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Monday Bird Droppings: The Orioles’ offense has come alive

After a horrid start to the season, the Birds’ bats awoke in Los Angeles, scoring 16 runs in three games.

Baltimore Orioles v Los Angeles Angels
Trey Mancini muscled up for his first home run yesterday.
Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images

Good morning, Camden Chatters.

The Orioles were denied their first sweep yesterday with a 7-6 loss to the Angels in the finale, which Alex Church recapped. Still, it was the Birds’ most promising series to date. They gutted out well-played, hard-fought victories in the first two games and also pulled off an outstanding six-run comeback in the finale despite ultimately losing.

Most encouragingly, the Orioles’ offense, which had been utterly dormant for the first two weeks of the season, began to break out this weekend. After having just one five-run game in their first 13, the O’s scored five or more in all three against the Angels. They went 8-for-31 with runners in scoring position after batting just .115 (13 for 113) in such situations before this series. Slumping hitters such as Cedric Mullins and Ryan Mountcastle showed signs of righting the ship. And the Orioles snapped a seven-game homer drought, with Trey Mancini and Austin Hays each bashing his first home run of the year in yesterday’s comeback.

Admittedly, it was only one series. The Orioles still have some ground to make up to pull themselves out of the bottom tier of the AL offense leaderboards. But if they can start putting up more competent offensive performances on a regular basis, combined with a pitching staff that’s been surprisingly strong this year, this 2022 Orioles club might be more entertaining to watch than we expected.

Links

Ellis leaves early with shoulder discomfort in 7-6 loss (updated) - Roch Kubatko
Kubatko’s got some news about yesterday’s game, including starter Chris Ellis leaving with shoulder discomfort. Could be ominous, or could be nothing. I always default to the “ominous” side.

Orioles sending Rutschman and Hall to Aberdeen this week - BaltimoreBaseball.com
If you live anywhere near Aberdeen, make a point to go to a game or two this week, where Adley Rutschman and D.L. Hall will be making their season debuts to build up strength before moving up to higher affiliates. This is going to be fun.

Jorge López impressing as Orioles closer - MLB.com
Yeah, something tells me the Orioles won’t be returning Lopez to the starting rotation anytime soon. He’s starting to make a name for himself in the bullpen, where he’s taken well to the closer role so far.

Orioles say club still working to reach out to alumni after Adam Jones states that team hasn’t invited him to Camden Yards anniversary events - Baltimore Sun
Reacting to yesterday’s Twitter scandal in Birdland, the O’s insist that they haven’t yet contacted every former Oriole they’re planning to contact for their OPACY celebration. I feel like Adam Jones should have been one of the first, but I’m not in charge.

Orioles birthdays and history

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! And a very special happy birthday to Art Schallock, a lefty from the 1955 Orioles, who turns 98 years young today. Schallock is the second-oldest living ex-MLB player. Enjoy your day, Art! Almost to triple digits!

It’s also the birthday of a former O’s player and current O’s coach, Darren Holmes, who turns 56. Holmes posted a 25.07 ERA in just five games as an Oriole in 2000 but has stuck around longer as a coach, currently in his second year as assistant pitching coach and third year on the staff. And last but not least, it’s the 38th birthday of legendary utility man Robert Andino, which means I must post the obligatory video of Andino crushing the Red Sox’ dreams.

Speaking of walkoffs against the Red Sox, the O’s did exactly that on this date in 2015 under the most bizarre circumstances. Late in the evening, as Zack Britton suffered a rare blown save that tied the game in the ninth, the gates were closed and fans at Camden Yards were told to stay in the ballpark due to violent protests in Baltimore following the death of Freddie Gray in police custody. As the game continued, the Red Sox took a 4-3 in the top of the 10th, but the O’s rallied back with two in the bottom half against former Oriole Koji Uehara, capped by a David Lough walkoff homer. By then, fans were given the all-clear to leave the ballpark. Weird night.