Trending: Big night for Orioles, Cal Ripken

Cal Ripken was honored during an on-field ceremony Thursday night at Camden Yards. Cal Sport Media, AP Images

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

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.

The players certainly enjoyed it:

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

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:

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

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

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

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?

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

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.