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Put a bird on it!

Updated: 2017-06-25T17:09:26-04:00


Orioles beat Rays 8-5, win first road series since April


Chris Tillman still wasn’t good and the Orioles gave up a bunch of runs on Sunday, but it didn’t matter because the offense was on fire in an 8-5 win over the Rays. The Orioles returned to their June form of giving up 5+ runs per game in Sunday’s series finale against the Rays. Chris Tillman continued his disastrous 2017. For today at least, these things did not matter, because the Orioles offense was up to the task of overcoming Tillman’s struggles, scoring four late runs on the way to an 8-5 victory to take down the Rays in Tampa. In winning the game and in turn the series, the Orioles collected their first road series win since the April 18-20 series in Cincinnati. You read that right. The Orioles road woes are not solved by one series win. None of their other problems are solved either. But winning the series and getting one game closer to a .500 record are both better than not. For once, Tillman did not encounter any problems in the first inning. This allowed the O’s offense to get on the board first in the top of the second inning against Rays starter Jake Odorizzi. The bottom of the lineup came through with two outs. Caleb Joseph started with a single, followed by a Craig Gentry double. That set up a scoring chance for Paul Janish. Ordinarily, that would seem like a waste of time, but Janish surprised you and me and everyone by driving in the two runners with a single to give the Orioles an early 2-0 lead. Over the next couple of innings, the O’s and Rays went back and forth adding a run apiece. Rays outfielder Steven Souza Jr. led off the bottom of that inning with a single. A Tillman wild pitch put Souza on second base. Tillman retired the next two Rays and you might for a second have believed he would escape with no trouble. However, Rays second baseman/D&D bard Taylor Featherston drove in Souza with a single to put the Rays on the board. Joseph added a third Orioles run with a solo shot to left field in the fourth inning. Tillman gave the run right back in the bottom of the inning, of course, after a one out single to Daniel Robertson. Attempting to pick off Robertson, Tillman instead threw the ball away and into the Rays bullpen area. Robertson grabbed two bases on the error, allowing him to score a run on a Featherston sacrifice fly. Because of Tillman’s own error, this run was scored as unearned. Still, that’s OK, right? Tillman had the Orioles with a lead through four innings. That’s better than he’s done a lot of games this season. Things went south in a hurry for Tillman, facing the top of the Rays lineup for the third time in the fifth inning. Mallex Smith and Corey Dickerson singled to open up the inning, bringing long-time Tillman nemesis Evan Longoria to the plate. Longoria came into the game having faced Tillman 68 times. He has batted .302/.353/.778 against Tillman in that time, including eight home runs, the most that Longoria has hit against any pitcher. And some of those numbers came against Tillman in years where he was actually, you know, good, which he surely isn’t this year. There was only one way for this to end. Longoria blasted off on Tillman, Longoria’s 12th of the season and Tillman’s 10th allowed, giving the Rays a 5-3 lead. One batter later, Tillman got the hook from the game. His final line saw him give up five runs, four earned on eight hits and two walks in just 4.1 innings. Ten baserunners in fewer than five innings is not so good. Tillman entered the day with an 8.39 ERA. He ended the day with an 8.39 ERA. The Matusz Test has not had to consider a tie before. Because the unearned run was the only thing saving Tillman from a Matusz Test failure and Tillman himself committed that error, I’m ruling a Matusz Test failure anyway. Tillman’s brutal 2017 continues uninterrupted. And you know what? On Sunday, that didn’t matter, because when the Orioles offense comes through the way that it can, even a dismal Tillman outing can’t stop them. Trey Mancini pulled the Orioles within a run with a solo shot in the sixth, his 14th of the year. [...]

Orioles prospects 6/24: Zach Britton’s rehab is still OK


Zach Britton continued his road back to the big leagues with another inning in Delmarva. Shout out also to Bowie’s Cedric Mullins, who was 4-5 with a home run. Gwinnett (Braves) 5, Norfolk Tides 3 The Tides had to string together a bullpen game. Well, it could have gone worse. All five of Gwinnett’s runs scored across three different home runs. Former Oriole Xavier Avery hit two home runs against his former organization. Tides batters had eight hits in the game, but only one of them went for extra bases, so that’s a hard way to win a baseball game. Erie (Tigers) 7, Bowie Baysox 3 A four run eighth inning doomed the Baysox on this night. Things had been going well enough up to that point. Bowie has been using reliever Jesus Liranzo on the Tanner Scott plan - that is, going three innings to start a game and that’s it. Liranzo walked four batters in three innings and also struck out three. All seven Erie runs were charged to Brandon Barker, the lefty who was part of the return in the Brian Matusz salary dump last year. When you give up nine hits and two walks, bad things are going to happen, although two of the runs were left on base when he exited the game and they scored after reliever Garrett Cleavinger came into the game. Shout out to spring training sensation Cedric Mullins, who was 4-5 in the game and hit his eighth home run of the season. Lynchburg (Indians) 5, Frederick Keys 2 The good news here is that shortstop Ryan Mountcastle was 3-5 in this game and he’s now batting .317 for the minor league season. The bad news is that the Keys picked up where the Orioles left off in continuing to give up five or more runs. Starting pitcher Brian Gonzalez gave up three of the runs in five innings. Delmarva Shorebirds 9, Lakewood (Phillies) 3 Finally, a winner! The big bit of news is that rehabbing big leaguer Zach Britton made an appearance: Zach Britton with a scoreless 7th inning on rehab in Delmarva. Scout in attendance said he was 94-95 mph. Ramped up from Thursday. #Orioles— Jon Meoli (@JonMeoli) June 25, 2017 Yeah! Britton blew through the inning in 11 pitches. The Shorebirds offense hit three home runs in the game, collecting nine runs on just eight hits. They scored in six of the eight innings where they batted. Staten Island (Yankees) 4, Aberdeen IronBirds 3 (10 innings) The IronBirds took a 3-2 lead into the ninth inning, but they gave up a run in the ninth to send it into extras and another run in the tenth to lose it. After spending a couple of seasons with the Orioles DSL affiliate, starting pitcher Hector Guance, a 6’6” righty, is making his state-side debut. He held the Yankees to just one hit and one walk in five innings pitched, though he was tagged with two unearned runs. Aberdeen committed three errors in the game. The two teams combined for just eight hits - four for each team - so there are a whole lot of early-short-season batting averages that took a plummet towards .000. Complete box scores from Saturday’s games, including the adventures of that same DSL affiliate, can be found here. Sunday’s Scheduled Games Norfolk: at Gwinnett, 1:05. Starter: Chris Lee Bowie: at Erie, 1:35. Starter: John “The Ends Justify The” Means Frederick: at Lynchburg, 5:00. Starter: Ofelky Peralta Delmarva: vs. Lakewood, 2:05. Starter: Alex Wells Aberdeen: at Staten Island, 4:00. Starter: TBD [...]

Sunday Bird Droppings - it didn’t get worse!


History was averted, Dylan Bundy went 7 strong, and the bullpen didn’t implode. Whew! Orioles avoid dubious pitching mark, Bundy beats Rays 8-3 | News & ObserverDylan Bundy helped Baltimore avoid a dubious pitching record, throwing seven solid innings as the Orioles beat the Tampa Bay Rays 8-3 Saturday. Showalter on roster move, rotation and streak (O's lead 8-3) - School of Roch“We’ll start here, and if we need to make an adjustment, we will,” Buck Showalter said. “It also requires sending somebody out who’s pitching pretty well, all things considered. Without naming those guys. You call can figure it out. We’re trying to keep people if we can.” Mancini, Asher give Baltimore strong Polk presenceTrey Mancini and Alec Asher are Polk County, FL natives, and coming back to Florida gets them a "local boys done good" feature. Orioles' tactics suggest a team that knows something has to change to turn things around - Baltimore Sun"They bunted, both for base hits and for sacrifice purposes. Even Manny Machado did it. They capitalized on early scoring opportunities. And they created outs for their pitching staff." When it comes to draft pick signings, O's have moved fast - Steve Melewski"So far, the Orioles have signed 12 pitchers and 17 position players. They have signed five lefty pitchers and seven right-handers, along with six infielders, six outfielders, four catchers and one utility player." BlueClaws drop 3rd straight as Delmarva rolls - Asbury Park PressOrioles closer Zach Britton, on a rehab assignment with Delmarva, threw a scoreless seventh inning. Birthdays and History Happy Birthday to former Orioles Luke Scott, Ryan Kohlmeier, and Dick Drago. They share today with famous people including author George Orwell 1903; singer/songwriter Carly Simon 1945; singer George Michael 1963; and NBA Hall of Famer Dikembe Mutombo 1966. On this day on Baltimore baseball history... 1961 - The Orioles and the Angels set a major league record by using 16 pitchers, eight by each side, as Ron Hansen's 14th-inning homer gives Baltimore the victory, 9 - 8. 1964 - 1964 - Steve Barber's 3-hit 3 - 1 win gives the Orioles a 3-game sweep of the Yankees and first place in the American League. 1970 - Behind the Red Sox, 7 - 0, after five innings, the Orioles tie the game in the 9th on a Merv Rettenmund home run and a double by Andy Etchebarren. The Orioles finally win it when they score six runs in the 14th inning. 1988 - Cal Ripken Jr. plays in his 1,000th consecutive game, a 10 - 3 loss to Boston. Ripken's streak is the 6th longest in major league history. 1999 - In Baltimore's 9 - 8 loss to the Yankees, the O's Jesse Orosco makes his 1,051th relief appearance to break Kent Tekulve's major league record 2001 - The Orioles claim 3B Tony Batista off the waiver list when the Blue Jays attempt to send the struggling slugger to the minors. On this day in world history... 1788 - Virginia ratified the U.S. Constitution and became the 10th state of the United States. 1876 - Lt. Col. Custer and the 210 men of U.S. 7th Cavalry were killed by Sioux and Cheyenne Indians at Little Big Horn in Montana. The event is known as "Custer's Last Stand." 1910 - The U.S. Congress authorized the use of postal savings stamps. 1917 - The first American fighting troops landed in France. 2000 - U.S. and British researchers announced that they had completed a rough draft of a map of the genetic makeup of human beings. The project was 10 years old at the time of the announcement. Consider this your discussion space for Formula One Racing: Azerbaijan Grand Prix. [...]

Dylan Bundy pitches Orioles to 8-3 win over Rays, ending 5-run streak at 20.


The Orioles had all parts of their game working today as they finally shut the door on allowing at least five runs per game. Last night the Orioles put themselves in the record books by allowing at least five runs for the 20th straight game, a weird and bad statistic that tied them with the 1924 Phillies for most of all time. An additional five runs allowed today would have put them in sole possession of this dubious record, but thanks to a strong start from Dylan Bundy that won’t be the case. Bundy pitched a strong seven innings and an eight-run game from the offense sealed the win. I like when the Orioles win. Bundy the Stopper Dylan Bundy has been the most successful Orioles starter this season, but so far in June he’s been almost the bad as the rest of the jokers in the rotation. In four June starts prior to today, Bundy has pitched to a 6.64 ERA and averaged just about five innings per outing. Both of those numbers are quite a bit worse than he looked in April and May, but today was more like the Bundy we have grown to enjoy. Bundy really only had one bad inning in the game, the third. After looking sharp in the first and second innings, Bundy lost his command in the third. He walked the first batter, Tim Beckham, who was then erased on a nifty double play started by Paul Janish at shortstop. After the double play it felt like it would be another quick inning for Bundy, but then he walked number nine hitter Mallex Smith and gave up a two-run homer to Corey Dickerson. Dickerson was barely back in the dugout when Evan Longoria homered on the first pitch he saw. Just like that the Rays had three runs and it was only the third inning. I could feel those five runs creeping up on us! Bundy then walked Logan Morrison and I was convinced another home run was coming and that it would put the Orioles in sole possession of that stupid record, but instead Steven Souza struck out. Starting with the fourth inning Bundy went back to looking great, facing only three batters each in the fourth, fifth, and sixth innings. He got two quick outs in the seventh before walking Beckham again, but struck out Daniel Robertson to end the inning and his night. All around a very good game for Bundy, and just the third time in June that an Orioles starter completed seven innings (June 1 - Wade Miley, June 18 - Ubaldo Jimenez). His pitching line was 7 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 4 BB, 8 K. Eight Runs Are Enough It’s much easier to win a game when the pitching staff allows only three runs, but just in case the Orioles decided to break out offensively today. They scored three runs on two home runs in the first three innings, and then piled on to the Rays’ bullpen in the late innings. Starting for the Rays was rookie Jacob Faria, who had allowed just one run in each of his three starts this season. That would not be the case today, although he did look pretty good out there. In the second inning Faria hit Trey Mancini just ahead of Welington Castillo in the lineup. Castillo worked a full count before taking a slider deep to left field. That gave the Orioles a 2-0 lead, which they increased to 3-0 in the third inning on a solo dinger from Adam Jones. Faria settled in after that, getting through three more innings without much trouble. He left with the game in a 3-3 tie, and thankfully the Rays’ bullpen wasn’t up to the task of keeping it a tie game. In the seventh inning, Jumbo Diaz (who lives up to his nickname) came into the game with Seth Smith on first base and no outs. Manny Machado dropped a bunt for a single to put two runners on. It’s possible that when the pitcher on the mound is 315 pounds, bunting is an appealing option. Diaz wasn’t too quick off the mound. Diaz struck out Jonathan Schoop before Adam Jones hit a bouncer to second that moved the runners over but resulted in two outs, and then it was time for the match up we were all waiting for. Well, I was at least. Jumbo vs. Trumbo! You may have heard our announcers refer to Trumb[...]

Orioles prospects 6/23: Rain and walkoffs all around



One game was rained out and another was shortened, but the Orioles affiliates still found time for some interesting contests, with low minors sleeper prospects having good nights.

Gwinnett (Braves) 4, Norfolk Tides 3 (6 innings, rain)

The most exciting thing in this box score when I looked at it is that Chance Sisco participated in throwing out two runners. Hooray! Well, one of them appears to have been an ill-advised steal of home, but he also threw out a guy trying to steal third base. Any time there’s not like four stolen bases against Sisco is good.

As for the rest, meh. The Tides batters only got three hits in the six innings of the game. Of course, that was still enough time for starting pitcher Jordan Kipper to give up four runs, three earned.

Bowie Baysox - postponed, rain

Lynchburg (Indians) 7, Frederick Keys 6

The Keys rallied in the eighth inning with four runs to tie the game at 6-6 and then gave up the walkoff in the bottom of the ninth. Well, good job coming back.

Frederick actually out-hit the Hillcats 13-7, but they committed three errors that led to three unearned runs. Shortstop Ryan Mountcastle was 1-5 in the game, but the one hit was his 13th home run of the season. You can sign me up for as much homering as Mountcastle wants to do.

Delmarva Shorebirds 5, Lakewood (Phillies) 4

The Shorebirds, unlike the Keys, were on the right end of a ninth-inning rally, storming back from two runs down to win in a walkoff with a three-run ninth. Starting pitcher Matthias Dietz held the Blue Claws to two runs in six innings, scattering eight hits and a walk while striking out three batters. He had only thrown 73 pitches when he was lifted.

Aberdeen IronBirds 7, Connecticut (Tigers) 2

It was a party for a couple of 2015 high school draftees. The big star was first baseman Seamus Curran, who I remember mostly because I once read an article where he was referred to as a jolly lumberjack. Curran was 4-5 with a double and two runs driven in. Fellow 2015 draftee Jaylen Ferguson, who was 2-5, also with a double and a pair of RBI.

2016 sixth rounder Tobias Myers, also a high school draftee, joined the party with a five inning start in which he shut out the Tigers while holding them to two hits without walking a batter. Myers struck out eight Connecticut hitters and tossed just 72 pitches.

For complete box scores from Friday’s games, including the adventures of the DSL Orioles, check out here.

Saturday’s Scheduled Games

  • Norfolk: at Gwinnett, 6:05. Starter: TBD
  • Bowie: at Erie, 7:05. Starter: Jesus Liranzo
  • Frederick: at Lynchburg, 6:00. Starter: Brian Gonzalez
  • Delmarva: vs. Lakewood, 7:05 (Fireworks!) Starter: Travis Seabrooke
  • Aberdeen: at Staten Island, 7:00. Starter: A different TBD

Saturday Bird Droppings - It can always get worse


The O’s have tied the MLB record for most consecutive games allowing at least 5 runs. Have the bad old days truly returned? What are the best things in life? For me, it’s siting on the beach at Assateague (federal side, since they have better bathroom facilities), reading a history of some part of World War II on a sunny day when I’ve remembered to put on sunscreen, and of course my wife and kids, because you legally have to include that when you’re a married dad. For Conan the Barbarian, it’s “Crush your enemies. See them driven before you. Hear the lamentations of their women.” But I’ll tell you what it’s not. It’s not the Orioles right now. The words of Dante may as well be above the Orioles locker room right now - “Abandon all hope ye who enter here”. And it may not get better any time soon. On to the links... Jiménez fails to get through three, Orioles match '24 Phillies' record in 15-5 loss to Rays - Baltimore SunEmbattled Orioles right-hander Ubaldo Jiménez’s bid to end the club’s stretch of 19 straight games of allowing at least five runs lasted all of two innings, and his second start back in the rotation didn’t extend much past that. Showalter's right; blaming McDowell for pitching woes is 'wrong tree to bark up' -“If someone’s gonna try to use him as a scapegoat, it’s the wrong tree to bark up,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter told me earlier this week. With Orioles 'not clicking,' Adam Jones hopes they remember what made them successful - Baltimore Sun"I think you just have to not necessarily go with the flow, but you have to remind players of the good things that they've done," Adam Jones said. "Right now, especially, the last 30 games, we haven't played our style of baseball. We'd like to control the tempo of the game. We'd like to control the speed of the game when it comes to our defense and our offense right now. You can't pinpoint anything specific. As a team right now, we're not clicking." Orioles' Darren O'Day: Reinstated from DL - CBSSports.comDarren O'Day (shoulder) was reinstated from the 10-day disabled list Friday. Britton update, Flaherty on shoulder and Gentry on return - School of RochCloser Zach Britton will pitch Saturday in a relief role at Single-A Delmarva instead of working the first inning. The Orioles want him to get into the proper mindset. Birthdays and History Happy Birthday to former Oriole Doug Jones. He shares today with famous people including DuPont founder E.I. Du Pont 1771; journalist Ambrose Bierce 1842; boxer Jack Dempsey 1895; "Happy Days" actor Al Molinaro 1919; musician Mick Fleetwood 1947; guitarist Jeff Beck 1944; and Tears fo Fears member Curt Smith 1961. On this day in Baltimore baseball history... 1894 - The Chicago Colts score five runs in the top of the 9th to take the lead over Baltimore, but the National League leaders respond with three runs in the bottom of the inning to claim an 11 - 10 win. On this day in world history... 1497 - Italian explorer John Cabot, sailing in the service of England, landed in North America on what is now Newfoundland. You should go some time. It’s very nice in the summer. 1509 - Henry VIII was crowned King of England. And spawned countless movies and TV series. 1664 - New Jersey, named after the Isle of Jersey, was founded. That ended well. 1812 - Napoleon crossed the Nieman River and invaded Russia. That ended well. 1931 - The Soviet Union and Afghanistan signed a treaty of neutrality. That ended ... well, nothing, actually. 1964 - The Federal Trade Commission announced that starting in 1965, cigarette manufactures would be required to include warnings on their packaging about the harmful effects of smoking. That actually did end well. 1997 - The U.S. Air Force released a report titled "The Roswell Report, Case Closed" that dismissed the claims that an alien spacecraft had crashed in Roswell, NM, in 1947. That's wh[...]

Orioles lose to Rays, 15-5; Jimenez allows nine earned runs in start


Almost everything that could’ve went wrong for the Orioles on Friday night did. It was Tampa Bay’s night at Tropicana Field. As the final score indicates, it wasn’t exactly a great night for the Orioles in Tampa Bay. In fact, statistically speaking, it was one of the worst games of the season for Buck Showalter’s group. Below, the details of a tough AL East loss for the Birds. The recap Whatever rhythm Ubaldo Jimenez found in last weekend’s start against the Cardinals was not evident on this night to say the least. Early on, the trouble with control reared its ugly head and quickly turned this game into a disappointment for the Orioles. After Chris Archer began the game with a scoreless frame, Jimenez simply couldn’t find the zone. Both Mallex Smith and Corey Dickerson drew walks — the latter on four pitches — and a passed ball by Welington Castillo put them in scoring position for Evan Longoria. The game’s first major run-scoring opportunity was presented, and Longoria didn’t miss out. On a 2-2 breaking ball, the Rays three-hole hitter got just enough of the pitch to poke it in front of Adam Jones for a base hit. Both Smith and Dickerson scored, putting a pair of runs on the board before Jimenez could record an out. That made it 2-0 Tampa Bay, but the Rays didn’t stop there. The next batter, Logan Morrison, worked a 3-2 count and roped a high fastball to the wall in right-center. To be sure, it was one of “those nights” for Ubaldo. Longoria scored, and Morrison would go on to cross the plate on an RBI groundout to tack on Tampa Bay’s fourth run of the inning. Not a great way to kick off a series-opener. Jimenez would finish the first, but not before tossing 36 pitches and flashing further issues with command. You could most certainly draw up better (and cleaner) starts to baseball games, but what fun would that be? Where there’s one crooked number, there tend to be plenty more that follow — and fortunately for the Orioles, the next crooked number of the game went in Chris Archer’s earned run column. The middle of the O’s lineup struck back quickly for a pair of runs in the top of the second courtesy of back-to-back-to-back singles by Mark Trumbo, Jonathan Schoop and Trey Mancini. The inning could’ve packed even more punch, but Castillo followed Mancini’s RBI single by grounding into a 6-4-3 double play to clear the bases and somewhat get Archer out of the jam. Still, it cut Tampa Bay’s lead in half to 4-2 heading into the bottom of the second. Things were looking up — that is, until the Rays got the opportunity to get the bats back into their hands and help the Orioles tie the Major League record for most consecutive games giving up at-least five runs. That mark was reached with a Longoria sacrifice fly in the bottom of the second, but that was far from the most concerning problem at The Trop on this night. In the bottom of the third inning, Tampa Bay took command and crushed any chance of Jimenez finishing the game with a positive final line. After a leadoff walk, Shane Peterson crushed a no-doubter to right field that went at-least a dozen rows deep to give the Rays a 7-2 advantage. And just three batters later with a runner on following a single, Derek Norris took an 88 MPH fastball and barely cleared the wall but managed the same result: two more runs on the board for the home team. With Tampa up 9-2, Jimenez’s night was finished after just two and a third innings. The final line was not an ideal one — 2.1 IP, 7 H, 9 ER, 4 BB, 1 K. His season ERA is now at 7.26. Jonathan Schoop hit his 22nd double of the season and knocked in two runs in the top of the fourth to make the score a bit more respectable, however Alec Asher’s inability to find the strike zone proved costly in the fifth. He tossed a scoreless fourth, but Asher couldn’t make it out of what was a disastrous fifth inning. In short, it[...]

Orioles Futile Record-Tying GIF Angst Outlet



Orioles pitchers were once again pretty bad for the 20th game in a row and now they’ve tied the MLB record. You know what must be done.

It is Friday night.

The Orioles have tied an MLB record set in 1924 by allowing 5+ runs for the 20th consecutive game. As a matter of fact, they had managed to tie that record before the second inning of this game was over. Ubaldo Jimenez was bad. Alec Asher was bad. At different times, other Orioles were also bad. They will have a chance to get that record all for themselves in Saturday’s game.

This game was just about the farthest thing from a victory. If you search deep down, I believe that you will find that you know what must be done.