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Friday Bird Droppings: The Orioles return to Baltimore on a hot streak

With three consecutive winning series under their belts, the O’s host a pair of sub-.500 teams for their second homestand.

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MLB: Baltimore Orioles at Washington Nationals Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning, Camden Chatters.

Things are trending up for the Orioles. When they last left Baltimore a week ago, they’d just won three out of four games, albeit by the skin of their teeth, against the hapless Athletics (who, by the way, still have not won a game since then and are reportedly on their way to relocating to Las Vegas). The O’s had serious questions about their pitching, which struggled during their opening seven-game homestand. They had yet to distinguish themselves in the early goings of the 2023 season.

It’s still early. But a 4-1 road trip, which featured plenty of stellar O’s pitching, has the team feeling a little more confident. The Orioles threw back-to-back shutouts in Washington, featuring a rejuvenated outing from Dean Kremer and a successful return from the injured list for Kyle Bradish. The once leaky bullpen has gelled, allowing runs in only one of the five games on the road trip, thanks in part to the promotion of surprise new setup man Yennier Canó. Since a four-run White Sox first inning on Sunday, the Orioles have thrown 26 consecutive scoreless innings.

They have a chance to extend that stretch of zeroes, or at least continue their winning streak, in a six-game homestand that starts this weekend against Detroit. The Tigers, even with five wins in their last six games, are one of the worst offensive teams in the majors, ranking second-to-last in MLB in batting average (.218), OBP (.278), and OPS (.621), and third-worst in SLG (.343). They’re also 1-8 against AL East teams this year.

The Orioles inexplicably went 1-5 against the woeful Tigers last season, which particularly stung when the O’s missed out on the playoffs by such a slim margin. So what do you say, Orioles? Let’s keep the good early-season vibes rolling, and get some revenge on the Tigers while we’re at it.


Analyzing (But Also Enjoying) Jorge Mateo’s Hot Start | FanGraphs Baseball
Davy Andrews breaks down what’s made Jorge Mateo such a better hitter so far this season. I know this kind of offensive production from Mateo won’t last...but what if it did? Can you imagine?

Eager to contribute, Orioles’ Mike Baumann is embracing his move to the bullpen: ‘It’s been pretty electric’ – Baltimore Sun
Remember what I said about the Orioles bullpen starting to gel? My birthday buddy Big Mike has played a big part in that.

O’Hearn on good start with team and more on the latest shutout - Steve Melewski
O’Heaaaarn! O’Hearn O’Hearn O’Heaaarn! O’Heaaarn! O’Heaaaarn! ...Eh, I don’t think that’s going to catch on quite like the O’Day chant. But good for Ryan for getting off to a good start with the Birds.

As the young, homegrown Orioles bond, a healthy Hunter Harvey thrives in D.C. - The Athletic
The Birds’ former first-round pick is finally making good with the Nationals after an injury-ravaged stint with the Orioles. I’m happy for him. Unless he becomes, like, Jake Arrieta-level good, in which case I’ll be infuriated.

Orioles birthdays

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! And happy 27th birthday to Orioles setup man Cionel Pérez. The boisterous lefty was an out-of-nowhere sensation for the Birds last year, transforming from a journeyman waiver claim into a lockdown relief ace in 2022, posting a 1.40 ERA in 66 games. He’s off to a shakier start this season, giving up 16 hits and walking five in his first eight innings, though he’s earned a long leash to straighten things out.

Also celebrating a birthday today is Orioles Hall of Famer Al Bumbry, who turns 76. “The Bee” spent all but one of his 14 MLB seasons in Baltimore, winning AL Rookie of the Year in 1973 and All-Star honors in 1980, and was Camden Chat’s 19th-best Oriole of all-time. The speedster racked up 254 steals in his O’s career. Enjoy your day, Al!

Other former Orioles born on April 21 include second baseman Ryan Adams (36), catcher Ronny Paulino (42), and the seemingly ageless lefty Jesse Orosco, MLB’s all-time leader in pitching appearances with 1,252. Orosco turns 66 today, but I wouldn’t have been totally surprised to find out he was still kicking around in some team’s bullpen this season.

Random Orioles game of the day

Random number generator, do your thing: 2016.

On this date in 2016, the Orioles defeated the Blue Jays at Camden Yards, 3-2. The O’s trailed in the seventh inning, but tied it with a run against switch-pitcher Pat Venditte, who walked Chris Davis (while pitching lefty) and put Mark Trumbo and Caleb Joseph on base (while pitching righty) to set up a J.J. Hardy sac fly. The O’s took the lead in the eighth on Manny Machado’s RBI double against Maryland’s own Brett Cecil.

The Orioles, after giving up two runs in the first, blanked the Blue Jays the rest of the way on a combined effort by Chris Tillman, Dylan Bundy, Darren O’Day, and Zack Britton. The win improved the red-hot Orioles to 10-4, giving them an early 3.5-game lead in the AL East.