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Gausman shines, but O's fall late to Rangers

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Gausman shines, but O's fall late to Rangers

BALTIMORE --- The Orioles head off to Chicago after their first series loss in a month. After three games with 15 home runs, it was a tight, tense eight innings, full of clutch pitching and superlative plays in the field. No runs were scored.

In the ninth, the Texas Rangers broke loose and scored and beat the Orioles 2-0 before 31,915 at Oriole Park on Thursday night.

“It was the first one who was going to crack. Unfortunately, it was us, but overall, good game. Good game to watch, no matter if you’re a player or a spectator, it was a good game,” Adam Jones said.

Kevin Gausman was brought up for the start and pitched into the seventh inning, allowing just four hits. Texas’ Yovani Gallardo allowed just two hits in six innings.

“Both starting pitchers went out and dealt. Their bullpen held us in check, and we cracked first,” Jones said.

In the ninth, Chaz Roe (2-1) walked leadoff hitter Shin-Soo Choo. Elvis Andrus bunted Choo to second, and he scored when Leonys Martin lined a single to center.

With two outs, Rougned Odor singled to right to score Martin.

Manager Buck Showalter was upbeat after the loss. His team got just three hits, but he marveled at what he saw with the glove.

“What a great game we had defensively,” Showalter said.

Andrus hit a long fly to the left field corner with two outs in the second. David Lough ran hard for it, caught up to it, and hit the yellow tape on the left field wall, just below the foul pole, catching it for the third out.

The Orioles’ best offensive chance came in the third when they loaded the bases with two outs, but Chris Davis struck out.

In the top of the sixth, Odor led off with a drive to center. He unwisely tried for a triple, and an excellent thrown from Jones to J.J. Hardy to Machado caught him.

Gausman left with one out and runners on first and second in the seventh. Darren O’Day, who’s used to extricating himself from bases loaded jams, struck out Andrus and retired Martin on a fly to center to end the seventh.

It was a fine performance for Gausman, who was certainly helped by the series of excellent plays in the field. He walked two and striking out seven. The seven strikeouts equaled a career best.

“He gave us a really good effort. He gave us a chance to win. We just obviously didn't put much together offensively. Gallardo came off another good start, so we knew we were going to be challenged tonight there. We got the type of pitching that gives you a chance,” Showalter said.

Showalter wouldn’t commit to another start by Gausman, but he is going with the team to Chicago.

“I don’t know if I’m making a statement, but I just wanted to pitch well. That’s all I want to do is pitch, whether it’s here or in Triple-A. I just want to pitch. I just want to pitch and throw a lot of innings. Going into the year, going onto the DL, that’s something that obviously I didn’t plan. I wanted this year to be when I get close to 200 innings, but it’s just not going to happen so now it’s just focusing on getting my innings and going out there and competing, helping the team,” Gausman said.

O’Day retired all four batters he faced, and Brian Matusz couldn’t end the eighth, but prolonged it by allowing a single to Mitch Moreland and a walk to Fielder.

Against Roe, Adrian Beltre grounded slowly to Machado, who was charged with an error when he couldn’t field it. With the bases loaded, Josh Hamilton flied to center, ending the eighth.

Gallardo extended his scoreless streak to 29 1/3 innings.

Sam Freeman recorded four outs, and his fifth batter, Lough singled. Machado made life easier for Keone Kela (5-5) by hitting into a double play.

Shawn Tolleson pitched the ninth for his 12th save of the season.

The Orioles (42-38) had won seven and split one of their last eight series.

“The most important thing is to win series, you obviously can’t go in trying to say I’m gonna sweep everybody. But if you win two out of three in this case they won three out of four against us, but if you win the series, I think you’ll probably have a good shot come September first to see where you’re at in the standings,” Jones said.

NOTES: Davis’ 11-game hitting streak ended. … Jonathan Schoop homered in a rehab game at Frederick. He was 2-for-4. … The Orioles begin a three-game series against the White Sox on Friday. Ubaldo Jimenez (7-3, 3.09) faces John Danks (3-8, 5.38).

[MORE: Orioles designate Delmon Young for assignment, add a pitcher]

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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."

RELATED: VEGAS SETS OVER/UNDERS FOR 2018 MLB SEASON

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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