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Monday Bird Droppings: First half over, first place for the Orioles

It's the All-Star break and the Orioles are in first place. In today's news, hoping for a minor injury for Hyun Soo Kim, Buck's confidence in his guys, and a prospect named Cristian Alvarado is recognized for a strong June.

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Another day, another series win over a team from Los Angeles. The Orioles finished their first half on a high note with 51 wins in the hopper, having won four of their last five on the heels of a five game slide. Did I mention they're still in first place? It's true.

The Seattle series was certainly a wake up call for some folks and validation for certain stathead Cassandras we know and love, so it was nice to see the Birds getting back to business. Instead of celebrating our All Stars, look for mischief to be made the next few days as trade rumors start to percolate. Jon Niese? Francisco Liriano? Wake me when it's over.

Kim leaves game with a strained right hamstring | CSN Mid-Atlantic
Get well soon!

Showalter confident in the roster he has right now - Carroll County Times I know he kind of has to say that, but...really, Buck?

Where are the Orioles now and how can they improve? - Baltimore Sports and Life If the O's come to Tampa, hat in hand, asking for Matt Moore, it terrifies me to think about the cost.

Baltimore Orioles would be grounded without Manny Machado - Baltimore Orioles- ESPN
Eddie Matz offers his take on mid-season awards.

RHP Cristian Alvarado Named Baltimore Orioles Minor League Pitcher of the Month for June | Orioles 101 | Sports Media 101
The O's have some decent young arms from their Dominican academy making waves stateside in 2016. Venezuelan Cristian Alvarado is one such prospect.

On this day in 1961, Hoyt Wilhelm allowed a walk off single to Roberto Clemente in the All Star game. On this day in 1987, Billy and Cal Ripken, Jr. played in the same lineup drawn up by manager Cal Ripken, Sr. for the first time.

UMBC alum Zach Clark celebrates a birthday today.