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Big inning dooms Orioles in 6-4 loss


Big inning dooms Orioles in 6-4 loss

GAME SUMMARY: Evan Gattis had a three-run home run and Luis Valbuena followed with a solo shot to highlight a five-run third inning to give the Houston Astros a 6-4 win over the Orioles on Tuesday night.

Collin McHugh (6-2) allowed four runs to the Orioles (23-28) in the second, but the Astros (33-20) answered with the five-run inning off Mike Wright (2-1).

Gregerson picked up his 15th save.

McHugh and Pat Neshek held the Orioles hitless for six innings. Luke Gregerson allowed one hit in ninth and picked up his 15th save.

THE GOOD: Manny Machado turned a nifty double play on Marwin Gonzalez to end the second. On Monday night, Gonzalez turned a most difficult DP on the Orioles.

THE BAD: After three strong starts, Wright allowed five runs on eight hits in five innings.

THE UGLY: Travis Snider forgot how many outs there were in the fifth inning. He took off from first on Adam Jones’ fly ball to center and was easily doubled off to end the inning.


NOTABLE: The Orioles have three losing streaks of at least four games.

STRUGGLING: With the loss, the Orioles are five games below .500 for the first time this year.

OUCH: J.J. Hardy had an MRI to check on his left oblique. He missed his second straight game.

WEIRD: Preston Tucker’s ground ball took a strong hop over Steve Pearce at second, helping set up the big inning.

TRIPLING: For the second straight game, Ryan Flaherty had an RBI triple.

SCORELESS: Reliever Chaz Roe threw two more scoreless innings. Since joining the Orioles late last month, Roe has pitched 9 1/3 innings without giving up a run.

REHAB: Matt Wieters was scheduled to catch Bud Norris in Norfolk on Tuesday night, but it was rained out. They’ll try again on Wednesday.

COMING UP: Miguel Gonzalez (5-3, 3.48) faces Lance McCullers (1-0, 2.40) on Wednesday night at 8:10 p.m.

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Orioles round out starting pitching rotation, finalize 4-year contract with Alex Cobb

USA Today Sports

Orioles round out starting pitching rotation, finalize 4-year contract with Alex Cobb

SARASOTA, Fla. -- Alex Cobb's comfort and familiarity with the AL East was the deciding factor in his decision to sign with the Baltimore Orioles.

"They used the AL East and the success I've had in it to their advantage," the 30-year-old right-hander said Wednesday after finalizing a $57 million, four-year contract. "They kept challenging me with it and I love the challenge of pitching in this division and they know that over the times we talked. They did a really good job of making me feel like this is where I need to be."

Cobb gets $14 million in each of the first three seasons and $15 million in 2021, and he would earn a $500,000 bonus in each year he pitches 180 innings. Baltimore will defer $6.5 million from this year's salary and $4.5 million in each of the next three seasons.

He gets $2 million of the deferred money on Nov. 30, 2022, and $1.8 million annually on Nov. 30 from 2023-32. If he doesn't pitch at least 130 innings in 2020, an additional $5.25 million of the final's year salary would get deferred, payable $1.75 million annually on Nov. 30 from 2033-35.


Cobb has a full no-trade this year, then can list 10 teams from 2019-21 that he cannot be dealt to without his consent.

He had spent his entire six-season big league career with Tampa Bay and was the last big-name starting pitcher available in a slow-moving free agent market. He joined Andrew Cashner and Chris Tillman, who were signed last month, in a revamped rotation that includes holdovers Dylan Bundy and Kevin Gausman.

Cobb was 12-10 with a 3.66 ERA in 29 starts last season. He pitched 179 1/3 innings in his first full year back after missing nearly two seasons because of Tommy John surgery.

He had turned down the Rays' $17.4 million qualifying offer in November, and Baltimore pursued him from the start of free agency.

"They didn't stop bothering me the whole offseason," Cobb said. "They were very persistent, and I think that you notice that confidence they have in you just by the way they speak to you and the questions you ask and not questioning anything that's gone on. Everyone's got flaws that they come with and potential things you could really harp on that might not be your strong suit, but they never went down that avenue. They always told me how much they like certain aspects of what I do on and off the field, and just kept repeating how well I fit in here."


Cobb is 48-35 with a 3.50 in six big league seasons. Baltimore will lose its third-highest draft pick, currently No. 51, and the Rays get an extra selection after the first round as compensation.

Jose Mesa Jr. was designated for assignment Wednesday to clear a roster spot.

Baltimore opens on March 29 at home against Minnesota, but Cobb won't be ready to pitch then. He has agreed to be optioned to a minor league affiliate to help build up innings.

"I'm going to be pushing it as quick as I can," Cobb said. "That's going to be up to them. They've invested in me for a four-year period and as much as we know how much every game matters even early in April, we're going to have to look out for the overall future of this whole thing and whole contract and whatever they determine to be the way to protect me and my feedback from the bullpens I'm going to be throwing here in the next few days will probably determine the timeline."

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Orioles agree to one-year deal with pitcher Chris Tillman, according to reports

USA Today Sports

Orioles agree to one-year deal with pitcher Chris Tillman, according to reports

SARASOTA, Fla. -- A person familiar with the negotiations says pitcher Chris Tillman and the Baltimore Orioles have agreed to a $3 million, one-year contract.

The deal includes performance bonuses, the person told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Monday because the deal had not yet been announced.

Tillman was 1-7 with a 7.84 ERA in 19 starts and five relief appearances last year. He would be the second starter added by the Orioles in the past week after right-hander Andrew Cashner.

Tillman likely would join right-handers Dylan Bundy, Kevin Gausman and Cashner in the rotation.

The 29-year-old right-hander lives in Sarasota and had been working out at the Orioles' facility before spring training. Manager Buck Showalter watched Tillman throw and was impressed.

Tillman began last season on the disabled list with right shoulder stiffness.

"Better than he did last year at this time. I think he's got the chance to pitch well for somebody this year," Showalter said. "A lot of the challenges he had last year -- this time last year -- aren't there. Somebody's going to reap the benefits."

Tillman's is 73-55 with a 4.43 ERA in nine major league seasons, all with the Orioles. He won 16 games in both 2013 and 2016.

"He's a guy when he's healthy you can bank on him giving you 200 innings and keeping his ERA between a 3 and a 4," Gausman said. "That in the AL East is always going to be very valuable."