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Tuesday Bird Droppings: Where the Orioles are finally above .500, for now

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The Orioles picked up their fifth straight win on Monday. Now they can aim even higher. In today’s links, Adam Jones sets a record, the O’s are deemed lucky again, and more.

MLB: Seattle Mariners at Baltimore Orioles Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

Hello, friends.

Another day has dawned with the Orioles in third place in the American League East. They continue to trail the division-leading Red Sox by eight games. Even after the weekend’s sweep, it’s still not worth thinking about that all that much.

More importantly, though, is the wild card picture. After picking up their fifth straight win in Monday night’s game against the Mariners, the Orioles now trail the Twins by 1.5 games for the second wild card spot in the AL, with either one or two teams to pass, depending on the result of an Angels game that’s finishing after I’m writing this.

Another thing about Monday night’s win is that it has the Orioles back over .500 for the first time since June 11. The five straight wins have been nice and all, but they won’t feel quite so nice if the Orioles aren’t able to win one of the next two games in the Mariners series to stay above .500 at the end of a series.

If you haven’t gotten to read about last night’s win, where the Orioles were able to pull off the victory even though Chris Tillman again turned in a 2017 vintage stinker of an outing, read my recap, and don’t forget to log your vote in the Most Birdland Player poll in that recap.

Dylan Bundy takes the mound for the Orioles as the series continues against the Mariners tonight. He has gotten an extra day of rest thanks to Tillman making that start last night. Bundy with extra rest has been very good in August. Here’s hoping that can continue.

Around the blogO’sphere

Orioles rise above .500 with 7-6 win over Mariners (with quotes) - School of Roch
One thing we can always count on in Birdland is Roch Kubatko’s dutiful transcription of Buck Showalter’s post-game quotes, occasionally joined, though not in this instance, by quotes from a player or two.

Adam Jones homers to set new Orioles record | MLB.com
It was the 250th home run of Jones’s career. What’s interesting in the Orioles record books is that this was his 25th home run of the 2017 season, giving him 25+ home runs for a seventh consecutive season. That is a new record - Cal’s six from 1982-87 was the old one.

Somehow, some way, Orioles are now over .500 (Baltimore Baseball)
Dan Connolly is as mystified as any of us about how the Orioles have found a way to get back over .500. I wonder if anyone will ever tell him you can have more than one sentence in a paragraph.

Craig Gentry heating up at plate as string of left-handed starters looms (Baltimore Sun)
The timing is rather convenient. Gentry was 1-4 last night and drove in one of the Orioles runs.

Zach Britton thought he’d pitch in save situation Sunday but respects Showalter’s decision (Baltimore Sun)
Brad Brach getting the five out save on Sunday seemed to suggest that Zach Britton was unavailable, but it turns out this may not have been the case, making a curious situation even more curious.

The playoff races, with luck stripped out (Beyond the Box Score)
SB Nation’s Beyond the Box Score blog breaks down the playoff races using the Fangraphs BaseRuns formula. It will surprise no long-time Camden Chat readers to discover that Fangraphs thinks the Orioles have gotten lucky and not that they’re actually as good as their record says they are.

Local MLB TV Ratings Shine, Clouds Still Loom | FanGraphs Baseball
It’s a general look at MLB TV stuff rather than just the Orioles. I thought it was interesting. You might too. Turns out that the O’s might want to have played as well as they did last year to get ratings like last year.

Birthdays and anniversaries

There are a few former Orioles with birthdays today. They are: ball-in-jersey guy Eddie Rogers, Orioles Magic originator Doug DeCinces, 1960/62 outfielder Dave Nicholson, and sporadic 1957-61 catcher, the late Frank Zupo. Today is Nicholson’s 78th birthday. Happy birthday to him.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you as well! Along with those former Orioles, your birthday buddies for today include: philosopher John Locke (1632), Casablanca actress Ingrid Bergman (1915), the Brady Bill’s namesake James Brady (1940), Michael Jackson (1958), and One Direction crooner Liam Payne (1993).

On this day in history...

In 1756, Frederick the Great of Prussia launched an attack on Saxony, marking the beginning of the Seven Years’ War. It actually lasted “only” six years, eight months, four weeks, and one day.

In 1786, the nascent American government faced a challenge as a group of farmers in Massachusetts launched Shays Rebellion over debt burdens and tax payments.

In 1831, scientist Michael Faraday made his discovery of electromagnetic induction.

In 1949, the Soviet Union tested the first of its atomic bombs at a test site in Kazakhstan.

In 1966, concert-goers at Candlestick Park in San Francisco became the last paying fans to see The Beatles in concert.

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And that’s the way it is in Birdland on August 29 - or at least, until something happens later, which it surely will, since the Orioles are playing the Mariners later tonight. Have a safe Tuesday. Go Orioles!