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Orioles get a 1-0 win as Gonzalez is hurt

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Orioles get a 1-0 win as Gonzalez is hurt

BALTIMORE – It was just the scenario Buck Showalter wanted to avoid. Working with a six-man bullpen because Brian Matusz was suspended, and the Orioles adding Nolan Reimold to the roster, Showalter hurried to the mound in the fifth inning.

Miguel Gonzalez had strained his right groin, and in a scoreless game, Showalter was going to need 14 outs from his bullpen.

He got them thanks to T.J. McFarland, Chaz Roe and Zach Britton combining to allow just one hit over the final 4 2/3 innings in the Orioles’ 1-0 win over the Boston Red Sox before 28,460 at Oriole Park on Tuesday night.

Gonzalez had a similar injury before in 2012. That injury wasn’t disabling, but Showalter may have to make a decision much quicker than he would normally have to.

The Orioles could disable Gonzalez, call up a reliever and then get another starter on Sunday when Matusz returns from his eight-game suspension, and it’s Gonzalez’s turn to pitch.

“With a six-man 'pen we have to approach things a little differently now until we get full. A little different dynamic of trying to put it together each night. That's part of the penalty you get for having somebody suspended,” Showalter said.

Britton came into the game to face David Ortiz with runners on first and second with one out in the eighth. Normally, Matusz would have gotten the call. Big Papi is 2-for-26 against Matusz.

This time, Britton struck him out, and got four more outs for his 16th save.

“That’s a tough lineup. It’s a 1-0 game, but it’s a lot of good pitches had to go in to make that 1-0 game,” Matt Wieters said.

It was Wieters first game at home since returning from Tommy John surgery, and with Chaz Roe pitching, he tested out that elbow.

Roe (1-0) hit Dustin Pedroia and walked Brock Holt to start the eighth. Rusney Castillo bunted, and Wieters fired to Manny Machado at third to force Pedroia.

Wieters said he wasn’t thinking about the elbow, which was surgically repaired just under a year ago.

“Wasn’t even a thought, which is a good thing. You don’t really know until you make the play. It’s a reaction, and actually pretty pleased with that,” Wieters said.

While the catcher wasn’t thinking about it, Showalter was.

“I thought about it. Said, I guess his arm is OK. We wouldn't have him here, wouldn't be playing him if we didn't think it was OK. It's always tempting to write him in there tomorrow, but we're lucky to have Caleb [Joseph],” Showalter said.

The Orioles (27-30), who have won four of five got just three hits off Eduardo Rodriguez, who they developed and sent to Boston (27-32) last July for Andrew Miller.

E-Rod, who has allowed one run in 20 2/3 innings in three starts, walked three and struck out seven.

He threw 102 pitches and left in the seventh when the Orioles scored their run off Matt Barnes (2-1).

Steve Pearce led off with a double, advanced to third on J.J. Hardy’s single and scored on Barnes’ wild pitch.

When Gonzalez left, McFarland worked through the sixth, then Roe, who has allowed one run in 12 innings since arriving on May 24, pitched the scoreless seventh and left for Britton in the eighth.

Gonzalez injured the groin when pitching to Mookie Betts the last batter of the fourth. He said he wasn’t worried.

“Treat it, see what happens and hopefully I can make my next start,” Gonzalez said.

“It's a little sore. But I can walk. I can move around. So it's just not as bad as people probably think." 

There were three replay reviews, two overturned, and lots of deep counts. It’s not mid-June, but AL East intensity is back.

“I think the last couple of series have felt like that. We are trying to get on a roll, win some games and get out of the dungeon so to speak in the standings a little bit. We are playing good ball right now. Offense is scoring just enough runs and we are pitching the way we are capable of pitching so those are good things,” Britton said.

Wieters put it succinctly.

“We’re going to have to come ready to play because in this division, you can’t give away games that you should win,” he said.

NOTES: It was Reimold’s first game with the Orioles since July 13, 2013. He went 0-for-3 …Virgilio Encarnacion, a right-handed pitcher with the Orioles’ Dominican Summer League team, has been suspended for 72 games for a positive test of performance-enhancing drugs. … Rick Porcello (4-5, 5.01) faces Wei-Yin Chen (1-4, 3.18) on Wednesday night. … Boston’s Hanley Ramirez left the game with a bruised left knee in the third inning. He fouled a ball off the knee.

 

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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.

RELATED: VEGAS SETS OVER/UNDERS FOR 2018 MLB SEASON

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."

RELATED: ORIOLES TO SHUFFLE UP INFIELD AHEAD OF MACHADO'S FINAL SEASON

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.

RELATED: TWO FORMER ORIOLES ELECTED TO HALL OF FAME

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."

RELATED: ZACH BRITTON TEARS ACHILLES

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."