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Thursday Bird Droppings: Where the rain’s away so the Orioles can play

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The O’s gained ground on one wild card rival without even playing Wednesday. In today’s links, more on Austin Hays, the Kevin Gausman adjustment, and a milestone for Buck.

New York Yankees v Baltimore Orioles Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

Hello, friends.

Another day has dawned with the Orioles in third place in the American League East. They are 7.5 games back of the division-leading Red Sox, with the Red Sox winning on Wednesday while the O's were idle due to the rainout.

Of more immediate interest to the Orioles is that they are now one game back of the Twins for the second wild card spot in the American League. The Twins won on Wednesday, while the Angels lost, leaving the Los Angeles team a half-game ahead of the Orioles. They have two teams to pass, though the Rangers lurk only another half game behind the O's.

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, every game is important for the Orioles from here on out. There are only 23 games left to play. The O's probably need to win at least 13 of those games. They may need to win more. They can afford to lose some games, but not many, and their lives will be much easier if they can win the home game before they head out on the road for ten straight games.

Lately, all of the second wild card contenders are getting hot. Five teams, including the O's, have won at least six of their last ten games. That's what the O's will have to find a way to keep doing, even considering who is in their starting rotation. At least today it's Kevin Gausman, who's been so much better in the second half of the season.

Around the blogO'sphere

Orioles' Kevin Gausman got his season on track by straightening out his delivery (Baltimore Sun)

The Sun offers information suggesting that Gausman tweaked his delivery in mid-June. He had a 6.49 ERA before that and a 3.45 ERA since. That could mean something. Today is the first time this new and improved 2017 Gausman will face the Yankees, though the bad version saw them four times already.

Buck Showalter at 1500 wins: Embracing the grind, in search of World Series for Orioles (USA Today)

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Bowie's Garabez Rosa named Eastern League MVP - Steve Melewski
That's the second Orioles minor leaguer to be named the MVP of his league, along with Ademar Rifaela for Frederick. Neither are really prospects, but congratulations to them all the same.

Orioles to open 2018 season at home vs. Twins - School of Roch
Based on how the Twins are playing this season, this won't be quite as easy of a mark as when they opened at home against the Twins in 2012 or 2016.

Manny Machado’s Lost Season Now Found | FanGraphs Baseball
And it showed up with not a second to lose.

Orioles Austin Hays called up to majors | MLB.com
The folks at MLB.com have a little bit of a scouting report on what to expect about the newest O's call-up.

Hays finds first big league call-up an 'unbelievable experience' (Baltimore Sun)

And speaking of Hays, he's happy to be here.

Birthdays and Orioles anniversaries

There are a few former Orioles with birthdays today. They are: 2004-06 outfielder David Newhan, 2000 three-gamer Willie Morales, 1988 reserve Wade Rowdon, 1984 short-timer Orlando Sanchez, and 1972 short-timer Tommy Matchick.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Your birthday buddies for today include: England's Queen Elizabeth I (1533), Lost actor Michael Emerson (1954), rapper Eazy-E (1963), and actress Shannon Elizabeth (1973).

On this day in history...

In 1191, Richard the Lionheart defeated Saladin in the Battle of Arsuf, which ultimately helped the Third Crusade recapture a lot of territory - but not Jerusalem. Not too many years later, in 1228, Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II landed in Acre to start the Sixth Crusade.

In 1812, the French defeated the Russians in the Battle of Borodino, the bloodiest of any battle in the Napoleonic Wars. However, winter was coming.

In 1911, a French poet, Guillaume Apollinaire, was arrested and jailed for suspicion of stealing the Mona Lisa out of the Louvre. The painting was not found until two years later. Apollinaire was not the culprit. Neither was Pablo Picasso, who was also briefly suspected.

In 1940, during World War II, the German Luftwaffe initiated the Blitz, more than 50 consecutive nights of bombing of London and other British cities.

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And that’s the way it is in Birdland on September 7 - or at least, until something happens later, which it surely will when the Orioles take on the Yankees at 1:35. Have a safe Thursday. Go Orioles!