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Monday Bird Droppings: The Orioles sealed an epic series win in Seattle

After a shaky series against the Astros, the O’s reassured their dominance in the AL this weekend with two of their most dramatic victories of the year.

MLB: Baltimore Orioles at Seattle Mariners
Yes, Cedric Mullins somehow caught this ball.
Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning, Camden Chatters.

What a weekend it was for the Orioles on the west coast.

After an uncompetitive loss Friday in the opener of the three-game series in Seattle, the O’s pulled off two of their most incredible victories of an already incredible 2023 season. Saturday’s improbable 1-0 win, after being dominated for nine innings by George Kirby, was merely the appetizer for yesterday’s delectable feast of a victory. It was another nailbiter to the finish, from Jorge Mateo’s mad dash home in the top of the ninth to the Mariners’ dagger of a game-tying homer with two outs in the home half, to Shintaro Fujinami recovering from early wildness to slam the door in the 10th for his first professional save.

But the only man who really mattered was Cedric Mullins, who made perhaps the most spectacular catch you’ll ever see to rob a game-tying homer, then smacked the game-winning two-run dinger in extras just minutes later. What a day for him, and what a day for the Orioles. Stacey recapped all the amazing late-inning action. With the win, the O’s returned to three games ahead of the losing Rays for the AL East lead.

This Orioles team never fails to impress. Even when they encounter the tiniest of speed bumps, such as their series loss to the Astros last week, they get back on their horse and re-establish themselves as a force to be reckoned with. It’s no fluke they’ve got the best record in the American League and the second-best in baseball. These guys are just that good.

The Birds’ three-city, nine-game west coast trip next takes them to San Diego, where ex-Oriole Manny Machado and his Padres are desperately attempting to remain relevant in the NL wild card race. At 56-62, the Pads are sinking fast, 5.5 games out of playoff position. With all due respect to Manny, I hope the Orioles all but torpedo San Diego’s postseason hopes over the next three days.

With 9:40 ET start times tonight and tomorrow, O’s fans on the east coast are in for a few more late nights. But these Orioles have proved they’re very much worth staying up for.


Mullins with heroics, Fujinami with a save and O’s pull out another thriller in Seattle - Steve Melewski
Brandon Hyde called Cedric’s play the “catch of the year,” and it’s hard to argue with that, though Mike Baumann was a party pooper by coughing up an actual home run to the very next hitter. All’s well that ends well, I suppose.

Orioles’ Gunnar Henderson ‘coming into his own’ as AL Rookie of the Year favorite thanks to aggressive play style - Baltimore Sun
Gunnar is the betting favorite to win Rookie of the Year. The sooner he gets out of his current 2-for-25 slump, the sooner he can end any doubt about his well-deserved honors.

Orioles maintaining positive outlooks for Stowers and Vavra - School of Roch
To be totally honest, I had pretty much forgotten that these two guys existed. But the Orioles insist they haven’t, even if it’s tough to see a spot on the roster for the duo anytime soon.

Mychal Givens designated for assignment by Orioles -
The O’s brought back Givens last offseason to serve as a key middle reliever, and instead got a grand total of four ineffective innings out of him before cutting him loose. Sometimes reunions just don’t work out.

Orioles birthdays and history

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Three former Orioles were born on this day: righty Mike Cook (60) and outfielder Mark Leonard and infielder Tommy Shields (both 59). None played more than 10 games for the O’s.

On this date in 1976, the Orioles swept a doubleheader from the White Sox and hit a grand slam in each game. In the opener, Lee May crushed a salami off Chicago starter Terry Forster en route to an 8-6 win, and in the nightcap, Reggie Jackson walloped a granny against Ken Brett in the fifth that gave the Orioles a 6-4 lead that they wouldn’t surrender.

And on this day in 2009, O’s outfielder (and Camden Chat favorite) Felix Pie hit for the cycle, becoming just the fourth Oriole at the time ever to do so. In a 16-6 demolition of the Angels at Camden Yards, Pie had an RBI double in the first, a home run in the third, then led off the seventh with a single and — later in the same inning — roped a two-run triple to complete the feat.

Random Orioles game of the day

We got a good one! The random number generator picked 1998, and on this date that year, the O’s didn’t just play a random game — they played a historic one. On Aug. 14, 1998, the Orioles’ Chris Hoiles became the first catcher in major league history to hit two grand slams in one game.

At Cleveland’s Jacobs Field, Hoiles connected for his first slam in the third inning against starter Charles Nagy — just after Cleveland had intentionally walked B.J. Surhoff to face him. Great strategy, guys. That gave the O’s a 7-1 lead. By the eighth inning, it was an 11-2 laugher, and up came Hoiles with the bases loaded again. Yup. Home run. That blast, off lefty Ron Villone, capped the Orioles’ scoring in a 15-3 win. In addition to Hoiles’ record-breaking heroics, leadoff man Roberto Alomar had four hits, and Mike Mussina pitched eight strong innings for the win.