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Chen pitches seven strong in Orioles' 2-1 win

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Chen pitches seven strong in Orioles' 2-1 win

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Wei-Yin Chen is probably in his final weeks with the Orioles. A pending free agent, Chen has perhaps two starts remaining for the Orioles.

In his years, the Orioles have two postseason appearances, and in most games, Chen has kept his team in the game.

It certainly was true on Saturday night as Chen worked a solid seven innings in the Orioles’ 2-1 win over the Tampa Bay Rays before 17,053 at Tropicana Field.

Chen (10-7) allowed a run on six hits without walking a batter. He struck out seven and hit a batter. He’s 45-31 in his career.

“It’s hard to do, especially when you’ve been around the league a long as he ha, and everybody know what he’s going to do, and he’s got one of the higher percentages of fastballs,” manager Buck Showalter said.

Chen has 19 quality starts this season.

“Of course I am happy I can have that number,” Chen said through his translator, “but we’ve still got a couple of games left in the season, and I hope I can push that number up.”

Chen is likely to command a contract that far exceeds what the Orioles will be willing to pay him, but he doesn’t want to talk money now.

“That doesn’t really change anything for me because we are still in the season. And every time I go out there I just want to pitch a good game and so I don’t want to think about that during the season,” Chen said.

He’s happy to let Scott Boras, who represents him, Chris Davis and Matt Wieters, handle negotiations.

“They will do everything for me after the season o I don’t want to worry about that,” Chen said.

Manny Machado bunted for a base hit with one out off Erasmo Ramirez in the first. Davis doubled Machado to third. Machado scored on Adam Jones’ grounder to short.

The Rays (71-77) tied it in the bottom of the first on Brandon Guyer’s leadoff single and a run-scoring double by Richie Shaffer.

Davis doubled to lead off the sixth and scored on Jones’ single to give the Orioles (73-75) a 2-1 lead.

After the first inning, Chen allowed two hits until the seventh. Asdrubal Cabrera and James Loney singled, but Chen got out of the inning, ending it with a strikeout of Joey Butler.

Ramirez allowed two runs on nine hits in seven innings.

Darren O’Day hit Grady Sizemore in his right knee with one out in the eighth. Mikie Mahtook ran for him. Mahtook tried to steal second, but Evan Longoria was called out by home plate umpire Dale Scott for interfering with Wieters’ throw.

“Longoria took a swing, and he hit me with the backswing first. I think the umpire saw that. He also crossed the plate and that’s what he called, so that means Longoria is out and the runner has to go back to first,” Wieters said.

Then, Mahtook, who was sent back to first, tried again with Logan Forsythe batting and was thrown out ending the eighth.

“I thought if he was going to be aggressive with one of their best hitters up, he was probably going to try and take off again with Forsythe,” Wieters said.

O’Day was able to get out of a challenging eighth.

“It was an interesting inning, for sure,” O’Day said.

He wasn’t as certain of the rule as Wieters was.

“Obviously, I’m in favor of it. It helped me out in a tough situation,” O’Day said.

Zach Britton, who had three days off after pitching three in a row, pitched a perfect ninth for his 34th save. Jonathan Schoop made a great play to end the game when he backhanded Tim Beckham’s grounder behind second base.

The Orioles remain mathematically alive in the wild card hunt. They remain 4 ½ games behind Houston.

“That’s why we are here to play and try to get into the playoffs,” Schoop said. “We need to keep pushing and try to win as many games as we can and make a push for it.”

There are 14 games left, and the Orioles will try and win their fourth consecutive series with a win on Sunday.

“We’re realistic,” O’Day said. “We need to win every one of them. We knew we were a better team than what we were showing for a while. We’re playing better baseball. We’re going to play close game, especially with these guys, and you’ve got to win those close games to win the series.”

NOTES: Bowie beat Reading 7-2 to win the deciding fifth game of the Eastern League championship. It’s the Baysox’s first title. … Jonathan Schoop has a 12-game hitting streak. … Kevin Gausman (3-6, 4.15) pitches against Jake Odorizzi (8-8, 3.26) at 1:10 p.m. on Sunday.

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

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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."

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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 hectic few 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