clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Friday Bird Droppings: A daunting AL East road trip awaits the Orioles

Fresh off a winning homestand, the Orioles begin a pivotal six-game trek through Toronto and New York.

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

Baltimore Orioles v Toronto Blue Jays
May we see plenty of Orioles celebrations at Rogers Centre this weekend.
Photo by Mark Blinch/Getty Images

Good morning, Camden Chatters.

It may have ended on an ugly note, but the Orioles mostly took care of business in their longest homestand of the year, going 6-4 in a well-played stretch that included series wins over MLB-best Tampa Bay and then first-place Pittsburgh, plus a four-game split against the Angels. Thirteen games into the most challenging, season-defining portion of their schedule, the Orioles are 7-6. I’ll take that.

It only gets more difficult from here. Tonight the Orioles begin a six-game road trip to visit two of their divisional opponents, the Blue Jays and Yankees, for the first time this season. The AL East is shaping up to be a season-long dogfight — it’s the only division in baseball in which all five teams are above .500 — so this is a crucial opportunity for the Orioles to put some distance between themselves and the teams hot on their heels. Any loss, conversely, will bring the Orioles tumbling closer to the rest of the pack.

This isn’t the Orioles’ longest road trip of the year, but you could argue that it’s their toughest. Thanks to the newly balanced schedule, it’s the only trip of the season in which they’ll be facing multiple AL East teams. Rogers Centre and Yankee Stadium have never been friendly places for visitors to play, and that remains true even if the Orioles are a much better team than they used to be.

It’s only May, so you can’t exactly call this a make-or-break road trip. No matter what happens in these next six games, there’s plenty of season left. Still, the O’s are being put through the wringer this month. They’ve answered the call so far. Let’s hope that doesn’t change over the next week.


Orioles’ attempts at winning series short-circuited in 6-5 loss (updated) - School of Roch
Mychal Givens will accompany the Orioles on their road trip and may be activated from the IL. After yesterday’s performance by the O’s bullpen, he’ll be a welcome sight.

Orioles legends Cal Ripken Jr., Nick Markakis on Gunnar Henderson: ‘Trust yourself’ - The Athletic
Dan Connolly talks to three past and present Orioles about how to break out of an early-career slump. I would love to have the confidence of the batboy who tried to give hitting advice to Cal Ripken Jr.

Gunnar Henderson said Jackson Holliday's Aberdeen start shows he is "special hitter" - Steve Melewski
I could get used to seeing Gunnar and Jackson on the left side of the Orioles infield for, oh, the next decade. It’s weird to think that Gunnar would be the grizzled veteran of that duo.

Baltimore Orioles Bash Their Way To $51,500 Win For Maryland Lottery Player | Baltimore Daily Voice | Your Local News for Baltimore County, Maryland
You go, Barbara! Don’t spend it all in one place!

Orioles birthdays and history

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Four ex-Orioles were born on this day: right-hander Chris Fussell (47), infielder Fritzie Connally (65), and outfielders Ken Gerhart (62) and “Disco” Dan Ford (71).

On this date in 2006, the Orioles agreed to a three-year, $25 million extension with the valuable Melvin Mora, one of the best players in some very lean seasons in O’s history. Mora was coming off an outstanding three-year stretch in which he slashed .312/.391/.513 while playing all around the diamond and was a two-time All-Star. He would later be inducted into the Orioles Hall of Fame.

Random Orioles game of the day

On May 19, 2007, the Orioles defeated the Nationals, 3-2, in an 11-inning game at RFK Stadium. It was only the eighth game between the two “regional rivals” since the Nats franchise had relocated from Montreal, and the fifth one won by the Orioles.

The O’s were held scoreless for six innings by Nats starter Mike Bacsik, who Bacsikally shut them down, but they scraped across a seventh-inning run to tie the game at one. In the 11th, Jay Payton roped a two-run double off Winston Abreu, who’d been an Oriole the previous year, and the O’s held on in the bottom of the inning despite an RBI single by Tony Batista, another former Bird. Right-hander Jeremy Guthrie was sensational in his fourth start as an Oriole, racking up a career-high 10 strikeouts in seven strong innings, and relievers Jamie Walker, Chad Bradford, John Parrish, and Chris Ray took it from there. The O’s were 20-23.