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Sunday Bird Droppings: The Orioles gained on the Rays and go for a series win today

It’ll be up to Jack Flaherty to help get the series win in Arizona

Baltimore Orioles v Arizona Diamondbacks
Cedric Mullins delivered a go-ahead three-run home run yesterday.
Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images

Hello, friends.

The streak of not being swept lives! By winning in Arizona on Saturday night, the Orioles have now not been swept for 83 straight series, tied for the third-best such streak in all of MLB history (1922-24 Yankees also had 83) and the best consecutive no-sweep series streak since the end of World War II. Last night’s win was the 84th Orioles victory of the season, exceeding their total from last year on September 2. Pretty cool.

Even more fun than that, the Rays got walked off in the 11th inning by the Guardians on Saturday, so the Orioles later victory over the Diamondbacks kicked the O’s AL East lead back up to 2.5 games and shaved the magic number to clinch the division down to 25 with 27 games left to play. Cleveland has done a real solid for the Orioles with its play in the first two games of their weekend series.

If you’re tracking the number for the O’s to clinch anything at all, the Blue Jays also lost on Saturday and the O’s magic number for any playoff berth is 17. The magic number, remember, is the combination of Orioles wins and trailing team losses that would lead to a clinch by virtue of it becoming mathematically impossible for that team to catch up.

Check out Paul’s recap of the game for more of the lovely totals. It could have been worse than it was, because the Orioles came out flat in the early innings and it seemed like it might be a repeat of the previous night against Zach Davies. However, the O’s did manage the breakout offensive inning they couldn’t on Friday and they rode seven unanswered runs plus a solid six inning start from Kyle Bradish to pick up the victory.

Worth keeping an eye on moving forward from Saturday’s game: Anthony Santander was hit in the hand by a pitch in the eighth inning of the game. He was immediately lifted for a pinch runner. We can hope that this was merely a precaution in a late inning of a game where the Orioles had a five-run lead at that point.

Those of us with long memories could not help but think of the HBP by CC Sabathia that knocked Nick Markakis out for the rest of the regular season plus the playoffs in 2012. The postgame update is that there will be precautionary X-rays for Santander, but manager Brandon Hyde said he thinks Santander will be OK. I guess we’ll see if he ends up playing in the third and final game of this series. If he doesn’t, that’s a potentially short bench for the Orioles, depending on how Ryan Mountcastle is doing with the illness that kept him out of the last two games.

In case you missed the news yesterday, the Orioles claimed their former All-Star closer, Jorge López, on waivers from the Marlins. Check out my article on the move. He could potentially be activated today, though the team could wait until Monday to get him into the bullpen. Things have gone poorly for López since leaving Baltimore, so it seems the team is willing to take the chance that getting him back in this setting will help him pull off the same career revival that putting him in the Orioles bullpen did in the first place.

It’s not an easy draw for the Orioles as they try to get out of Arizona with a series win. Jack Flaherty is set to start the 4:10 game for the Birds, with the Diamondbacks sending their top starting pitcher, Zac Gallen, to the mound as they try to hold on to their position in the NL wild card race. Picking up the game on the Rays on Saturday will be all the more important if they lose it right back today.

Around the blogO’sphere

Mountcastle stayed out of Orioles lineup again on Saturday (School of Roch)
Ryan Mountcastle has not been feeling well and didn’t make two straight starting lineups. Get well soon! Hopefully not with any lingering issues.

Hyde on return of Jorge López, arm fatigue for Tyler Wells (Baltimore Baseball)
The manager’s pregame gaggle yesterday included a note about Wells, who hasn’t pitched since August 25 for Norfolk, and is still trying to bounce back from arm fatigue. He may be less of a bullpen option than we’d thought - which is perhaps connected to the O’s deciding to try a reunion with López.

September call-up to Orioles doesn’t guarantee Colton Cowser playing time - or a permanent spot (The Baltimore Banner)
I genuinely didn’t expect we’d arrive in September with all of Austin Hays, Cedric Mullins, and Anthony Santander playing acceptably or better for the season. With that being the case, it’s tougher to squeeze Cowser into the picture this year.

Orioles who could win MLB awards this season, from Gunnar Henderson to Adley Rutschman to Kyle Bradish (Baltimore Sun)
It’s a stretch to put Bradish in the Cy Young conversation as if he might get any first place votes, but he’s top 5 in the AL in bWAR and he is continuing to roll in the second half of the season. It’s fun.

Birthdays and Orioles anniversaries

Today in 1999, Cal Ripken Jr. hit the 400th home run of his career in the middle of an 11-6 win over the then-Devil Rays. At the time, he was just the 20th player in the 400 club. Today, there are 57. Giancarlo Stanton sits at 399. Among players active in 2023, Mike Trout is next behind Stanton at 368.

There are a few former Orioles who were born on this day. They are: 2010-14 pitcher Troy Patton, 1987-90 utility infielder Rene Gonzales, 1956 pitcher Morrie Martin, and 1956-57 pitcher Sandy Consuegra.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you! Your birthday buddies for today include: Porsche founder Ferdinand Porsche (1875), actor Charlie Sheen (1965), gold medal snowboarder Shaun White (1986), and actress Iman Vellani (2002).

On this day in history...

In 1260, the Mamluks battled against the invading Mongols in the Battle of Ain Julut north of Jerusalem. The Mamluk victory in the battle was significant as it was the first substantial defeat dealt to the Mongol Empire and that empire never expanded further. It’s thought that about 40,000 men participated in the battle.

In 1658, Oliver Cromwell died in England, after which his son Richard inherited the title of Lord Protector. However, Richard was forced to renounce power within nine months and the English monarchy was restored afterwards.

In 1783, the American War of Independence officially came to an end when our young country and the Kingdom of Great Britain signed the Treaty of Paris.

In 1939, all of France, the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand declared war on Germany in response to the invasion of Poland.


And that’s the way it is in Birdland on September 3. Have a safe Sunday. Go O’s!