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Gonzalez, fielding both superb in Orioles 6-1 win

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Gonzalez, fielding both superb in Orioles 6-1 win

BALTIMORE –- Miguel Gonzalez is at his best when pitching against the Toronto Blue Jays. After allowing just an unearned run and three hits in 7 2/3 innings, Gonzalez is 5-0 with an 0.98 ERA in his last six starts when facing the Blue Jays.

Gonzalez’s superb outing gave the Orioles a 6-1 win over Toronto before 24,654 on Wednesday night.

It was just the Orioles’ third win in in nine games over the Blue Jays (17-18) this season.

For seven innings it appeared that Gonzalez (4-2), who threw the last complete game for the Orioles (15-17) on Sept. 3, 2014, would thrown another. In one stretch, he retired 13 straight.

“Miggy doesn't shy away from a big stage,” manager Buck Showalter said. You go through your career and you've had a lot of people tell you you couldn't do something, he doesn't take a pitch for granted up here."

In their first 32 games, the Orioles played 29 against American League East opponents. Next comes a stretch where they’ll play out of their division in 21 of 24.

“Nobody is going to or will relax. You’ve seen the schedule. You’ve just seen people you’re going to face it seems, half the season,” Showalter said.

The Orioles scored five in the second. Chris Davis and J.J. Hardy led off with walks off Aaron Sanchez. David Lough bunted them along, and both scored on Caleb Joseph’s double over third base.

Manny Machado’s double drove in Joseph, and Alejandro De Aza’s double scored Machado. After Sanchez (3-3) threw a wild pitch, De Aza scored as Jimmy Paredes beat out an infield hit.

In the third, Ezequiel Carrera was hit by a pitch, and Devon Travis singled to right. De Aza’s throw sailed to third base, and Travis took second. Josh Donaldson grounded to third and Machado made a nice pickup and dove toward the bag and tagged a leaning Carrera.

Machado, who declared “that wasn’t us,” after watching his team commit three errors on Tuesday night, ended the third by starting a 5-4-3 double play.

The snappy defense continued in the fourth when De Aza made a nice running catch on Edwin Encarnacion’s drive in right and Navarro snared Russell Martin’s liner.

“It's more what we're capable of. It was a good defensive night,” Showalter said.

Donaldson was the final Blue Jays baserunner until Kevin Pillar walked in the eighth. Ryan Goins singled, and after Danny Valencia struck out, Travis flied to right. Gonzalez walked Donaldson, and as the ball got away from Joseph for this second passed ball in as many nights, Pillar scored.

Gonzalez allowed five runs in four innings against the Yankees six days ago.

“My last outing wasn't the greatest, but this time around, I worked well and I worked hard and it paid off,” Gonzalez said.

Darren O’Day who has a running feud with Jose Bautista got him to tap out to the box, ending the inning. They ignored each other they left the field. O’Day picked up the save.

Rey Navarro homered to start the eighth, his first career homer.

“I just feel like it was something out of this world. That’s the dream coming true. Playing in the big leagues and then you hit your first career home run. It was great,” Navarro said.

Navarro, who was recalled on Tuesday when Ryan Flaherty was put on the disabled list, got his first postgame pie from Adam Jones.

“Yeah, it was a good one. And it tastes great,” Navarro said.

The Orioles get Thursday off and get to see their first AL West opponents of the season, the Los Angeles Angels on Friday.

After two weeks of tumult and travel, Showalter thinks things are returning to what passes for normal.

“It was good to win a series in our first series at home after being gone forever, it seems like. Take a day tomorrow and start up against the Angels,” Showalter said.

NOTES: Hunter Harvey, the Orioles first round draft pick in 2013, had an MRI on his right elbow Wednesday.”It was pretty good news, all things considered, I thought. I know they're going to take some time off and we'll see if he wants to get a second opinion,” Showalter said. “He's not going to be throwing for a little while. He's going to take some time, but don't feel like there's anything else but rest prescribed at this point."

Showalter said Harvey is expected to pitch this season.

"There's nothing that we feel like requires surgery,” Showalter said.

Matt Wieters will catch nine innings in an extended spring game on Thursday. … Paredes has a 12-game hitting streak and Machado a 19-game on-base streak. … The Orioles had a season-high five doubles. … On Friday. Jered Weaver (1-4, 4.98) faces Wei-Yin Chen (1-1, 2.52).

MORE ORIOLES: SEVEN ORIOLES NOW ON DISABLED LIST

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Baltimore Orioles add to their rotation, sign RHP Andrew Cashner

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USA Today Sports

Baltimore Orioles add to their rotation, sign RHP Andrew Cashner

SARASOTA, Fla. -- The Baltimore Orioles signed right-hander Andrew Cashner to a two-year, $16 million contract on Thursday after searching for starting pitching all offseason.

The 31-year-old Cashner is 42-64 with a 3.80 ERA in eight major league seasons with the Chicago Cubs, San Diego, Miami and Texas, including 11-11 with a 3.40 ERA for the Rangers last year. The deal with the Orioles has an option for 2020.

He'll join right-handers Dylan Bundy and Kevin Gausman in the rotation.

"I do know that they need some starting pitching, and here it is, show up every day and whoever I can help out, help out and my job is to come here and pitch and win," Cashner said.

Cashner's deal could be worth $41 million over three seasons if he pitches 200 innings annually. He gets a $3 million signing bonus, payable in equal installments each Jan. 15 from 2020 through 2021.

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Cashner has salaries of $5 million this season and $8 million in 2019, and there is a $10 million option for 2020 that would become guaranteed if he pitches 340 innings combined in the next two seasons. If he reaches 360 innings, it would become a player option.

He can make $5 million in performance bonuses each year.

There are $1,525,000 per season in bonuses based on starts: $250,000 each for 10 and 15, $625,000 for 20 and $400,000 for 30.

Cashner also can make $3,475,000 each year based on innings: $250,000 each for 110 and 120, $275,000 for 130, $350,000 for 140, $750,000 for 150 and $400,000 apiece for 170, 180, 190 and 200.

Cashner was at the Orioles' spring training facility, and was due to head to his Texas home for a few days before returning on Sunday when Baltimore's full squad is required to report. He'll likely work out with the team for the first time Monday.

He has little experience against the Orioles, but said he was excited to join the team.

"It's a lineup you can't really make a lot of mistakes against," Cashner said. "It's a lot of power in there, and I got to pitch (for) San Diego one year in Baltimore. Really cool stadium, really neat, a lot of history. It's one of my favorite places to pitch, so I'm looking forward to making that my home (stadium) every night."

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Manager Buck Showalter said Cashner would be an ideal addition to the club.

"He's a veteran starter. That's a good deal for both us and him," Showalter said. "He's a guy who's pitched well in the American League. That's something that I think played in his favor."

Cashner said that he began negotiations with Orioles Vice President of Baseball Operations Brady Anderson last fall and in a challenging offseason for free agents, he said patience was vital.

"I don't think it's been difficult. It's been interesting. It's been different," Cashner said.

To make room for Cashner on the 40-man roster, Baltimore placed left-hander Zach Britton (Achilles) on the 60-day disabled list.

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Manny Machado to switch from third base to shortstop in final season with Orioles

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USA Today Sports

Manny Machado to switch from third base to shortstop in final season with Orioles

BALTIMORE -- Even if Manny Machado doesn't switch teams this season, he almost certainly will be changing his position in the infield.

Baltimore Orioles manager Buck Showalter said Saturday that Machado will move from third base to shortstop this spring, and shortstop Tim Beckham will be shifted to third.

The shuffle will become permanent unless something goes wrong -- or Machado gets traded to another club.

"There could be some adjustments if we don't like the feel of it, but that's where we're going to head into it," Showalter said at FanFest, an annual offseason event designed to promote interest in the club.

Machado and second baseman Jonathan Schoop did not attend.

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Machado becomes a free agent after this year and is sure to demand a huge contract. The Orioles have entertained trade offers for the 25-year-old, who's been an All-Star in three of his six seasons with Baltimore.

Dan Duquette, vice president of baseball operations for the Orioles, has to decide whether to deal Machado sometime between now and September or seek to sign him to a long-term deal.

"That's a big decision for the organization, obviously," Duquette said. "But we're planning on Manny being with the club. We explored all those options. We think the strongest option is for Manny to be on the ballclub."

Machado played in 156 games last season, offsetting a career-low .259 batting average with 33 home runs and 95 RBIs. He has averaged 35 home runs and 92 RBIs over the past three years.

Machado avoided arbitration this month by agreeing to a $16 million contract for 2018. He received $11.5 million last season.

Drafted as a shortstop as the third overall pick in 2010, Machado played third base with Baltimore next to slick-fielding J.J. Hardy, whose contract expired after last season.

So when they return to the field next month in Florida, the Orioles will have Machado at shortstop with Beckham on his left. Beckham came to Baltimore from Tampa Bay in July and played shortstop for the injured Hardy over the final two months.

"I think Tim would rather play shortstop, as Manny would," Showalter said. "Tim's big thing is getting an opportunity to play every day at one position. We need to settle both those guys into a spot and let them get into it."

Showalter said Machado was enthusiastic about the switch.

"All indications are, he's really excited about this," Showalter said. "I can't imagine him being in a better frame of mind or setup to do this. I think out of his respect for J.J. the past few years he's been very professional about it. But it's not like he's changing positions. He's going back to the position he's equipped to play."

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Deciding what to do with Machado is only one problem Duquette has faced this offseason. He's also been trying to fill out a starting rotation that currently consists of Dylan Bundy, Kevin Gausman and perhaps Miguel Castro, who made his first major league start on Sept. 30 after pitching in relief for 75 games over three seasons.

"Obviously we have work to do to address some of the deficiencies on our ballclub," Duquette said. "We're going to continue to build our pitching staff, most notably the starting pitching."

If Castro joins the rotation, the Orioles will be further pressed to fill out the back end of the bullpen. Closer Zach Britton tore his Achilles tendon during an offseason workout and will likely miss the entire 2018 season, leaving setup man Brad Brach the odds-on favorite to take over as the stopper.

"I'm hoping I get a shot to close. I'd be lying if I say I didn't," said Brach, who served significant time as a closer in 2017 while Britton was sidelined with elbow and knee issues.

Brach had 18 saves but blew six chances.

"I think I did all right," Brach said. "Hopefully, I get another chance to do it."