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After beating Birds, Yankees look to tame Tigers

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After beating Birds, Yankees look to tame Tigers

NEW YORK (AP) CC Sabathia boosted the New York Yankees past the Baltimore Orioles, ending a spellbinding six-week drama that drove and drained both teams.

New York advanced to an AL championship series matchup with Detroit, beating Baltimore 3-1 in Game 5 of their AL division series on Friday behind Sabathia's four-hitter.

Andy Pettitte, the career postseason leader with 19 wins, starts Game 1 for the Yankees on Saturday night with a rested bullpen behind him, opposed by Doug Fister. It's a rematch of last year's division series won by the Tigers in five games and provides a platform for Detroit's Miguel Cabrera, baseball's first Triple Crown winner in 45 years.

``I don't know if you can shut him down, but try to keep him from doing too much damage in the series, and that's key to us winning,'' Pettitte said.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi faces another big decision. After benching slumping Alex Rodriguez for Game 5 against the Orioles, will he insert him back at third base against a Detroit team with four right-handers in its starting rotation?

To get back to the ALCS for the first time in two years, the Yankees had to shake off Baltimore. The teams were separated by no more than a game from Sept. 3-24, the longest September stretch that tight between first- and second-place clubs since the 19th century.

The Yankees had some help from the right field umpire, just as they did against the Orioles in the 1996 ALCS - hello, Jeffrey Maier.

With New York ahead 1-0 in the sixth, Nate McLouth's drive down the right-field line on a 3-1 pitch was called foul by the slimmest of margins.

Fieldin Culbreth demonstrably waved foul with both arms. Orioles manager Buck Showalter jogged onto the field to ask for a video review, and four umpires went down a tunnel on the third-base side to examine the images on a screen near their dressing room. When they ran back onto the field about two minutes later, they didn't make any signal - meaning the original call stood. McLouth struck out on the next pitch, ending the inning.

``I saw it go to the right of the pole,'' Culbreth said. ``There is netting there and it didn't touch the netting. It did not change direction,'' he added, indicating he did not think the ball grazed the pole.

Added crew chief Brian Gorman: ``We saw the same thing on the replay. There was no evidence to overturn the decision.''

McLouth wondered what the umps would decide.

``It started off fair and it was just hooking a little bit. I thought it was foul just in game speed,'' McLouth said. ``A couple of people mentioned it might've ticked the pole, but he was way closer than I was and I was satisfied after they went down and looked at the replay that it was foul.''

Steven Ellis, a fan from the Broad Channel section of Queens, caught the ball with his Yankee cap in the second deck.

``It was foul all the way, never hit the pole,'' he said.

Back in 1996, the 12-year-old Maier reached over the wall above right fielder Tony Tarasco and deflected Derek Jeter's fly ball. Umpire Richie Garcia called it a home run, which tied the score 4-all in the eighth inning, and the Yankees went on to win in the 11th.

``Just watching at home, I promise,'' Maier texted to The Associated Press after this play.

Sabathia went on to defeat the Orioles for the second time in six days, Raul Ibanez hit a go-ahead single in the fifth off Jason Hammel after former Baltimore high school star Mark Teixeira singled and swiped second in a rare steal. Diving second baseman Robert Andino just missed gloving Ibanez's hit.

Ichiro Suzuki added an RBI double off the right-center field wall in the sixth. Curtis Granderson boosted the lead to 3-0 with a second-deck solo homer against Troy Patton in the seventh.

Sabathia, who improved to 4-0 in his last eight postseason starts, didn't allow an extra-base hit. He struck out nine, walked two and matched his season high of 121 pitches.

``He didn't pitch all five, but it certainly felt like it, didn't it?'' Showalter said.

Sabathia took a one-hit shutout into the eighth but allowed Matt Wieters' leadoff single and Manny Machado's walk. Mark Reynolds struck out, and Lew Ford - starting at DH in place of Jim Thome - hit an RBI single.

Andino hit a bouncer to the third-base side that Sabathia gloved, but Eric Chavez left third uncovered and Sabathia's throw to second was late, leaving the bases loaded. With David Robertson warming up in the New York bullpen, McLouth struck out on a changeup and Sabathia escaped when J.J. Hardy hit a slow three-hopper to shortstop that Jeter, playing on a sore left ankle, charged and gloved elegantly before throwing to first just in time.

Sabathia pitched a 1-2-3 ninth, finishing a 121-pitch effort as Wieters hit a comebacker. The Yankees ran out of their dugout to celebrate on the third-base side of the mound and the Orioles walked off slowly and somberly.

``It's been about as much fun as I have had in the big leagues watching how they play the game every day, the standard they held themselves to and the way they raised the bar in Baltimore with each other,'' said Showalter, who has not reached the LCS in 14 major league seasons.

New York won for the 12th time in 23 meetings between the teams in a matchup so close the Yankees outscored the Orioles 106-102. The teams were within one run of each other at the end of 46 of 52 innings in the division series. New York totaled just 16 runs in the five games and Baltimore 10, ending a dynamic six-week struggle. After 10 different nights in September, the rivals were tied for first.

``They are a very good club and they are a very resilient club,'' Girardi said. ``People thought they were going to go away, they never went away.''

NOTES: The crowd of 47,081 was the smallest in 18 postseason games at new Yankee Stadium, which opened in 2009. ... New York is 11-3 in the ALCS. ... The 26 runs were the fewest in a five-game postseason series since St. Louis (12) and Arizona (10) combined for 22 runs in the 2001 NLDS.

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Orioles Spring Training Schedule 2018

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USA Today Sports Images

Orioles Spring Training Schedule 2018

Live baseball is close to gracing our television screens again. The Orioles haven't had the most active offseason, to put it mildly. Fans are still wondering who will make up more than half the spots in this year's rotation, and Manny Machado's upcoming free agency is looming over every decision the organization makes.

Still, it's exciting to be able to follow the team again. Not every game is televised, so get ready to constantly refresh your favorite beat writer's Twitter account for all your updates.

Even without getting to watch the games, it'll be comforting to once again check box scores in the morning to see if Jonathan Schoop is building on his breakout season, or if top-prospect Austin Hays is all he's cracked up to be (spoiler: he is).

This year's spring training will be especially interesting, considering how many big-name players will be signing in the next few weeks. The O's haven't yet made a big splash this offseason, but with the sheer volume of capable players still on the market, you have to wonder if they'll try to sign some impact players at bargain values.

Typically, the excitement of adding a new piece to the lineup or rotation has to be reignited after a long winter off, but this season, those additions will be taking place while camp is already underway.

It's going to be a hecticfew weeks as teams prepare for thier seasons, so bookmark this page to check on on the Orioles spring training schedule over the next few weeks as the team finally takes the field in 2018.

Orioles 2018 Spring Training Schedule

Friday, Feb. 23 (SS) - Rays at Orioles, 1:05 pm (MASN)
Saturday, Feb. 24 (SS) - Orioles at Phillies, 1:05 pm
Saturday, Feb. 24 (SS) - Twins at Orioles, 6:05 pm
Sunday, Feb. 25 - Orioles at Red Sox, 1:05 pm 
Monday, Feb. 26 - Tigers at Orioles, 1:05 pm
Tuesday, Feb. 27 - Orioles at Rays, 1:05 pm
Wednesday, Feb. 28 - Cardinals at Orioles, 1:05 pm (MLBN) (MASN)
Thursday, Mar. 1 - Orioles at Rays, 1:05 pm
Friday, Mar. 2 - Pirates at Orioles, 1:05 pm
Saturday, Mar. 3 (SS) - Orioles at Phillies, 1:05 pm
Sunday, Mar. 4 - Red Sox at Orioles, 1:05 pm (MASN)
Tuesday, Mar. 6 - Orioles at Twins, 1:05 pm 
Wednesday, Mar. 7 - Orioles at Rays, 1:05 pm
Thursday, Mar. 8 - Blue Jays at Orioles, 1:05 pm
Friday, Mar. 9 - Orioles at Blue Jays, 1:07 pm
Saturday, Mar. 10 (SS) - Pirates at Orioles, 1:05 pm
Sunday, Mar. 11 (SS) - Orioles at Red Sox, 1:05 pm 
Sunday, Mar. 11 (SS) - Phillies at Orioles, 6:05 pm (MASN)
Monday, Mar. 12 - Orioles at Pirates, 1:05 pm 
Tuesday, Mar. 13 - Orioles at Twins, 1:05 pm 
Wednesday, Mar. 14 - Yankees at Orioles, 1:05 pm (MLBN) (MASN)
Thursday, Mar. 15 - Orioles at Cardinals, 1:05 pm
Friday, Mar. 16 - Orioles at Mets, 1:10 pm 
Saturday, Mar. 17 (SS) - Blue Jays at Orioles, 1:05 pm
Sunday, Mar. 18 - Mets at Orioles, 1:05 pm
Monday, Mar. 19 - Orioles at Tigers, 1:05 pm
Tuesday, Mar. 20 - Rays at Orioles, 6:05 pm (MASN)
Wednesday, Mar. 21 - Orioles at Yankees, 6:35 pm 
Thursday, Mar. 22 - Red Sox at Orioles, 1:05 pm (MASN)
Friday, Mar. 23 (SS) - Rays at Orioles, 1:05 pm
Saturday, Mar. 24 - Twins at Orioles, 6:05 pm
Sunday, Mar. 25 - Orioles at Phillies, 1:05 pm 
Monday, Mar. 27 (in Norfolk, VA) - Orioles at Tides (AAA), 3:05 pm

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Baltimore Orioles add to their rotation, sign RHP Andrew Cashner

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USA Today Sports

Baltimore Orioles add to their rotation, sign RHP Andrew Cashner

SARASOTA, Fla. -- The Baltimore Orioles signed right-hander Andrew Cashner to a two-year, $16 million contract on Thursday after searching for starting pitching all offseason.

The 31-year-old Cashner is 42-64 with a 3.80 ERA in eight major league seasons with the Chicago Cubs, San Diego, Miami and Texas, including 11-11 with a 3.40 ERA for the Rangers last year. The deal with the Orioles has an option for 2020.

He'll join right-handers Dylan Bundy and Kevin Gausman in the rotation.

"I do know that they need some starting pitching, and here it is, show up every day and whoever I can help out, help out and my job is to come here and pitch and win," Cashner said.

Cashner's deal could be worth $41 million over three seasons if he pitches 200 innings annually. He gets a $3 million signing bonus, payable in equal installments each Jan. 15 from 2020 through 2021.

RELATED: VEGAS SETS OVER/UNDERS FOR 2018 MLB SEASON

Cashner has salaries of $5 million this season and $8 million in 2019, and there is a $10 million option for 2020 that would become guaranteed if he pitches 340 innings combined in the next two seasons. If he reaches 360 innings, it would become a player option.

He can make $5 million in performance bonuses each year.

There are $1,525,000 per season in bonuses based on starts: $250,000 each for 10 and 15, $625,000 for 20 and $400,000 for 30.

Cashner also can make $3,475,000 each year based on innings: $250,000 each for 110 and 120, $275,000 for 130, $350,000 for 140, $750,000 for 150 and $400,000 apiece for 170, 180, 190 and 200.

Cashner was at the Orioles' spring training facility, and was due to head to his Texas home for a few days before returning on Sunday when Baltimore's full squad is required to report. He'll likely work out with the team for the first time Monday.

He has little experience against the Orioles, but said he was excited to join the team.

"It's a lineup you can't really make a lot of mistakes against," Cashner said. "It's a lot of power in there, and I got to pitch (for) San Diego one year in Baltimore. Really cool stadium, really neat, a lot of history. It's one of my favorite places to pitch, so I'm looking forward to making that my home (stadium) every night."

RELATED: ORIOLES TO SHUFFLE UP INFIELD AHEAD OF MACHADO'S FINAL SEASON

Manager Buck Showalter said Cashner would be an ideal addition to the club.

"He's a veteran starter. That's a good deal for both us and him," Showalter said. "He's a guy who's pitched well in the American League. That's something that I think played in his favor."

Cashner said that he began negotiations with Orioles Vice President of Baseball Operations Brady Anderson last fall and in a challenging offseason for free agents, he said patience was vital.

"I don't think it's been difficult. It's been interesting. It's been different," Cashner said.

To make room for Cashner on the 40-man roster, Baltimore placed left-hander Zach Britton (Achilles) on the 60-day disabled list.