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Monday Bird Droppings: Adley’s Orioles take their show on the road

The O’s exorcised their Rays demons with an improbable series win. Now Adley Rutschman begins his tour of other AL East ballparks.

Tampa Bay Rays v Baltimore Orioles Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images

Good morning, Camden Chatters.

I’d call that a successful series, wouldn’t you? The Orioles, who had been 1-21 against the Tampa Bay Rays since the start of 2021, finally got their licks in by taking two of three against their AL East foe this weekend. And what an improbable series win it was. In each of the Birds’ two victories, they were down to their last out — down to their last strike, even — before pulling off a stunning comeback to force extras, then walking off, with Rougned Odor delivering the game-winning RBI in each case.

The O’s certainly earned it. Their 13-inning Friday victory, at 4 hours and 22 minutes, was their longest time-wise of the season...until two days later, when Sunday’s 11-inning contest lasted 4 hours and 31 minutes, plus a 51-minute rain delay. For those who weren’t able to catch all the action, Drew Bonifant recapped the Orioles’ wild rubber game win.

And the one loss of the series was perhaps the most memorable of all — Adley Rutschman’s long-awaited major league debut on Saturday. Now, two games into his career, Adley will head out on his first road trip as a big leaguer, and it’s a doozy: three games in the Bronx against the first-place Yankees, followed by a rare five-game series in Boston, partially making up the slated opening-week series that was wiped out by the lockout.

Nothing like a grueling road trip against the Orioles’ two most historic divisional rivals to get Rutschman acquainted with life in the AL East. Go get ‘em, kid. Let’s show these guys what they’ll be dealing with for years to come.

Links

Watkins leaves early with injury, Orioles win in 11th (updated) - School of Roch
If yesterday’s win weren’t unlikely enough, the O’s pulled it off despite their bullpen having to get all 33 outs after Spenser Watkins’ first-inning injury. I’m guessing we’re going to see a roster move or three to infuse the bullpen with some fresh arms tonight.

Orioles’ Elias touches base on Rutschman, Rodriguez, Hall, Kjerstad and Diaz - BaltimoreBaseball.com
If you’ve got prospects on the brain after Adley’s promotion, you’re not the only one. Mike Elias addresses the status of the next wave of ballyhooed youngsters.

MLB Prospect Watch: Previewing Orioles' draft strategy for No. 1 overall pick selection - CBSSports.com
Are the Orioles really going to eschew Druw Jones to draft an underslot guy with the first overall pick? They very well might, and it might make sense, as R.J. Anderson explains.

Orioles birthdays and history

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! It’s the 25th birthday of erstwhile Orioles lefty Logan Allen, who pitched three games for the Birds this season but was outrighted to Triple-A Norfolk last week. And it’s the 44th birthday of 2010-11 reliever Mike Gonzalez.

On this day in 1977, the O’s literally walked off the Brewers, 6-5, on Pat Kelly’s bases-loaded free pass in the 10th inning. Apparently Kelly heeded the advice of manager Earl Weaver, who famously replied to Kelly’s “Don’t you want to see me walk with the Lord?” with “I’d rather see you walk with the bases loaded.” Exactly two years later, on May 23, 1979, Kelly was again a walkoff hero, blasting a three-run homer in the 10th to beat the Red Sox, 5-2.

On this date in 1999, Brady Anderson set an American League record by getting hit by a pitch twice in one inning. Not the best record to set, but not the worst, either. Brady’s two plunks, both committed by Rangers starter Mike Morgan in the first inning, were part of a 13-batter, 10-run explosion that led the Orioles to a 15-6 rout at Camden Yards.

And in 2015, O’s lefty Brian Matusz was ejected for the use of a foreign substance in the 12th inning of the Birds’ eventual 1-0, 13-inning loss in Miami. Umpire Paul Emmel, upon request from Marlins manager Dan Jennings, found that Matusz had something sticky on his arm and tossed him from the game after two batters. Matusz later received an eight-game suspension.