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Thursday Bird Droppings: Where the Orioles really can win without homers

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It turns out the Orioles CAN win without hitting homers. Today in the links: hope for Alvarez to turn it around, Manny Machado's place among third basemen, and checking in on old friend Steve Johnson.

Hello, friends.

So how about that Orioles game last night, huh? If you were driven to bed before the ending of the marathon, because you are a responsible adult, you have at least awoken to good news about its result. It was quite a wild one. Make sure to check out Stacey's recap for what you missed, or even just to re-live the rollercoaster ride.

The O's socked Joe Kelly around so hard that they got him demoted to the minor leagues. More's the pity, actually. Might be better for the Orioles if that guy kept on going in Boston's rotation.

With that win, the Orioles keep hopes alive for a series split - though for that to happen, they'd have to get a good start from Ubaldo Jimenez tonight. Yeah... well, he's due for one, isn't he? That doesn't mean he will get one. Maybe he's so discombobulated right now that he can't have a good start. But until he crushes our dreams, we can dream all the same.

For now, the Orioles are only two games back in the AL East. That's not very many games back. They'd better be careful, too, because the pesky Blue Jays have crept back up to only two more games behind the Orioles. This could still turn into a three team race - especially if the Jays do something to fix their leaky bullpen.

Let's hit the links.

Around the blogO'sphere

Orioles option Tolliver to Triple-A Norfolk - School of Roch
One other thing that happened on Wednesday is that the O's swapped bullpen lefties, calling up T.J. McFarland and sending down Ashur Tolliver. McFarland will likely be needed as a long man behind Jimenez tonight.

With Pedro Alvarez scuffling, Orioles 'could use him getting going like he's capable of' - Baltimore Sun
Buck was saying something similar about Brian Matusz about a week before the O's jettisoned him like an escape pod with two droids inside.

The golden age of third basemen is now (ESPN)
Guess who is among this group? Oh yeah. Manny Machado is good.

Clellie Lynch: Glorious orioles are among us - Berkshire Eagle Online
An outdoors column about actual Orioles in Vermont! This link comes along with a poem: "To hear an Oriole sing / May be a common thing / Or only a divine." The Oriole's Secret, Emily Dickinson.

The Devil Went Down To Steve Johnson - Lookout Landing
You know I always have a fondness for Team Steve, and it seems like our friends on the SB Nation Mariners blog are coming to appreciate him as well. Here is Kate Preusser on the "curphus" pitch.

Birthdays and anniversaries

On this fateful day in 2012, the Orioles purchased Steve Pearce from the Yankees, though Pearce would go through a couple more roster moves before returning to the Orioles. In 1999, the Orioles drafted Brian Roberts, as well as notorious snitch Larry Bigbie.

There are a few former Orioles with birthdays today, although if you've heard of any of them, you've got one up on me. They are: 1987 bullpen guy Jack O'Connor, 1970 short-timer Roger Freed, and Bob Saverine (1959-64).

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Along with those former Orioles, your birthday buddies for today are: the first First Lady, Martha Washington (1731), noted libertine Marquis de Sade (1740), Major League's Pedro Cerrano, Dennis Haysbert (1954), funny man Wayne Brady, Prison Break actor Wentworth Miller, and baseball's Lord Voldemort all on the same day (1972), and Firefly actress Morena Baccarin (1979).

A very un-happy birthday to Voldemort.

On this day in history...

In 455, Vandals entered Rome, which they sacked for two weeks. This is relevant as the Vandal, David Ortiz, is presently in Baltimore. Be careful.

In 1774, Britain's Parliament passed the Quartering Act, allowing a governor to house British soldiers among the population of the colonies. The colonists didn't like it much, and so today we have the Third Amendment.

In 1886, President Grover Cleveland married Ms. Francis Folsom. He is the only president to ever get married in the White House.

In 1953, the UK's Queen Elizabeth II was crowned. This is said to be the first major international event ever to be televised. Her reign is older than my parents.

In 2004, Jeopardy! savant Ken Jennings won the first of his 74 games of the quiz show.

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And that's the way it is in Birdland on June 2 - or at least, until something happens later. Have a safe Thursday. Go Orioles!