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Monday Bird Droppings: Back home after a superb Orioles road trip

The O’s won all three series and seven straight games during their three-city trek, coming home with a three-game division lead.

Baltimore Orioles v Boston Red Sox Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Good morning, Camden Chatters.

It may not have started well or ended well. But the Orioles’ nine-game, three-city road trip was an unqualified success.

In between losing the opener in Arizona and the rainy finale in Boston yesterday — which Tyler Young recapped — the Orioles rattled off a seven-game winning streak, taking the series in all three stops against the Diamondbacks, Angels, and Red Sox. The O’s began the trip with a 1.5 game lead in the AL East, an advantage that has now doubled to three games (and was up as high as four before the Rays gained back a game with a win yesterday). The Orioles’ magic number to clinch the division is 17.

They’ll have a chance to cut down that number considerably during their seven-game homestand that begins tonight. First up is a date with the last-place St. Louis Cardinals, whose season has been a lost cause since April. The series will mark the long-anticipated return of John Means, who starts Tuesday for the first time since April 2022. (It’ll also mark the much less ballyhooed return of Drew Rom, the former O’s prospect traded for Jack Flaherty, who starts for St. Louis on Wednesday.)

The Cards, for what it’s worth, have won three of their last four series — including one against baseball’s best team, the Braves — so the O’s can’t count on them to be pushovers. But the more wins they can rack up in those three games, the better, because after that comes the Orioles’ biggest series in a long time: a four-game showdown with the second-place Rays that could very well decide the AL East title. In the meantime, the O’s could well clinch a postseason spot during this next week.

It should be an electric atmosphere at Camden Yards as the Orioles play meaningful games in September, something that has been a rare occurrence for the Birds in the last half-decade or so. This is going to be fun.


Two rain delays and lost three-run lead ruin Orioles’ final game of road trip (Means starts Tuesday) - School of Roch
You can’t win ’em all. And it’s easier to hand-wave away a loss when the game was played in terrible, sloppy conditions. Shake it off and come roaring back tonight.

John Means to rejoin Orioles as starter Tuesday vs. Cardinals: ‘I just want to win the World Series’ - Baltimore Sun
He just wants to win the World Series is all! Is that too much to ask??

Orioles to promote prospects Samuel Basallo, Seth Johnson to Double-A Bowie - The Baltimore Banner
In case you missed the big prospect news, two of the Birds’ most intriguing youngsters will be joining the Baysox for the final week of the season. The O’s just aren't ready to stop watching Samuel Basallo play this year.

Baltimore Orioles Fans: Prepare For Holliday Celebrations - Forbes
Chuck Murr offers plenty of reasons why O’s fans should be excited about Jackson Holliday, and even starts rattling off the list of lefty-swinging shortstops in the Hall of Fame. Whoa there! I’m eager to see Holliday, but let’s hold off on the Hall of Fame talk until he’s at least made his major league debut.

Gibson, Orioles' Roberto Clemente nominee, is a high achiever on and off field -
Kyle Gibson seems like a really good dude. #analysis

Orioles birthdays and history

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Five former Orioles were born on this day, four of whom played for the Birds within the last five years. The list includes infielder Domingo Leyba (28), and right-handers Evan Phillips (29), Shawn Armstrong (33), and Andrew Cashner (37), along with old-timey Oriole Eddie Miksis (b. 1926, d. 2005), who played four games for the O’s from 1957-58.

On this date in 1959, the Orioles shut out the White Sox in both ends of a doubleheader at Memorial Stadium, 3-0 and 1-0. In game one, Maryland native Jack Fisher blanked Chicago for nine innings to earn his first major league win, but that was nothing compared to the nightcap, in which Jerry Walker pitched sixteen (16!) shutout innings for the Birds, ultimately winning on a Brooks Robinson walkoff single.

In 2015, the Birds became just the seventh team in the modern era to hit two grand slams in in one inning. Trailing the Royals 6-4 in the bottom of the eighth at Camden Yards, the O’s loaded the bases against reliever Kelvin Herrera before Nolan Reimold smashed a go-ahead salami to left field. Reliever Franklin Morales then coughed up a homer to Manny Machado and drilled Chris Davis in the back with a fastball — a cheap shot that caused Davis to break his bat in anger and an irate Buck Showalter to get ejected — before the O’s loaded the bases again and Steve Clevenger smacked a grand slam off Joba Chamberlain. It was a glorious game that led to a glorious Camden Chat headline.

And on this day in 2019, the Orioles’ Jonathan Villar hit a record-breaking home run for baseball. His seventh-inning dinger against the Dodgers was the 6,106th homer hit in the major leagues that season, breaking the all-time record set two years earlier. Villar’s three-run blast broke a 2-2 tie, and Pedro Severino later homered as well en route to a 7-2 O’s win.