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Orioles force fifth game with 2-1 13th inning win over Yankees


Orioles force fifth game with 2-1 13th inning win over Yankees

NEW YORK  – It was just like so many Yankees-Orioles games this season. This one was different. It had a sense of finality.

If the Orioles had lost, they’d be heading home for the winter. Instead, they get to play another day.

Frustrated by the New York Yankees for 12 innings, the Orioles finally scored in the 13th to force a fifth and deciding game of their American League Division Series with a 2-1 win before 49,307 at Yankee Stadium on Thursday night.

The Yankees and Orioles have played 22 games this season. They’ve each won 11. On Friday at 5:07 p.m. with the series tied at two games each, Jason Hammel and CC Sabathia hook up.

If the Orioles win on Friday, they get to play the Detroit Tigers on Saturday at Comerica Park in Game 1 of the American League Championship Series.

After losing their first extra-inning game in six months on Wednesday, the Orioles got back into their overtime comfort zone.

"It feels kind of normal, playing close games late, long games,” Nate McLouth said.

“We've played so many of those games that, we haven't come to expect it; we're comfortable in those situations."

Manny Machado led off the 13th with a double off David Phelps. He moved to third on an infield out by McLouth. J.J. Hardy doubled to left to drive in the go-ahead run.

“It was a lot closer than we would have liked, but at least it turned out on the right side," Hardy said.

Hardy was just 2-for-17 before his hit.

“I don't know what it is. Maybe it's the pressure, maybe it's the first time for a lot of us being here. It's funny, but the whole game I was telling myself, 'Don't try to do too much.' I'm trying to calm myself down and that wasn't working, so that at-bat I actually tried to tell myself to do a little bit more,” Hardy said.

Pedro Strop pitched two scoreless innings for the win. Jim Johnson, who allowed the game-tying home run to Raul Ibanez in the ninth inning on Wednesday, retired the Yankees in the 13th for the save.

“It’s the way it’s supposed to be and I’m guessing it’s going to be a one-run game tomorrow,” Johnson said.

With Joe Saunders pitching strongly, the Orioles left six on in the first four innings.

He worked 5 2/3 innings, allowing a run on three hits, walking four and striking out five, and felt the importance of the game.

“It’s pressure, anxiety, but you’ve got to battle through it,” Saunders said.

“You’ve just go to stay yourself, can’t try to do too much. And go out there and battle your tail off. I did that tonight.”

Seven relievers combined to allow just four hits in 7 1/3 scoreless innings. Darren O’Day pitched 2 2/3 innings, his most in more than five years. He’s pitched five hitless innings in the series.

“It's the postseason. You've got to make those moves, you've got to get the outs. Yeah, I'm pitching a lot, but that's a good thing when the manager wants you in there,” O’Day said.

Saunders, who’s been in the postseason before, says it doesn’t get easier.

“It’s fun and it’s tense at the same time. I came back out [to the dugout] in the 10th or 11th and it felt like I had pitched yesterday,” Saunders said.

McClouth hit a home run to right field leading off the fifth off Phil Hughes, and saved a possible run in the bottom of the fifth.

With Russell Martin on first and one out, Nix hit a fly ball to left that McLouth made a great running catch on. He fired to Hardy at short, who relayed to first to easily double up Martin.

Derek Jeter doubled leading off the sixth, Ichiro Suzuki moved him to third with a bunt. Mark Teixeira walked. Jeter scored on Robinson Cano’s infield out, tying the score.

From there, it was scoreless, until the Orioles completed the win at 12:08 a.m.

“It’s tough. I can’t say that I know exactly what they’re going through,” manager Buck Showalter said.

“You try to put yourself in their shoes, but it’s just the a real test mentally and emotionally.”

Hammel, who started Game 1, is back for the deciding one.

“There’s no reason to pressure ourselves anymore. We’ve done this a million times this year,” Hammel said.

“It seems like we’ve played these guys to a one-run game every time out. It’s really nothing new.”

Nor is it new for Jim Thome, who’s in his 10th postseason.

“it should be a great night. This whole series has been great. That’s why you play a full series," Thome said.






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Orioles round out starting pitching rotation, finalize 4-year contract with Alex Cobb

USA Today Sports

Orioles round out starting pitching rotation, finalize 4-year contract with Alex Cobb

SARASOTA, Fla. -- Alex Cobb's comfort and familiarity with the AL East was the deciding factor in his decision to sign with the Baltimore Orioles.

"They used the AL East and the success I've had in it to their advantage," the 30-year-old right-hander said Wednesday after finalizing a $57 million, four-year contract. "They kept challenging me with it and I love the challenge of pitching in this division and they know that over the times we talked. They did a really good job of making me feel like this is where I need to be."

Cobb gets $14 million in each of the first three seasons and $15 million in 2021, and he would earn a $500,000 bonus in each year he pitches 180 innings. Baltimore will defer $6.5 million from this year's salary and $4.5 million in each of the next three seasons.

He gets $2 million of the deferred money on Nov. 30, 2022, and $1.8 million annually on Nov. 30 from 2023-32. If he doesn't pitch at least 130 innings in 2020, an additional $5.25 million of the final's year salary would get deferred, payable $1.75 million annually on Nov. 30 from 2033-35.


Cobb has a full no-trade this year, then can list 10 teams from 2019-21 that he cannot be dealt to without his consent.

He had spent his entire six-season big league career with Tampa Bay and was the last big-name starting pitcher available in a slow-moving free agent market. He joined Andrew Cashner and Chris Tillman, who were signed last month, in a revamped rotation that includes holdovers Dylan Bundy and Kevin Gausman.

Cobb was 12-10 with a 3.66 ERA in 29 starts last season. He pitched 179 1/3 innings in his first full year back after missing nearly two seasons because of Tommy John surgery.

He had turned down the Rays' $17.4 million qualifying offer in November, and Baltimore pursued him from the start of free agency.

"They didn't stop bothering me the whole offseason," Cobb said. "They were very persistent, and I think that you notice that confidence they have in you just by the way they speak to you and the questions you ask and not questioning anything that's gone on. Everyone's got flaws that they come with and potential things you could really harp on that might not be your strong suit, but they never went down that avenue. They always told me how much they like certain aspects of what I do on and off the field, and just kept repeating how well I fit in here."


Cobb is 48-35 with a 3.50 in six big league seasons. Baltimore will lose its third-highest draft pick, currently No. 51, and the Rays get an extra selection after the first round as compensation.

Jose Mesa Jr. was designated for assignment Wednesday to clear a roster spot.

Baltimore opens on March 29 at home against Minnesota, but Cobb won't be ready to pitch then. He has agreed to be optioned to a minor league affiliate to help build up innings.

"I'm going to be pushing it as quick as I can," Cobb said. "That's going to be up to them. They've invested in me for a four-year period and as much as we know how much every game matters even early in April, we're going to have to look out for the overall future of this whole thing and whole contract and whatever they determine to be the way to protect me and my feedback from the bullpens I'm going to be throwing here in the next few days will probably determine the timeline."

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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."