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Monday Bird Droppings: Basking in an Orioles sweep

The Orioles have won six in a row behind stellar pitching, and are now tied for the second-best record in the AL. Life is good.

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MLB: Detroit Tigers at Baltimore Orioles Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning, Camden Chatters.

The Orioles just cannot stop winning games. And they’re usually doing it in dramatic fashion, too. Three of their last four home victories have been walkoffs, including yesterday’s well-pitched thriller that ended on a 10th-inning wild pitch. Andrea SK recapped the latest wild win, which completed a three-game sweep of the Tigers and ran the Orioles’ winning streak to six.

The Orioles improved to 14-7, tied with the Rangers for the second-best record in the AL, behind only the unstoppable 19-3 Rays (who unfortunately happen to share a division with the Birds). The Orioles are finding ways to win even when things don’t seem to be going their way, such as getting perfecto’d through 6.2 innings by former O’s prospect Eduardo Rodriguez yesterday. Their rejuvenated starting pitching is leading the way. Grayson Rodriguez, although he battled his command, gutted through five scoreless innings. That completed a full turn through the rotation in which four of the five starters held the opponent scoreless (and the one who didn’t, Kyle Gibson, gave up just one run).

The O’s have taken care of business against a few bad, non-division teams like the Athletics, White Sox, Nationals, and Tigers. Now they’ll get a rematch with the Red Sox, who are in last place in the AL East, albeit with a winning record (12-11). The O’s still need to prove they can beat the teams in their own division; they’re 2-4 this year against AL East opponents and 12-3 against everyone else.

The Orioles open the three-game set at Camden Yards tonight at 6:35. Dean Kremer, who kicked off the rotation’s current run of awesomeness last week in D.C., faces off against Chris Sale, whom the Birds battered in Boston in the second game of the season. Can the win streak reach lucky number seven?


Frazier scores on 10th-inning wild pitch in Orioles’ 6th straight win, 2-1 over Tigers -
Adam Frazier has been prominently involved in the last two O’s walkoffs despite not actually getting a hit either time. Hey, whatever works. Keep ’em coming!

Tate on upcoming rehab assignment, Urías on first career ejection - School of Roch
The Orioles’ bullpen is finally hitting its groove, and soon they’ll be adding last year’s top setup man to the mix, with Mychal Givens close behind him. I’m having trouble even figuring out which two relievers would get jettisoned to make room for them.

Connolly: Orioles’ friendly schedule surely helps, but wins count the same - The Athletic
The Orioles may have been playing a cream puff schedule of late, but they did what you’re supposed to do with cream puffs: chow down on them.

Cedric Mullins quietly capitalized on one of MLB’s new rules. The Orioles’ speedster expects to do it again. – Baltimore Sun
I hadn’t seen the two-disengagement rule get violated until Friday, when Mullins’ dancing off first base goaded Michael Lorenzen into a forced balk. He discombobulated the man something fierce.

Orioles birthdays

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! And happy 30th birthday to injured Orioles ace John Means, who is working his way back from last year’s Tommy John surgery. A few weeks ago he reached the next step of his rehab by participating in 30-pitch bullpen sessions, and he could return to a mound by July. Also celebrating an April 24 birthday is 2017 O’s catcher Welington Castillo (36).

Random Orioles game of the day

Let’s look at a random O’s game on this date in history, using a random number generator to pick the year. And the generator picks...1959. Nope, the Orioles didn’t play on April 24 that year. Attempt #2: 1964. Again, the O’s didn’t play. This is going great!

Third time’s the charm: 1958. Bingo! The Orioles did play on April 24, 1958, but you won’t like the result, as they lost in a 10-inning walkoff in Boston, 4-3. Dick Gernert’s pinch-hit RBI single off O’s lefty Billy O’Dell sent the Fenway crowd of 6,690 home happy.

Red Sox right-hander Mike Fornieles went the distance, working all 10 frames and limiting the Birds to three runs, two of them on a Billy Gardner homer. The Orioles had just traded Fornieles to the Sox a year earlier. And each team boasted an iconic Hall of Famer in its lineup. Boston’s 39-year-old Ted Williams was nearing the end of his legendary career, while the Orioles’ Brooks Robinson was just starting his, a 21-year-old playing his first full season in the bigs. Each reached base twice in this game.