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Thursday Bird Droppings: Where the Orioles are hot at the right time

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The Orioles have now won seven games in a row. Can they make it eight? In today's links, Machado's great defense, considering September call-ups, and more.

Seattle Mariners v Baltimore Orioles Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images

Hello, friends.

Another day has dawned with the Orioles in third place in the American League East. They remain eight games behind the division-leading Red Sox, who have gone on and won all three games they have played since being swept by those same Orioles.

More importantly, the Orioles remain 1.5 games behind the Twins for the second wild card spot. Unfortunately for the Orioles, the Twins have gotten to play the last-place White Sox for the past couple of nights and they have won games accordingly. The Angels game is ending after I'm writing this. If they lose, the O's will be past them with just the Twins to hurdle.

What's become even more interesting in this whole AL wild card picture is that the struggling Yankees dropped both games of a doubleheader against the Indians on Wednesday. What that means is that the Yankees are now just 2.5 games better than the Orioles in the standings. If the Orioles climb enough, or the Yankees fall enough, it's possible for both wild card spots to suddenly be in play.

The Orioles have won seven games in a row to get where they are. That's a season high and it's coming at the right time. They can't settle for losses now that they've gone on a winning streak, though. There is still ground to be made up, especially with the last-place Blue Jays coming into town for a four-game series. The Orioles are 9-3 against the Jays so far this season. It is very important for the winning to continue.

Down on the farm, the Orioles Double-A affiliate, the Bowie Baysox, whose roster includes prospects Austin Hays, D.J. Stewart, Ryan Mountcastle, Cedric Mullins, and Tanner Scott, clinched a playoff spot in the Eastern League. Congratulations and good luck to them.

Around the blogO'sphere

Orioles rally to defeat Mariners, complete sweep (with quotes) - School of Roch
If you want to read what Buck Showalter had to say about the seventh consecutive Orioles victory, here's your place.

Orioles outscore Seattle and sweep series (quotes added) - Steve Melewski
The other half of the MASN duo actually has some player quotes in his article, differentiating it from the above.

Orioles catcher Welington Castillo a constant in Dylan Bundy's second-half success (Baltimore Sun)

Here's one that may be directed at all of the folks who seem to think that Beef is a liability for the pitching staff.

Slugger Pedro Alvarez a consideration for call-up as Orioles mull September roster options (Baltimore Sun)

El Toro might get a return to Baltimore after all. He has hit 26 home runs at Triple-A this season. He's earned the chance.

The hot Orioles and cold Yankees are making the AL wild card race interesting (CBS Sports)

I would like for the Orioles to continue making the race interesting until such time as they have won so many games that, because they are so far ahead, it is no longer interesting.

Stewart's buoying Bowie; Scott reaches innings high; Is Orioles system improving? (Baltimore Baseball)

Here's Dean Jones at Baltimore Baseball on the current state of the Orioles system and some of its top prospects.

Ranking the AL wild card contenders (by fun) (Beyond the Box Score)

Our SB Nation friends over at Beyond the Box Score don't think that the Orioles are among the more fun AL WC contenders. We'll just have to agree to disagree on that one.

Manny Machado: El 'Ministro de la Defensa' que sabe atacar (ESPN)
This article is in Spanish, because the greatness of Manny Machado cannot be contained solely by the English language.

Birthdays and anniversaries

There are several former Orioles with birthdays today. They are: Baltimore's own Steve Johnson, 2010 short-timer Armando Gabino, 2014 one-gamer Ramon Ramirez, 2001-04 outfielder Tim Raines the Younger, 1995 three-gamer Mike Hartley, and baseball Hall of Famer Frank Robinson. Today is Robinson's 82nd birthday. Happy birthday to him!

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Along with those former Orioles, your birthday buddies for today include: Roman emperors Caligula (12) and Commodus (161), educator Maria Montessori (1870), singer-songwriter Van Morrison (1945), violinist Itzhak Perlman (1945), actor Richard Gere (1949), and funny man Chris Tucker (1971).

On this day in history...

In 1056, Byzantine Empress Theodora died childless, marking the end of the Macedonian dynasty.

In 1422, King Henry V of England, who, as a character, gave a famous speech in the works of Shakespeare, died of dysentery on campaign in France, leaving his nine month old son to become Henry VI.

In 1864, during the Civil War, General William T. Sherman launched his assault on Atlanta.

In 1895, the German Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin patented his navigable balloon.

In 1935, the United States Congress passed the first of its Neutrality Acts, meant to keep the US from getting involved in a European war by placing a general embargo on the sale of arms and war materiel.

In 1939, Nazi Germany carried out a false flag attack against a German radio station, with Nazis posing as Polish troops in order to provide a pretext to launch the Polish invasion that would begin World War II.

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And that's the way it is in Birdland on August 31 - or at least, until something happens later, which it surely will, because the Orioles are about to kick off a series against the Blue Jays tonight. Have a safe Thursday. Go Orioles!