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Orioles' ups and downs

THE BALTIMORE SUN

"New" Orioles - UP - A near - .500 August (14-15) was better than anything since April. It's not always pretty with kids, but it beats the same old thing.

Attendance - DOWN - Rebuilding carries a price. Last week witnessed the two smallest gates to watch a regularly scheduled game in Camden Yards history. Thirteen home dates remain, all against contenders. The Yard has never looked this green.

Offense - DOWN - Numbers are down - four runs now count as a breakout - but watching National League-style ball beats the swing-and-stumble attack of recent times. And did anyone notice the Orioles won on Albert Belle's day off?

Grover - UP - Mike Hargrove handled his first return to Jacobs Field since last October's firing with grace. Classy words cover deep bruises.

Moose - EVEN - Mike Mussina now keeps his own pitch counts. But four consecutive quality starts haven't helped his chances for a .500 season.

Steve Melewski - UP - August passed without a trade, so WBAL broadcast type gets dinner on Syd Thrift. The menu? We'll refrain.

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