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Orioles beat Rays 2-1 on Hardy's ninth-inning single


Orioles beat Rays 2-1 on Hardy's ninth-inning single

BALTIMORE –- Darren O’Day usually doesn’t’ hear the crowd. Friday night, it was different. O’Day had loaded the bases with none out in the ninth inning of a tie game.

Pitching coach Dave Wallace came to the mound, and just like that, O’Day struck out Steven Souza, then Asdrubal Carrera and got Jake Elmore to ground out to third.

Huge cheers, and then a few minutes and a few pitching changes later, J.J. Hardy had the biggest hit of his season, and the Orioles had a 2-1 win over the Tampa Bay Rays before a sellout crowd of 45,505 at Oriole Park.

“I don’t notice it much when I’m pitching, but I noticed it when I had two outs and two strikes how loud they got, and it was pretty impressive. It probably only added to the environment that we created there,” O’Day said.

O’Day (1-0) allowed singles to Evan Longoria and David DeJesus to start the ninth, and then hit Logan Forsythe with a pitch, and then he got out of it, and the Orioles came up in the ninth.

“The second part was more fun than the first. It’s not how we drew it up, but anytime you put a zero on the board is exciting,” O’Day said.

“You’re never really out of it, and I’ve kind of enjoyed being in situations with guys on base. I don’t mind it. Usually, it’s not by my own creation, but I don’t feel like the game is lost if there’s a guy on second or a guy’s on third. That hitter is just as anxious as you to win the game, so there was definitely some luck involved to get out of that.”

Travis Snider started the ninth with an infield single off Brandon Gomes (1-2). Jimmy Paredes struck out. After Adam Jones flied to center, Chris Davis singled to left off Xavier Cedeno, Everth Cabrera, who was running for Snider made it to third.

Against Steve Geltz, Hardy slammed a single to left on a 1-0 count, scoring Cabrera and the Orioles (23-24) had the big win.

“It's always important. I guess no more important than any other time to try and win a ball game, but it's been a grind, and I'm working at it every day, and it's going to come. It's going to come soon,” Hardy said.

Hardy is still batting just .197, and the RBI was just his sixth in 21 games.

Miguel Gonzalez pitched a brilliant eight innings, allowing just one run on Souza’s second-inning home run, and just two more hits. He struck out six without walking a batter, but did hit two.

“It's nice. I mean, we need to score more runs, but for Miguel to come in and do what he did tonight, Darren to get out of that bases-loaded jam was huge. It was just a big win for us,” Hardy said.

Tampa Bay (24-25) took the 1-0 lead into the seventh.

Kevin Jepsen surrendered Davis’ 12th home run, his fourth in the past four games, with one out in the seventh.

Gonzalez has allowed two runs in 21 2/3 innings in three starts against Tampa Bay this season.

“I don’t know, it’s something that we face those guys a lot and we talk about them every time, how to approach them and just be aggressive with every pitch. Especially Longoria and those guys that, if you hang a pitch or give in, they are gonna do some damage. We did a good job today overall and good things happened,” Gonzalez said.

NOTES: Manager Buck Showalter hasn’t made a final decision on Bud Norris, who’s still on the 15-day disabled list with bronchitis. He’ll either make another rehab start or return to the rotation during next week’s Houston series. “He’s real close,” Showalter said. “He wants to pitch bad.”

Showalter said Norris, who is 1-4 with a 9.88 ERA, would not pitch out of the bullpen. “I plan on Bud coming back in our rotation. He won 15 games for us [last year] and will pitch well for us again this year. I’ve got a long memory.

-Catcher Ryan Lavarnway was outrighted to Triple-A Norfolk, but he declined the assignment and elected to become a free agent. Lavarnway, who was designated for assignment, batted .107 in 10 games.

-With the win, Showalter passes Hall of Famer Whitey Herzog for 35th place on the all-time win list with 1,282. It was also Showalter’s 400th win as Orioles manager, seven away from Hank Bauer’s 407. Bauer is currently in third place on the team’s win list.

-Erasmo Ramirez (2-2, 6.62) faces Wei-Yin Chen (1-3, 3.13) on Saturday at 4:05 p.m. … This was the Orioles’ second sellout of the season. 

MORE ORIOLES: Gausman is very, very eager to get started

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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."


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Orioles Spring Training Schedule 2018

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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