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Davis' long home run gives Orioles a record start


Davis' long home run gives Orioles a record start

BOSTON – Buck Showalter’s Orioles have the best start in franchise history. Never have these Orioles, who won three World Series, started a season with six consecutive wins.

On Monday, the Orioles surpassed the 1970 iteration, which won 108 games and the World Series and began the season with five wins in succession.

To be sure, Showalter is enjoying the ride, but as always he’s being cautious.

“It’s just six games we don’t have to win now. There’s not much conversation about it at all unless you guys ask them and then they have to think up some answer. They’re more interested in the end of the season. We’ve got, what, 156 more? So, grab a seat,” Showalter said.

If you had taken Showalter’s advice and grabbed a seat for the ninth inning, you would have watched Chris Davis slam a mammoth ninth inning three-run home run into the batter’s eye in center field that was measured at 449 feet.

Davis’ home run sent the Orioles on their way to a 9-7 win over the Boston Red Sox before 37,160 at Fenway Park on Monday.

It was Boston’s home opener and the center of attention was another slugger, David Ortiz, who is retiring after this season.

Ortiz came into play in the bottom of the ninth after Mookie Betts hit a home run off Zach Britton and Dustin Pedroia singled and Xander Bogaerts walked.

Pitching coach Dave Wallace ambled to the mound and foretold Britton what would happen.

He looked at me and told me, ‘Hey, I like where you are right now,’” Britton said.

“Obviously, not with the baserunners, but where I was getting to with my delivery. He could see it. I was starting to slow down a little bit. He was like, ‘Hey, a groundball right here and a strikeout. Let’s go. Let’s get it.’”

Ortiz hit into a double play, Hanley Ramirez struck out, and Britton had his third save.

“That was like two games in one game. It felt like a long game, maybe it was just me,” Davis said.

Davis’ home run was his third of the season and capped off a five-RBI game that included a two-run single a five-run third.

He had the single off Boston (3-3) starter David Price, who didn’t have his best stuff, and the home run off new closer Craig Kimbrel (0-1).

“We knew we were going to have our work cut out, first road trip, opening day for those guys, they were going to be jacked up,” Davis said.

“I know we didn’t necessarily need a three-run home run, but we’ll take it.”

Davis wasn’t the only Orioles offensive hero. There was Mark Trumbo, who had his first extra-base hit for the Orioles, a three-run homer that immediately followed Davis’ single.

Trumbo’s first nine Orioles hits were singles.

“I knew one of them would go for extra bases but it was fun to get the RBI too. It was something I hadn’t done yet, either. You know it’s going to happen, you just don't know when. It was a great situation for it,” Trumbo said.

He’s blended seamlessly into the team.

“It’s great. You win, it’s going to be a great clubhouse, great environment. But I think it’s been established here. These guys are used to winning, coming back late in games and that’s invaluable,” Trumbo said.

Brad Brach (2-0), who has pitched 5 1/3 hitless innings this season, worked the eighth.

Yovani Gallardo gave up five runs on seven hits in five innings, and got to watch the fun after he left.

“I’ve said it since Day 1, guys are going to hit. Seeing it on the other side of the dugout. And now in this clubhouse, on this team. They hit you with everything,” Gallardo said.

Adam Jones, who hadn’t played in the last three games, was inserted into the game as a defensive replacement in the ninth inning. By doing that, Jones, who has been hampered by a rib cage injury, can’t have a possible disabled list visit backdated to last Thursday.

“The more I thought about it, when he plays – maybe it’s tomorrow, maybe it’s the next day – if he has a big problem with it, it’s not going to be five days, it’s going to be 15. So, I said, ‘The heck with it. We’re going to try to win a game here,’” Showalter said.

NOTES: Brian Matusz allowed six runs on seven hits in one inning for Bowie. …Joey Rickard is the first Orioles rookie to begin a season with hits in his first six games. …The Orioles’ five-run third inning ended their 31-inning scoreless streak at Fenway. … Matt Wieters tied a career high by striking out four times. … Dating back to last season, the Orioles have won 11 straight games.


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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."