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Orioles break six-game losing streak with five homers

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Orioles break six-game losing streak with five homers

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Kauffman Stadium had become a house of horrors for the Orioles. There were the two painful losses to end last year’s American League Championship Series and two more on Monday and Tuesday nights.

The Orioles were facing their longest losing streak since July 2011, but five home runs gave them an 8-5 win over the Kansas City Royals before 33,003 on Wednesday night.

The win broke a six-game losing streak and put the Orioles (63-63) back at .500.

“I couldn't have told you the number. There’s so much negativism around you when things are going poorly and there’s so much overpositiveness when things are going well,” manager Buck Showalter said.

“You try to stay in reality but because of the reality of how many games we have left and where we are trying to get it does put a different spin on it at this time of the year. 

Chris Davis, who was 0-for-16 with nine strikeouts hit a double and home run. Manny Machado, Steve Pearce, Jonathan Schoop and Ryan Flaherty all homered. The eight runs were accounted for by homers.

“There were a lot of people trotting around the bases tonight,” Pearce said.

The Orioles had an excellent scoring chance in the second when Davis led off with a double and Matt Wieters singled.

But, the Orioles couldn’t even put the ball in play as Pearce struck out, Jimmy Paredes fouled to the catcher and Jonathan Schoop struck.

Kansas City scored twice in the bottom in the second off Wei-Yin Chen, Kendrys Morales led off with a double. He took third on Mike Moustakas’ bunt and scored on Salvador Perez’s double. Paulo Orlando hit a ground ball to Davis at first. Instead of running the ball to the bag, Davis tossed it to Chen, but Orlando was safe.

Omar Infante’s infield single scored Perez, and it was 2-0.

Alcides Escobar flied to Adam Jones in center, but Infante was out because he passed Orlando at second base for a double play.

Flaherty singled against Johnny Cueto (2-3) to start the third, and Machado hit a two-run home run, his 26th, to tie the score at 2.

With one out in the fourth, Pearce singled, and Schoop hit his 10th home run down the left field line with two outs, and the Orioles led 4-2.

“Every time you win, there is happiness. You win, everybody is happy. No matter if you go 0-for-6, you are happy,” Schoop said.

Gerardo Parra singled and stole second leading off the fifth. Davis hit his 35th home run into the Kansas City bullpen in left field for a 6-2 lead.

Showalter said Davis didn’t take batting practice before the game because he had so many blisters from all the extra work.

“Because you don't hear about it, and you don't see it all the time, it
doesn't mean they're not trying to make it happen yesterday,” Showalter said.

The three home runs were the most allowed by Cueto, who allowed six runs on eight hits in five innings, since Aug. 21, 2010.

Kansas City scored its third run off Chen (8-6) in the sixth on singles by Ben Zobrist, Lorenzo Cain and Morales. In 6 2/3, Chen allowed three runs on 10 hits.

Chen has won four straight decisions and hasn’t lost since July 21.

Pearce hit his eighth home run off Jeremy Guthrie in the eighth to give the Orioles a 7-3 lead.

Brad Brach got the last out of the seventh and the first two of the eighth before walking Morales. Brian Matusz’s second pitch to Moustakas was hit to right field for a two-run home run. The Royals (77-49) cut the Orioles lead to 7-5.

Ryan Flaherty’s fifth homer of the season in the ninth put the Orioles up by three.

Zach Britton pitched the ninth for his 30th save.

As losses mounted, the mood in the Orioles clubhouse darkened.

“Before today's game it hasn't been all that great, but I believe from now on it will be great,” Chen said through his translator.

NOTES: Pearce’s home run broke a streak of 24 1/3 scoreless innings against relievers. According to STATS LLC, dating back to 1974, the team record is 30 1/3 innings from May 10-23, 2000. … Davis is the third Oriole to hit 35 home runs in multiple seasons. Rafael Palmeiro did it four times, Boog Powell three. … Chris Tillman (9-7, 4.54) faces Yordano Ventura (7-7, 4.82) on Thursday at 2:10 p.m. … The Orioles are at .500 for the 16th time this season, third highest in franchise history. … Schoop’s home run was measured in the ballpark as 427 feet, but Statscast had it as 484 feet. … The five home runs were the most since the club record eight hit on June 16.

MORE ORIOLES: RELIEVER HAS IMPRESSED SHOWALTER

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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."

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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