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Five Orioles top prospects in 2013


Five Orioles top prospects in 2013

The Orioles have been criticized for having a weak farm system. When Dan Duquette assumed his position as executive vice president of baseball operations last November, he said it was vital to shore up the minor leagues.

One of the two best players from the Orioles system,  Manny Machado, played an unexpected and key role in the team’s success this year.

Here are five who could help in 2012

1) Dylan Bundy

Now considered the top pitching prospect in all of baseball, Bundy got a surprise call to help the Orioles a few hours after an 18-inning game in Seattle.

Bundy had been unhittable at Delmarva and merely excellent at Frederick and Bowie. While manager Buck Showalter wanted a look at Bundy, in late August, the decision was made not to call him up.

The Orioles wanted him to work on his control after Bowie finished its playoff run. Bundy went off to the Instructional League in Sarasota, Fla.

He got the surprise call to come to Seattle to help a depleted bullpen.

A few days later, Bundy was used in a crucial situation in Boston, and later pitched an inning in Baltimore. He’s allowed one hit in 1 2/3 innings.

Bundy will probably start 2013 with Norfolk and perhaps join the Orioles in June.

2) Kevin Gausman

Gausman was the Orioles’ first draft pick in June. He pitched for Aberdeen, Frederick and Bowie, where he teamed with Bundy.

It won’t be the last time.

The Orioles were impressed with his velocity and maturity. A self-assured 21-year-old, Gausman will probably start next season at Bowie and he could be in Baltimore late in the summer.

The Orioles hope that Gausman is their last high draft pick for some time. He’s one they’re very high on.

3) L.J. Hoes

Like Bundy, the Orioles weren’t going to call Hoes up in September, but after Nick Markakis was injured, they reconsidered. Hoes lives in Mitchellville, Md., not far from Baltimore, and was the third round pick in 2008.

Hoes mostly watched in the three weeks he was with the club. After he was moved up from Bowie to Norfolk, Hoes batted .300.

The 22-year-old may not start the season with Baltimore, but he’s currently the best position prospect in the system.

4) Xavier Avery

Unlike Machado, Avery is still a rookie by major league standards. His 103 plate appearances were 27 short of the number needed to disqualify him.

Avery batted .223 in 32 games with the Orioles. His longest stint came in May after Nolan Reimold was hurt.

He showed off some speed; his six stolen bases were third on the club, and lots of enthusiasm.

Avery saw some late action with the team as a pinch-runner. If Nate McLouth and Reimold are both on the club, there may not be an immediate spot for him. He should see more action in 2013.

5) Jonathan Schoop

Hoes and Schoop are currently in the Arizona Fall League. Schoop and Manny Machado were a fine double play combination at Delmarva, Frederick and Bowie.

They were broken up when Machado was recalled to play third.

The Orioles need a second baseman, but at 21, Schoop is still a year away, a scout who has seen him regularly believes.

Philadelphia asked for Schoop when they were offering Joe Blanton. The Orioles declined to part with him.

Schoop, who is playing third base in the AFL, is more comfortable at short than at second. At Bowie, he committed 13 errors at second base and eight more at short after Machado was called up.



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Indians' 14-hit victory hands Orioles 8th loss in 9 games


Indians' 14-hit victory hands Orioles 8th loss in 9 games

BALTIMORE — The Cleveland Indians figured it would only be a matter of time before their struggling offense provided some support to a solid starting rotation.

Jose Ramirez and the rest of the batting order finally got into a groove Sunday, and the result was a 14-hit attack that carried Corey Kluber and the Indians past the Baltimore Orioles 7-3.

Cleveland came into the game with a .211 team batting average and ranked second-to-last in the AL in runs scored. On this day, however, Ramirez hit a solo shot in the fourth inning and a two-run drive in the ninth, and Yan Gomes had three hits to lift his batting average 41 points to .261.

"When things are not going my way, I stay positive and work it," Ramirez said through a translator. "I know eventually I'm going to break out."

Ramirez has three homers in two games and a team-leading seven for the season.

"I try not to do too much," Ramirez said. "I just look for a good pitch and then I hit it somewhere."


Kluber yielded two home runs to Manny Machado, but the Indians twice came from behind before tacking on three runs in the ninth.

"I thought we did a pretty good job," manager Terry Francona said. "When they came back, we came back at them. We kept pushing and took some better swings."

Kluber (3-1) allowed three runs and six hits over seven-plus innings. The reigning AL Cy Young Award winner walked none and struck out four to move past Charles Nagy into sixth place on the Indians' career strikeout list with 1,238.

"It doesn't matter if you feel you pitched well or didn't pitch well. The goal is to end the game with more runs they do," Kluber said. "That's what we did."

Machado's third multihomer game of the season wasn't enough to prevent the Orioles from losing for the ninth time in 10 games, a skid that has dropped them 10 games under .500 (6-16).

"You know what? There's no excuse for what's happening," Machado said. "We need to play better overall. Nobody is in here pointing fingers. We are in here together, and we are going to ride or die together."

Andrew Cashner (1-3) gave up four runs and eight hits in six innings, walking two and striking out seven. He's 0-3 with 7.41 ERA in three lifetime appearances against the Indians.

After Machado connected in the first inning, Cleveland went up 2-1 in the fourth when Edwin Encarnacion and Yonder Alonso hit successive doubles following a leadoff homer by Ramirez.

Baltimore regained the lead in the bottom half. After Machado homered, Adam Jones doubled and scored on a single by Chris Davis.

A pair of walks and run-scoring singles by Francisco Lindor and Michael Brantley put the Indians up 4-3 in the fifth.

"Once you get the lead, you can't give it up," Cashner lamented.


Indians: CF Bradley Zimmer was a late scratch with a mild right ankle sprain. He was replaced by Rajai Davis.

Orioles: LF Trey Mancini missed a second straight game with a swollen right knee. ... DH Mark Trumbo (strained right quad) will begin a three-game stint with Double-A Bowie on Monday, then play three games with Triple-A Norfolk later in the week, manager Buck Showalter said. He won't be rushed to return. "It's important we get it right the first time," Showalter said.


Indians right-hander Josh Tomlin threw a side session Saturday and is expected to start Tuesday against the Cubs. Francona opted to skip Tomlin's last scheduled start Wednesday to reset the rotation after Cleveland had two straight games postponed last weekend.


Indians: Carlos Carrasco (3-0, 3.48 ERA) starts the series finale Monday night. The right-hander is 9-0 with a 1.75 ERA over his past 11 starts since Aug. 27.

Orioles: RHP Kevin Gausman (1-1, 5.57) makes his fifth start of the season after allowing 27 hits -- including six homers -- over 21 innings.


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Orioles bats stay silent against Cleveland

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Orioles bats stay silent against Cleveland

BALTIMORE -- Mike Clevenger pitched a two-hitter in his first career complete game, and the Cleveland Indians hit three solo homers off Chris Tillman in a 4-0 victory over the Baltimore Orioles on Saturday.

Jose Ramirez went 3 for 4 with his team-leading fifth home run. Yan Gomes and Yonder Alonso also went deep for Cleveland, which came into the game ranked second-to-last in the AL in runs and last in batting average.

Clevenger (2-0) hardly needed the offensive support. Pitching on seven days' rest, the right-hander struck out three, walked two and allowed only one runner past first base.

The only two hits he allowed were singles by Manny Machado in the fourth inning and Chance Sisco in the fifth.

It was Clevenger's 35th career start. His previous longest outing was 7 1/3 innings, earlier this month against Kansas City.

While Clevenger is unbeaten in 11 starts since July 31, Tillman has experienced an opposite fate. This was his 22nd straight start without a victory, dating back to his first outing last season.

Tillman (0-4) gave up four runs, eight hits and a walk in six innings. The three home runs were one more than he yielded in his first three starts this season.

Michael Brantley hit a run-scoring groundout in the first inning and Gomes connected in the fourth for a 2-0 lead.

The Orioles put runners on the corners with one out in the fourth, their lone threat against Clevenger, who responded by retiring Tim Beckham on a short fly to left and getting Anthony Santander to ground out.

Ramirez led off the sixth with a drive to left, and Alonso hit a two-out shot that landed on Eutaw Street beyond the right-field scoreboard.