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Sunday Bird Droppings: The Orioles pitching staff looks to keep the Pirates down again

The Orioles have won four in a row and are going for a sweep on Mother’s Day

Orioles player Gunnar Henderson, in the team’s orange uniform top, drinks water from an orange and black hose to celebrate a home run.
Gunnar Henderson takes a drink from the homer hose.
Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

Hello, friends. Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms of Birdland.

The Orioles! This has been a fun weekend so far and we can all hope that the team can extend that fun feeling for at least one more day. They shut out the Pirates last night, a 2-0 victory fueled by Tyler Wells’s best start of his MLB career and home runs by Adley Rutschman and Gunner Henderson. Check out my recap of the game for more of the lovely totals.

With Saturday’s win, the fourth in a row for the Orioles, the team now has a 26-13 record on the season. This is the sixth time so far this season that the O’s have had exactly two wins for every one loss. To still be accomplishing that feat with 39 games played is fun. It will mean little in the grand scheme of the season if the team can’t keep playing quality baseball, but there’s no question that the foundation is there for them to do that.

Even more fun, the Rays lost on Saturday, allowing the Orioles to pick up another game. They’re now three back of the division. Sure, it would be more fun if the Rays weren’t above a .700 winning percentage and the Orioles had a division lead with this dominant record, but it’s nice that the O’s are within striking distance.

Can they pull off another win today? The Orioles have a chance at a sweep as they head into this series finale against the Pirates. It won’t be easy, as Pittsburgh starter Mitch Keller has a 2.72 ERA on the season so far. Though the O’s have won the first two games of the series, their offense hasn’t exactly been on fire, and now they’re facing an actual tough pitcher.

Veteran Kyle Gibson will be on the mound for the Orioles as the 1:35 game gets under way. Working in his favor, we can hope, will be the fact that the Pirates have not scored more than three runs in a game since the calendar turned to May. That fact is going to change eventually. If the Orioles are fortunate, it will not change until after their current opponent clears out of Baltimore.

Around the blogO’sphere

Notes on McKenna’s sore back and Ortiz’s arrival, Watkins’ progress, and more (School of Roch)
Ryan McKenna is ailing enough that the Orioles had Joey Ortiz on the taxi squad just in case, but was not ailing enough to go on the injured list last night.

Subtle adjustments a hit for Henderson (
The last 7 and last 14 day splits were pretty grim-looking before Henderson homered last night. Let’s hope that was the sign of better times coming, rather than an aberration.

Vespi back with Orioles, Urías out for 2-3 weeks, Givens may get another rehab outing (Baltimore Baseball)
Seems like Ramón Urías could be out for the rest of the month, but hopefully not much longer.

Joey Ortiz on rejoining Orioles in taxi squad role (Steve Melewski)
One thing that’s pretty different about this year compared to some recent past years is that the taxi squad guys are sometimes like, actual prospects.

Birthdays and Orioles anniversaries

The Orioles have not won a game on this date since the 2016 season. The 2016 O’s beat the Tigers, 9-3, to improve to 23-12 on the year, with a one game lead in the AL East. Jonathan Schoop hit two home runs and drove in five of the nine runs. Mike Wright got the win after pitching seven strong innings.

There are a pair of former Orioles who were born on this day. They are: 1976-86 pitcher Dennis Martinez, and 1954-55 catcher Les Moss. It’s Martinez’s 69th birthday today, so an extra happy birthday to him.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you! Your birthday buddies for today include: baseball Hall of Famer Tony Pérez (1942), Star Wars creator George Lucas (1944), actress Cate Blanchett (1969), director Sofia Coppola (1971), and streamer Pokimane (1996).

On this day in history...

In 1607, settlers from England established James Fort, later Jamestown, Virginia. This was the earliest permanent settlement of the English in the Americas.

In 1800, the US Congress recessed in Philadelphia, after which the process of moving the nation’s capital to Washington, DC began.

In 1973, the space station Skylab, the first American space station, was launched. The station was occupied for “only” 171 days, and fell back to the planet in 1979.


And that’s the way it is in Birdland on May 14. Have a safe Sunday. Go O’s!