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Friday, September 7, 2012
Trending: Big night for Orioles, Cal Ripken

By Bill Speros
Special to ESPN.com

Cal Ripken
Cal Ripken was honored during an on-field ceremony Thursday night at Camden Yards.
The political conventions are over and it appears the Baltimore Orioles have gotten the biggest bump in the polls. When the Republican convention began in Tampa last week, the Orioles were 3.5 games out of first place. By the time President Barack Obama finished his acceptance speech Thursday night at the Democratic convention in Charlotte, N.C., the Orioles were tied for first place with the Yankees in the AL East at 77-60.

Something I whipped up to celebrate the @Orioles being one ga... on Twitpic

From BrianPShea via Twitpic

Just want to tweet this out in celebration of the @orioles being tied for first yet again! twitpic.com/aqvfur

— Brian Shea (@BrianPShea) September 7, 2012
Pennant fever has returned to epidemic levels in Baltimore. The Orioles hammered six home runs in beating the Yankees 10-6 Thursday night at a sold-out wild and raucous Camden Yards -- all of it coming on Cal Ripken Statue Night.

FINAL: #Orioles 10, Yankees 6. And yes, that means we're tied atop the AL East once again! #BUCKleUp twitter.com/Orioles/status…

— Baltimore Orioles (@Orioles) September 7, 2012


The players certainly enjoyed it:

Wow...The Yard was rockin tonight! Hope to see y'all back at the ballpark tomorrow!

— Zach Britton (@zbritton) September 7, 2012

The loudest I've ever heard Camden Yards. I did get them goosebumps tonight

— Adam Jones (@SimplyAJ10) September 7, 2012

Keep it up fans. That atmosphere was awesome! See you tomorrow? #OriolesMagic #RockTheYard

— Steve Johnson (@SJohnson831) September 7, 2012


They aren't the only ones who could be cashing in:

80-1 @lvsuperbook (on March 26) RT @scott_kater: @viewfromvegas what were the preseason odds for the orioles to win the division this year?

— Dave Tuley (@ViewFromVegas) September 7, 2012


The Orioles -- who got home runs by Matt Wieters, Robert Andino, Adam Jones, Chris Davis and two from Mark Reynolds -- took a big lead thanks to a four-run first:

REYNOLDS! Yes, he did it again! That's 7 homeruns in the last 7 games! 3 straight games with a HR. Orioles 6, Yankees 1 in the 6th #BUCKleUP

— Baltimore Orioles (@Orioles) September 7, 2012


But that didn't last -- the Yankees scored five in the top of the eighth:

Ichiro's #Yankees moment? YES! And this game is tied.

— New York Yankees (@Yankees) September 7, 2012


Baltimore finally put things away as Jones led off a four-run inning with a solo shot:

Ironic that the O's waited until the 8th inning for great drama on a night paying tribute to the best #8 in team history? What a game! #o's

— Father John Enzler (@FrJohnEnzler) September 7, 2012


It was big night for the Orioles long before the first pitch -- thrown by No. 8 himself -- as they honored Ripken on the 17th anniversary of his 2,131st consecutive game, which broke Lou Gehrig's all-time "Ironman" record. A bronze, bigger-than-life Ripken statue was unveiled before the game as part of the team's year-long series of honoring past Orioles greats, including Earl Weaver, Frank Robinson, Eddie Murray, Jim Palmer and Brooks Robinson (scheduled for Sept. 29.)

From Ripken Baseball via lockerz

Cal Ripken, Jr. posing with his statue which was unveiled moments ago. #CongratsCal #Orioles lockerz.com/s/241984718

— Ripken Baseball (@RipkenBaseball) September 6, 2012


Fans were given Ripken mini-statues, as well, to mark the occasion.

By the way, the Nationals have a 7.5-game lead in the NL East. #BeltwaySeries anyone?

Nats-Orioles World Series would be incredible.

— Cody Elliott (@VTCody) September 7, 2012


Someone had to say it. We'll close with this word of caution from Jones:

Allllloooonng waaaaay to goooo. #StayHungry

— Adam Jones (@SimplyAJ10) September 7, 2012

Hungry, indeed.

If you see any offbeat links from your favorite sports site or catchy tweets that might be of interest to others, pass them along to me @billsperos or bsperos1@gmail.com.