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Friday Bird Droppings: Another break-even road trip for the Orioles

The O’s split a pair of four-game series on the road with one very good team and one very bad one. All in all, we’ll take it.

MLB: Baltimore Orioles at Toronto Blue Jays
Any day you can post a photo of the Orioles’ home run chain is a good day.
Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning, Camden Chatters.

I’m certainly not the first to say so, but there seems to be something a little different about this Orioles team compared to recent seasons.

The O’s capped their eight-game road trip in emphatic fashion yesterday afternoon, tagging former Oriole Kevin Gausman for his worst start of the season en route to a 10-2 romp over the Blue Jays. The O’s, after getting blown out 11-1 in the series opener, rallied back to salvage a split of the series, and were close to winning three of four before their five-run comeback on Wednesday ended with a walkoff loss. That followed a four-game series in Kansas City in which the O’s came back from an 0-2 series deficit to finagle a split.

It marked the Orioles’ second consecutive .500 road trip, and three of the four series on those trips came against AL East foes — the Yankees, Red Sox, and Jays. While breaking even might not seem like something to crow about, it’s a vast improvement over the hapless Orioles clubs from 2017-2021 who, more often than not, were utterly uncompetitive on the road, especially against their divisional rivals. These 2022 O’s may not be good, exactly, but they’re capable of hanging with any team, in any environment.

Now comes the tough part. Sooner or later, it’ll be time for the Orioles to start turning these .500 road trips into winning road trips, a feat they have not yet accomplished in 2022. Slowly but surely, they may be getting close to turning that corner.

Links

O’s use big inning to pound Kevin Gausman, split Toronto series (updated) - Steve Melewski
In his post-game remarks, Brandon Hyde confirmed that Kyle Stowers will be heading back to the minors as Anthony Santander returns from the restricted list. It was fun to see Stowers this series. I just wish he’d gotten to play more than twice.

Orioles option Zimmermann to Triple-A Norfolk - School of Roch
What a brutal decline it’s been for the Baltimore native, who was an early feel-good story with 14.2 scoreless innings to start the year and is now minor-league bound after coughing up 17 homers in his last seven starts. Hopefully a stint with the Tides can get Zimmermann back on track.

Orioles’ 6-run inning keys 10-2 win over Blue Jays behind Wells; Speculating on DL Hall’s arrival - BaltimoreBaseball.com
Rich Dubroff sees DL Hall as “the obvious choice” to replace Zimmermann in the rotation. I’m not so sure. As excited as I would be to see Hall, I don’t think the Orioles will — or should — call up a guy who’s walking a batter every two innings right now. Hall clearly still has things to work on.

The Orioles claiming another infielder, Jonathan Araúz, off waivers is a reminder that part of this process should soon be over - Maximizing Playoff Odds
Jon Meoli, for one, is getting a little tired of the Orioles claiming every infielder with a pulse. With a couple of infield prospects currently tearing it up at Triple-A, those days may soon be behind us.

Orioles birthdays and history

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! The only Oriole in history with a June 17 birthday is the late 1955-56 outfielder Dave Pope (b. 1921, d. 1999). There will, though, be someone on the Camden Yards mound celebrating a birthday tonight; Rays starting pitcher Shane Baz turns 23.

The Orioles have had plenty of success on this date in history, with an all-time 38-21 record on June 17. They won 12 games in a row on this date from 1955-67, and another 10 in a row from 1971-80. Their most recent victory came in 2018, when Mark Trumbo and Jace Peterson homered in a 10-4 victory at Camden Yards, helping the O’s avert a sweep by the Marlins.

The O’s have played not one but two 16-inning games on this date, both victories. In 1965, they grinded out a 2-1 win at Yankee Stadium on Bob Johnson’s go-ahead sac fly in the 16th. The Yankees, after scoring a run in the first, were blanked for 15 consecutive innings by Hall of Famer Robin Roberts and O’s relievers Stu Miller, Harvey Haddix, and Dick Hall. The 16-inning affair took three hours and 45 minutes to complete. It was a different time, for sure. Exactly eight years later, the Orioles walked off the Rangers at Memorial Stadium on Earl Williams’ RBI double in the 16th against future Orioles closer Don Stanhouse.

And on this day in 2009, Matt Wieters hit his first major league home run, a two-run shot in the second off the Mets’ Tim Redding at Camden Yards. It was Wieters’ 14th major league game. The Birds went on to an 8-4 win, with Aubrey Huff smacking a go-ahead two-run homer in the seventh.