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Monday Bird Droppings: The Orioles are trying to keep things interesting

The Birds’ dramatic ninth-inning rally in Toronto kept hope alive for the postseason chase.

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Baltimore Orioles v Toronto Blue Jays Photo by Mark Blinch/Getty Images

Good morning, Camden Chatters.

The Orioles’ playoff hopes may be flickering. But thanks to yesterday’s come-from-behind win, they haven’t been extinguished quite yet.

The Birds averted a three-game sweep in Toronto with a dramatic ninth-inning rally, turning a 3-2 deficit into a 5-4 win. Andrea SK recapped the thrilling victory, just the Orioles’ fourth win this year when trailing after eight innings.

What a day for Baltimore sports fans! The Orioles won, and I assume the Ravens completed a blowout victory without incident. (Last I saw they were up by 21 in the fourth quarter, haven’t had a chance to check the final score.)

With the win, the Orioles pulled within four games of the losing Seattle Mariners for the third and final wild card spot. On paper, the M’s should be strong favorites to retain that spot, considering that all 17 of their remaining games are against sub-.500 teams. Then again, that hasn’t stopped Seattle from losing three straight games to the woeful Angels. If the Mariners continue their skid while the Birds take care of business in their upcoming series against the Tigers, suddenly we’ll have a race on our hands again.

For those who follow the Orioles’ minor leagues, though, yesterday’s news wasn’t great. The Bowie Baysox, who would have clinched a playoff spot with a win last night, came up on the wrong end of an 8-5 score in Akron, ending their season. Argh! They were thisclose to becoming the second O’s affiliate (along with Aberdeen) to play postseason baseball this year. Still, it was an impressive season for the Birds’ Double-A affiliate.

Will the Orioles pull a Baysox and have a chance to control their own destiny on the last day of the regular season? They’re going to need a lot of things to go right by then. But, as of now, it’s still possible. That’s all you can ask for.


Orioles stage late rally, turn triple play against Blue Jays -
Did I mention that the Orioles turned a triple play yesterday? Yeah, that happened. And it ended up being much more important to the outcome than it seemed at the time.

Answers to your Orioles questions, Part 2 -
Rich Dubroff points out that Rougned Odor’s uncle, Rouglas, is the manager of the Akron team that knocked Bowie out of playoff contention yesterday. Man, the whole Odor family is really on thin ice with Orioles fans right now.

Beyond Félix Bautista’s fastball: Pitches Orioles’ relievers want from bullpen mates - The Athletic
Dan Connolly asked O’s relievers which of their teammates have the most impressive pitches, and there was a variety of legitimate responses. Something tells me this exercise would have been a lot tougher in, say, 2021.

Orioles birthdays and history

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! And happy 24th birthday to Orioles lefty DL Hall, who’s now six games into his major league career. The flamethrowing lefty has fared pretty well in relief, throwing scoreless outings in four of his five appearances out of the ‘pen. The Orioles plan to move him back into a starting role next season. Former Orioles born on this day include All-Star closer Randy Myers (60), first baseman Nick Johnson (44), infielder Danny Valencia (38), and the late right-hander Bob Turley (b. 1930, d. 2013), who pitched for the inaugural 1954 Orioles and later won a Cy Young with the Yankees.

The Orioles’ last win on this date came in 2018, when they edged out the Blue Jays, 2-1, at Camden Yards. The O’s had just two extra-base hits in the game — DJ Stewart’s first major league home run and double — but it was enough to support a strong five-pitcher effort by the Birds.

On this day in 1958, the Orioles pulled off a stupendous comeback against the Yankees, turning a 4-0 ninth-inning deficit into a walkoff 5-4 win. The Birds, down to their final two outs, began a rally on an error, then collected six consecutive hits — a two-run homer and five straight singles — to complete the victory. Pinch-hitter Gene Woodling’s two-run single was the finishing blow.

And on this date in 1980, Doug DeCinces smacked a two-run, walkoff homer in the 12th to best the Blue Jays at Memorial Stadium, 8-6. DeCinces made something of a habit of walkoff homers; earlier that season he’d cranked a walkoff homer that sparked the creation of Orioles Magic. Dennis Martinez tossed 7.2 innings of long relief after starter Jim Palmer was chased in the fourth.