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Monday Bird Droppings: The Orioles are coming home on a high note

Fresh off a sweep of the Athletics, the Orioles will rest today before taking on their division rival Blue Jays starting tomorrow.

Orioles’ shortstop Jorge Mateo celebrate at home plate after hitting an inside-the-park home run
You might have heard. Jorge Mateo is fast.
Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Happy Monday, Camden Chatters! I’m happy to report that it is a good Monday indeed, as the Orioles are coming home from a West Coast road trip with a 6-3 record and a sweep of the Oakland Athletics that ended with a delightful 12-1 win.

You might be saying, of course the Orioles swept the Athletics. That’s exactly what they should have done! And you’re not wrong, but any team can lose on any day. That’s especially true on the West Coast, where the players had to spend a lot of time traveling and adjusting to a time change. But the Orioles took care of business.

Yesterday’s game featured a strong outing from Kyle Bradish, an inside-the-park home run from Jorge Mateo, and Gunnar Henderson forgoing the cycle to instead have a day with two doubles, a triple, and a home run. It was just an incredibly fun game. You can get all of the game details in John Beers’s game recap.

If you missed it, Henderson stepped to the plate a single short of the cycle and hit a ball to right field. He blew past first and landed on second with the RBI double. This prompted his teammates in the dugout to express their disbelief toward Gunnar as he stood on second base. I love this team so much.

Per Sarah Langs, Henderson is the youngest player in Orioles history with four extra-base hits in one game. The second youngest is Cal Ripken. He’s very good! Is he my favorite player? He might be.

The Orioles are now 30 games over .500 on the season, their highest mark since 2014. In 2014, the Orioles ended the season at 30 games over but did get up to 32 games over during the season. If this season’s team goes .500 for the rest of the year they will end the season with the same record as the 2014 team, 96-66. Call me nuts, but I’ll take the over.

The Orioles are off today as they traveled back from Oakland and tomorrow start a three-game series with the Blue Jays. I am keeping an eye on the O’s offense, which was down in the series against the Mariners and Padres before coming to life against the A’s.

It was a tough weekend for the Blue Jays. They won their series against the Reds but fell out of wild card position as the Mariners swept the Astros.

The Mariners’ sweep of the Astros combined with the Rangers being swept at the hands of the Brewers has really tightened things up in the AL West. The Mariners are now just a half-game behind the Astros, who are 2.5 games behind the Rangers. The Rangers are now five games behind the Orioles for the best record in the American League.

Bring on the final six weeks of the season!


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Grayson Rodriguez's velocity just keeps going up, now about 2 mph faster than when the season started. He's just one of the young pitchers whose workload is being managed by a six-man rotation.

Orioles do it all as they sweep Athletics to move to 30 games above .500 - The Baltimore Banner
The best team in the American League did what they should do to the worst team in the American League. Danielle Allentuck has the game story and quotes from your favorite players.

Baltimore Orioles DH Gunnar Henderson will have to make baseball history another day -
Gunnar could have been the 344th player in MLB history to hit for the cycle. Instead, he had four extra-base hits, which is even better.

Birthday and History

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! You have two Orioles birthday buddies who you’d be forgiven for not knowing existed. Mason Williams, who turns 32 today, appeared in 21 games with the 2019-2020 Orioles. And Jerry DaVanon, 78, got into 38 games with the Orioles in 1971.

On this day in 1901, there were some old-timey shenanigans with the old-timey Orioles. Pitcher Joe McGinnity expressed his displeasure with an umpire by spitting in his face. He was ejected and a bit of chaos ensued, including another Oriole punching a Tigers player in the face. Even some fans got involved. The police were called in and some players and one fan were arrested. Luckily the judge owned the team! So he just let them go.

In more modern times, on this day in 1963, Luis Aparicio stole a base on the second game of a doubleheader to reach 300 career steals. Aparicio led the league in steals every season from 1956-64 with both the White Sox and Orioles. He stole 506 bases in his career.

In 1977, legend Brooks Robinson went on the voluntary retired list, ending his 23-year Hall of Fame career with the Orioles.

In 1996, Cal Ripken went 4-for-5 with a home run to lead the Orioles to victory over the Mariners. The other team’s shortstop, Álex Rodríguez, hit two home runs but it wasn’t enough. The win was the Orioles’ 16th in their past 22 games.

In 1999, Brady Anderson led off both games of a doubleheader against the White Sox with a home run. He was just the third player in major league history to do so.

In 2010, rookie Josh Bell hit his first two home runs against Cliff Lee as the Orioles won 8-6. I remember listening to this game stuck in traffic on the New Jersey turnpike. Luke Scott and Ty Wigginton also homered.

In 2019, Oriole Aaron Brooks gave up a home run to Kansas City’s Whit Merrifield. It was the 258th home run surrendered in the season, tying the 2016 Reds for the most in a season. The Orioles obliterated the record by season’s end, allowing 305. But hey, they beat the Royals that night.