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Orioles beat White Sox 8-2 at empty Camden Yards


Orioles beat White Sox 8-2 at empty Camden Yards

BALTIMORE – During the seventh-inning stretch, “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” and “Thank God, I’m a Country Boy” were played. Three scouts seated behind home plate stood.

Moments later, Jim Misudek, the Orioles manager of media relations announced the official paid attendance: zero.

There was actually a crowd estimated at about 100 gathered on Camden Street peering in to see whatever they could of the empty ballpark.

What they saw pleased them. In between chants of “O-R-I-O-L-E-S” and “Let’s go O’s,” the Orioles beat the Chicago White Sox 8-2 on Wednesday.

There were some familiar touches. Chris Davis, who often tosses balls into the stands at the ends of innings, threw some into the empty stadium.

Chatter could be heard on the field, but the game was devoid of controversy.

“It was still baseball between the lines. It's still that,” manager Buck Showalter said.

The players seemed to enjoy the novelty.

"It never fails, catch a ball to end the inning, it's just reaction. But I thought it would be fun. The first few were in the lower section and then I gave some love to the fans in the upper deck,” Davis said.

Davis has loads of fans in Baltimore, real and like today, imaginary ones. But he and his teammates tried to make light of a situation that they knew was dangerous.

The first baseman’s three-run home run, part of a decisive six-run first inning, did have that empty feeling.
“I’ll take any home run I can get at any time I can get it, but it’s definitely more fun where there are fans in the stands,” Davis said.

The Orioles (10-10) have now won three straight for the first time this season, and both their starting pitching and offense has begun to click.

As Showalter walked to the dugout in the moments before the game began, he reminded himself that this was important.

“You realize that you're a few minutes away from playing a major league baseball game that's going to count. You tried to stay focused on the competition, us trying to get where we want to be at the end of the season. But I also talked to them about the people who are going to be sitting around our city watching this game,” Showalter said.

Besides the self-appointed cheerleaders outside the gates, there were fans who rented a room in the neighboring Hilton Hotel and hung a “Go Orioles” banner outside it.

Adam Jones noticed them.

“A game with no fans, but they were out at the hotel. You could see on the balcony, you could hear them outside the gates. A lot of people were telling me to look up the check-ins on Facebook. So there were people around supporting, just not inside the stadium,” Jones said.

Ubaldo Jimenez (2-1) had another strong start, allowing two unearned runs in seven innings, walking one and striking out six.

“I thought it was pretty important, because what the city is going through right now is hard. I know a lot of people were watching that game on TV, supporting that game for the city. As a player you know that take the mound, you take the field and you know what’s going on outside,” Jimenez said.

On Sunday, in their last game before unrest caused two consecutive postponements, they scored 18 runs, their most in more than nine years scoring six runs in both the third and seventh innings.

They equaled that in the first inning. Eleven batters hit off Jeff Samardzija (1-2). Alejandro De Aza walked, Jimmy Paredes reached on an error and Delmon Young singled to load the bases. De Aza scored on Jones’ fly to right.

Davis hit home run that reached Eutaw Street for a 4-0 lead. Manny Machado and Everth Cabrera doubled, and after Caleb Joseph’s RBI single, it was a 6-0 lead.

Machado’s throwing error led to Chicago (8-10) scoring two runs in the fifth.

Cabrera’s second RBI double in the third scored Machado, and the third baseman hit his fourth homer of the year in the fifth.

Davis was asked what he wants people who watched to remember.

“I hope they see the good side of the city and the people who are out there helping to clean up and rebuild and help get the city back on its feet,” he said. “I hope the win kind of gives us a shot in the arm and picks everybody up.”

NOTES: The team had 10 or more hits for the fourth straight game. … Davis’ reached Eutaw Street for the sixth time. … Chris Tillman (2-2, 7.58) faces Alex Colome (0-0, 0.00) as the Orioles travel to Tampa Bay on Friday. … The game was played in two hours, three minutes, the fastest the team played since Oct. 2, 2010.

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Orioles agree to one-year deal with pitcher Chris Tillman, according to reports

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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