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Monday Bird Droppings: A series win and a minor league phenom

Holliday keeps moving up, López is back with Baltimore, and more in today’s Bird Droppings

Baltimore Orioles v Arizona Diamondbacks Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images

Happy Monday, Camden Chatters! The Orioles got their nine-game road trip started on a good note with a series win over the wild card hopeful Arizona Diamondbacks. They scored eight runs, including five against D-Backs’ ace Zac Gallen in the 8-5 win.

There was a lot to like in yesterday’s series-clinching win. The bullpen was very good with 1.1 perfect innings from Danny Coulombe, a solid inning from Cionel Pérez, and the return of Jorge López after he was claimed on waivers. On offense, Cedric Mullins had three hits to lead the way.

The biggest disappointment in the game was starter Jack Flaherty, who hasn’t done much to earn his keep since being acquired at the trade deadline. He was on the receiving end of some bad umpiring in the fifth inning, but even without that, his game was underwhelming. He couldn’t complete five innings for the second time in three starts.

To get the full details of yesterday’s win, you can check out John Beers’s game recap. Some good news over the weekend is that the Cleveland Guardians took two out of three against the Rays which allowed the Orioles to gain a game in the standings in the AL East. It’s still a too-close-for-comfort 2.5-game lead. Tonight, the Orioles start a series with the woeful Los Angeles Angels while the Rays will play the somewhat competent Boston Red Sox.

Big news of minor league promotions came out yesterday after the game concluded. Jackson Holliday is going to Triple-A Norfolk! It has been an incredible ascent for baseball’s number one prospect, who started the 2023 season all the way back with the Low-A Delmarva Shorebirds. He has laid waste to every level he’s touched so far this year. He OPS’d 1.183 at Delmarva, .940 at High-A Aberdeen, and .913 in Double-A Bowie.

That he hit that well in Double-A as a 19-year-old, nearly five years younger than league average, is incredible. It will be very interesting to see how he does over the final stretch at the Triple-A level. If he does well, I hope the Orioles will have the guts to start him in the majors in 2024.

Also being promoted are 2023 draft picks Enrique Bradfield, Matthew Etzel, and Mac Horvath. The trio will move together from Delmarva to Aberdeen.


Jorge López feels back at home with Orioles, and that makes him — and his mother — excited - The Baltimore Banner
It remains to be seen if Jorge López can recapture the magic he had in his last stint with the Orioles. He's been pretty bad since he left the team, after all. But he's excited to be back and I, for one, am happy to have him. He got started yesterday with a solid inning against the D-Backs.

Orioles' John Means: Draws another rehab start -
John Means will make one last rehab start and could be activated with the Orioles as soon as next Sunday.

Orioles overcome strange 5th inning to beat Diamondbacks, 8-5, and win road series
The Orioles are good!

Birthdays and History

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! You have four Orioles birthday buddies, including Doyle Alexander, who is turning 73 years old. Alexander had a 19-year major league career that included five years with the Orioles from 1972-76. A pitcher, Alexander appeared in 134 games for the Orioles, splitting time between starting and relief. As an Oriole, he had an ERA of 3.41. He played for eight teams total, so keep him in mind for Immaculate Grid.

Other former Orioles born on this day in history are Eddie Waitkus (b. 1919, d. 1972), Luis López (53 years), and Mark Kolozsvary (28). Kolozsvary appeared in one inning of one game for the 2023 Orioles back on June 13th. I recall being worried about having to spell his name if he remained on the team, but he did not. He was released three days later.

On this day in 1960, the Yankees broke their scoreless streak of 30 innings against the Orioles, but the Orioles kept their seven-game winning streak intact in a 6-2 victory. Chuck Estrada took a no-hitter into the seventh inning for the Orioles before the Yankees scored two runs.

In 1969, the Orioles went into the ninth inning down 4-1 to the Tigers but tied the game on back-to-back-to-back home runs by Frank Robinson, Boog Powell, and Brooks Robinson. An RBI fielder’s choice by Mark Belanger later in the inning gave them a 5-4 win.

In 1982, Jim Palmer pitched a one-hitter against the Twins and gets his 11th straight winning decision as the Orioles win, 3-0.

In 2002, Aaron Myette started for the Rangers against the Orioles. This is notable because Myette had also started the game the previous day. In that game, Orioles’ rookie John Stephens hit Álex Rodriguez in the top of the first inning. Myette responded in the bottom half of the inning by throwing two pitches behind Melvin Mora and being ejected from the game. That left him fresh to start the very next game, which backfired when he walked six and gave up five runs in the 8-3 Orioles win.

In 2012, the Orioles and Blue Jays endured a “rain delay” at Rogers Centre when the retractable roof failed to close properly in the fifth inning. It didn’t bother the Orioles, though, who won the game 12-0. Zack Britton pitched seven shutout innings while Mark Reynolds, Nick Markakis, and Chris Davis all had three hits. The win moved the Orioles into first place for the first time since 1997.