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HOUSTON —r Houston Astros right-hander Justin Verlander Bryan Holaday Jersey , who many seasons ago assumed the responsibility bestowed upon a staff ace.Verlander (2-0, 3.18 ERA this postseason) will make his second start of the American League Championship Series on Thursday at Minute Maid Park in Game 5 against the Boston Red Sox. He is charged with logging another effective outing — that is the baseline requirement. Of greater importance is his role relative to the Astros’ hopes for repeating as World Series champions. With Houston trailing the best-of-seven series 3-1 and facing elimination, that responsibility is significant, but the series standing doesn’t weigh on Verlander or alter his preparation for his start.Article continues below ...“I don’t know,” Verlander said. “I mean, these are all must-win games at this point. Every time you take the mound I don’t think there’s any difference whether it’s 2-2 or 3-1.”In the Astros’ 7-2 victory in Game 1, Verlander limited the Red Sox to two runs on two hits. But he issued four walks and uncorked a critical wild pitch that enabled Boston to tie the score at 2-all. Verlander labored a bit over his six innings, and while he recorded six strikeouts, he only managed seven swing-and-miss strikes over his 90 pitches. He was solid but unspectacular, and the second matchup against the Red Sox is a sure bet for another tough task.“Especially these guys, a team that’s really good at making adjustments, making adjustments quickly,” said Verlander, who is 3-1 with a 2.61 ERA over four career postseason appearances against Boston. “There are definitely unique challenges. They know my strengths. They know my weaknesses. I know theirs.“And the second time going against a lineup http://www.marlinsfanproshop.com/authen ... tro-jersey , you need to adjust. Or you don’t. I don’t know. That’s kind of one of those times when I like to rely on my instincts when I’m out there and just feel my way through a game.”The Red Sox will counter with left-hander David Price (0-1, 9.95 ERA over two starts this postseason) in pursuit of their first AL pennant since 2013. Price remains winless over 11 career postseason starts (0-9, 6.16 ERA) having not factored into the decision in Game 2 after allowing four runs on five hits and four walks over 4 2/3 innings. However, with their 7-5 win, the Red Sox became the first team to claim victory in a postseason start made by Price.Price warmed up in the bullpen during the eighth inning on Wednesday, poised to bail out closer Craig Kimbrel if need be. Kimbrel scuffled, allowing a run on two hits and three walks over two innings but held fast and sealed the 8-6 victory that gave Boston a commanding series lead.“We know we’re up 3-1,” Boston manager Alex Cora said. “But they’re a good team. They came back last year against the Yankees. They lost Game 6 of the World Series in Dodger Stadium and they won Game 7.“It’s not over. We know that. But to have a chance to finish (Thursday); that’s always good. We’re just going to show up (Thursday), get the information, play hard, and see what happens.” Is it good if you give up 32 home runs in your first 12 games? Because that’s what the Orioles have done."WhiteFanposts Fanshots Sections Commentary & AnalysisOrioles ProspectsOrioles Game RecapsOrioles News and RumorsCamdencastBird DroppingsThursday Bird Droppings: Where the Orioles keep allowing dingersNew,736commentsIs it good if you give up 32 home runs in your first 12 games? Because that’s what the Orioles have done.EDTShareTweetShareShareThursday Bird Droppings: Where the Orioles keep allowing dingersTommy Gilligan-USA TODAY SportsHello, friends.The Orioles are a team on a mission. That mission is to give up as many home runs as possible. After last night’s 10-3 loss to the Athletics, the Orioles have allowed a mind-blowing 32 dingers to opposing teams. That includes home runs in every one of the 12 games so far this season Justin Bour Jersey , which according to a MASN graphic during last night’s broadcast ties a club record for most games allowing a home run to start a season.It is April, still. The weather is not warm. Imagine what will happen to these jabronis once the weather actually heats up. There is, of course, always the possibility that the intervening couple of months of instruction will lead to some improvement, or that roster moves shuffling off some of the flotsam will lead to pitchers who are slightly better and have a bit more potential starting to pitch instead.If you missed that record-tying loss last night, make sure to check out Stacey Folkemer’s recap of the not-so-lovely totals to find out how the Orioles ended up with their sixth loss in their last seven games. The team is 5-7 now and it’s not hard to think that the O’s might have seen .500 or better for the last time this season.The fun first week of the season has given way to reality in a hurry. A number of players on this Orioles team probably aren’t good enough to be in MLB. The Orioles will be thoroughly assessing which fit in that category, which could be placeholders, and which might actually be a part of the next good O’s team. So far there aren’t many in that last group, but then, Mike Elias said back at FanFest that he didn’t want to place undue emphasis on something that’s not strategically relevant. He meant winning in 2019 as the thing that’s not strategically relevant. He’s not wrong. There was little opportunity for him to fix a team that went 47-115 last year with a previous regime leaving him a bad farm system. Just because it’s part of the plan won’t make the results any more fun for O’s fans this year.The Orioles will try to salvage a split of this four-game series against the Athletics with a getaway afternoon game today at 12:35 Eastern. Dylan Bundy and Aaron Brooks are the scheduled starting pitchers.Around the blogO’sphereO’s hoping break may benefit Davis (Orioles.com)Chris Davis pinch hit in the ninth inning of last night’s loss and extended his MLB record hitless streak to 0-50.Chris Davis set a hitless streak record with a dose of bad luck (McCovey Chronicles)Our friends at SB Nation’s Giants blog found some at-bats where you could probably say Davis deserved a hit. Yet as we know: Deserve got nothin’ to do with it.Former Orioles OF Nick Markakis has cash, five guns stolen from Atlanta home (Baltimore Sun)They just stole a whole safe out of his house! I’m no criminal justice professional, but that doesn’t sound much like a random burglary to me.Orioles considering whether to place Bleier on injured list (School of Roch)When even Bleier is giving quotes like “There’s definitely still dealing with issues from the surgery,” it seems like it’s time to stop considering and just do it.Latest ruling in MASN case allows Orioles to take payment dispute to independent arbiter (Baltimore Sun)The confusing, never-ending case has another twist. As far as I can tell http://www.marlinsfanproshop.com/authen ... tro-jersey , the latest flap is over MASN not paying the Nationals any profits last year. MASN’s contention seems to be that if MLB forces it to pay the rights fees (plus back pay) that the Nationals want, there will be no profits to share. The Nationals sought to prevent this avenue of the dispute from being resolved by an independent arbiter, instead seeking to have it resolved by MLB. A judge said no.Birthdays and anniversariesToday in 2002, the Orioles beat the then-Devil Rays by a 15-6 score. Included in this game was a team-record 12 runs scored in a single inning. David Segui, Jeff Conine, and Mike Bordick all drove in three runs for the O’s, who raised their record to 2-6 with the win. Sidney Ponson still gave up six runs in four innings.There are a few former Orioles who were born on this day. They are: 2014-15 outfielder Alejandro De Aza, 1992 reserve infielder Steve Scarsone, 1981 four-gamer Willie Royster, and the late Art Quirk, who pitched in seven games for the 1962 Orioles.Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Your birthday buddies for today include: surgeon James Parkinson (1755) and wrestler Goldust (1969). That’s not a long list. You also share a birthday with two Red Sox and one Yankee, but I don’t want to ruin your day by mentioning any of them.On this day in history...In 1814, the War of the Sixth Coalition came to an end with the Treaty of Fontainebleau, which forced Napoleon Bonaparte out of power and into exile Nick Wittgren Jersey , for a little while at least.In 1868, the last shogun of Japan, Tokugawa Yoshinobu, surrendered Edo Castle to imperial forces, marking the end of the Tokugawa shogunate that had reigned since 1603.In 1951, during the Korean War, President Harry Truman relieved five-star general Douglas MacArthur from his command, in part over concerns that MacArthur was not respecting the authority of the civilian leadership over him.In 1970, Apollo 13 launched into space. Six days later it returned to Earth. There’s a movie about what happened in between.**And that’s the way it is in Birdland on April 11 - or at least, until something happens later when the Orioles finish their series against the Athletics. Have a safe Thursday. Go O’s!