This and that after dark

It's usually a morning blog entry, but I'm feeling a little bold as the sun goes down.

I found a few leftovers that might be of interest, including this first item from Elias:

Last night, the Orioles hit home runs with men on base in the fifth inning (Chris Davis), sixth (Mark Reynolds), seventh (Davis again) and eighth (Manny Machado) in their 12-2 win over the Blue Jays at Camden Yards. According to Elias, it's the the first time in more than six years that a team hit home runs with men on base in four straight innings. The Rangers were the last to do it in a 15-1 victory over the Orioles on July 13, 2006.

The Orioles hadn't done it since April 29, 1970 in an 18-2 thumping of the White Sox, courtesy of Elrod Hendricks, Paul Blair (twice) and Boog Powell.

Blair hit three homers that day. Check the boxscore here.

Chico Salmon replaced Brooks Robinson at third base during the blowout, which I thought was worth mentioning. Jim Palmer went the distance and lost his shutout when Bill Melton hit a two-run homer in the seventh inning.

I'm sure Palmer remembers the pitch, the count and which way the wind was blowing.

As you know, Jim Thome (42) and Machado (20) homered in the fifth inning last night. Also according to Elias, it's only the fifth time that teammates - one 40-plus and the other no more than 20 - have hit home runs in the same game, and the first time since Ken Griffey Sr. and Jr. went back-to-back for the Mariners off the Angels' Kirk McCaskill on Sept. 14, 1990.

The other pairs to do it: Willie Mays and Chris Speier (twice in 1971), and Hank Sauer and Orlando Cepeda (twice in 1958).

The Orioles have hit 120 home runs at Camden Yards this season, one short of the home franchise record of 121 in 1996.

ACTA Sports provided a chart last week of notable players on contenders who changed positions, and how many runs they saved or lost. Reynolds went from a -22 at third base in 2011 to a -3 at first base in 2012.

Here's the text that followed:

Atop the list is a player that has never been synonymous with good defense, Mark Reynolds. This season, Reynolds has moved from third base to first and held his own. His defensive improvement has been a major part of the Orioles' late-season success and helped him consistently remain in the lineup.

Manager Buck Showalter has often stated that the Orioles are focused on catching the Yankees, not staying atop the wild card standings. Nate McLouth fully understands, but he also knows the importance of taking it one game at a time, no matter how cliched.

"I think winning the division is probably the top priority, but when you start thinking too far down the road - I know there are only six games left - but you've got to get that next one first, because if you don't get the next one, it doesn't matter what happens down the road," he said. "I think that's kind of where we're at."

Speaking of the wild card, the A's lost to the Rangers today, so the Orioles have a one-game lead for the top spot.

I wanted to assist in promoting a raffle to benefit the Southeastern District Police station, helping to build a new gym for the active officers and a Wall of Honor for the Fallen Officers. And there's a nice Orioles connection here that might intrigue some of you.

The prize is a fully refinished single chair from Memorial Stadium, the sides painted Camden Green (same as Camden Yards). It's mounted on a wood base and autographed by Palmer, Cal Ripken Jr. and Earl Weaver - each with a stamp or letter of authenticity.

The drawing will be held on Oct. 20. Tickets are $30 and all money donated for the raffle is 100% tax deductible.

Tickets can be purchased by calling 410-961-3610, or going to https://givecorps.com/projects/138-southeastern-district-police-community-relations-council-inc-a-memorial-gym-for-baltimore-s-finest

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