouts (although they did surrender 12 runs in their most recent game, ultimately winning a 13-12 slugfest when the Twins committed two straight errors in the bottom of the 10th. Come on, Twins!).

The Orioles have enough trouble against the Athletics even when they’re not scalding hot. The last time the two teams played each other, in 2019, the A’s won six of the seven games. The year before, they won five of six. (How long ago was the Orioles’ last win against Oakland? Their winning pitcher was Andrew Cashner, and other O’s to appear in the game included Jimmy Yacabonis, Jesus Sucre, Joey Rickard, and Nate Karns.)

So this three-game weekend series may not be the Orioles’ best opportunity to get off the schneid. After that, though, they’ll host four games against the Yankees, who until yesterday were the worst team in the American League (again...come on, Twins!). While the O’s have been constantly roughed up by the Yankees in the last three years, the upcoming series may be a golden opportunity for the Birds to exact some revenge, add to the Yankees’ misery, and finally win a few home games while they’re at it. It’s win-win-win.

Links

Hot road trip for Orioles shortstop Freddy Galvis shows how quickly fortunes can turn - Baltimore Sun
A week ago, Freddy Galvis was batting .154/.250/.179 and looking like a wasted signing. Now, five games later, he’s got the second best OPS on the team. Small sample sizes really are a hoot, aren’t they?

What it looks like after 18 games - Steve Melewski
Speaking of small sample sizes, Steve Melewski compiled the three-game totals for the Orioles’ alternate site hitters in their exhibitions against the Nationals’ alternates. Jahmai Jones’ 7-for-10, two-homer performance stands out, and the O’s do happen to have a gaping hole at the second base position...

Matt Kremnitzer: How Is Orioles CF Cedric Mullins Doing This? Can He Keep It Going? - PressBoxOnline.com
Cedric Mullins is hitless in his last 10 at-bats, but he’s still been the Orioles' hottest hitter this year. Matt Kremnitzer takes a deeper look at how he’s done it.

Orioles birthdays and history

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Three former Orioles were born on this day, though they combined for just 37 games in an O’s uniform: 2009 lefty Sean Henn, who turns 40, and the late infielders Chico Fernandez (b. 1939, d. 2020) and Buddy Peterson (b. 1925, d. 2006).

On this day in 1994, future Hall of Fame closer Lee Smith picked up his ninth save of the season in only the Orioles’ 16th game, an MLB record. Smith slammed the door with a perfect ninth inning against the Mariners in a 4-3 O’s win. He would go on to finish April with 12 saves and a 0.00 ERA in the Orioles’ first 23 games.

And on this date in 2006, Miguel Tejada went 4-for-4 against the Yankees...and the rest of the O’s lineup went a combined 0-for-27. It was only the third time in MLB history that a player had four hits while the rest of his team went hitless. The Orioles lost, 7-1, to Hall of Famers Randy Johnson and Mariano Rivera.