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Orioles get a happy flight home after 5-2 win

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Orioles get a happy flight home after 5-2 win

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. –- The Orioles come home after a strange road trip. They began with winning two of three in Detroit, and after four straight losses, win the last two at Tampa Bay.

Five days remain before the non-waiver trade deadline, and the Orioles remain relevant.

In their 5-2 win over the Tampa Bay Rays before 18,613 at Tropicana Field on Sunday, the Orioles showed they had some offense.

For the first time since June 21-23, they produced consecutive games of at least five runs.

"I'm always encouraged. I always think today's the day we're going to get back to our track record a little bit,” manager Buck Showalter said.

Their 4-5 road trip leaves them a game below .500. While they’re still seven games behind the first place New York Yankees in the AL East, they’re 3 ½ games behind the Minnesota Twins, the second wild-card team.

“One game isn’t going to derail the thing right now. We’ve got to keep going at it. If we lose, we’ve got to pick it up and play again tomorrow,” Caleb Joseph said.

Wei-Yin Chen retired the first 11 Tampa Bay (49-51) hitters, and by the time Evan Longoria and Logan Forsythe hit back-to-back home runs in the fourth, he had a 5-0 lead.

“Sometimes you’ve get a five-run lead, you get deeper in the game and you kind of put it on cruise control sometimes. It’s not necessarily intentional,” Joseph said.

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Chen (5-6) allowed a two-out double by Joey Butler, and his inning was saved when David Lough made a sliding catch on James Loney’s line drive to end the fourth.

“In the first couple innings I felt great and I was just trying to stay the same pace. But later on I think the Rays hitters made some adjustment and hit better and better against me,” Chen said through a translator.

Nolan Reimold badly misjudged Tim Beckham’s fly for a double to start the fourth. Jake Elmore singled, and with one out, Chen hit Brandon Guyer with a pitch to load the bases. Steven Souza struck out and Longoria grounded to third to end the inning.

Chen left in the sixth with runners on first and second and one out and wasn’t pleased with it.

“I was taken out of the game because I allowed a couple runners to get on base. Anybody will be angry when you get taken out of the game in that situation. But that’s not something I can control and I will just accept it,” Chen said through a translator.

After Tommy Hunter walked Beckham, and allowed Butler to advance to third on a ball in the dirt, Elmore grounded to third, ending the inning.

In 5 1/3 innings, Chen allowed two runs on six hits.

The Orioles (48-49) took a quick 3-0 lead in the first when Chris Davis walked with one out. Adam Jones and J.J. Hardy both singled, and Davis scored. Reimold doubled to score Jones and Hardy.

Joseph hit a two-run home run in the fourth, his seventh of the season off Matt Moore (1-2), and the Orioles led 5-0.

“Any time you can jump up to a five-run lead there [in] the early innings, it always gives them some room for error,” Joseph said.

In the top of the eighth, the Orioles had a chance to add on, Reimold singled, and with two outs, ran past third base coach Bobby Dickerson’s stop sign on Jonathan Schoop’s single.

“It was a mistake. I was thinking, when I saw the ball go in the gap, I was just putting my head down running. By the time I looked up, it was too late. It was a mental lapse. Things like that can’t happen. I’m glad we won because then I’d feel a lot worse if we didn’t win,” Reimold said.

Brad Brach threw a scoreless seventh and Darren O’Day escaped unscathed in the eighth.

Forsythe singled, but was erased on David DeJesus’ double play. Loney singled, but inexplicably tried to take second. Lough’s throw to second was in time.

Zach Britton pitched a hitless ninth, striking out the side, recording his 25th save. It was just his third save opportunity of the month.

“These games are starting to get important, but we can’t put too much emphasis on it where we go in tight and go in and squeezing the bat too hard and gripping the ball too hard. We’ve just got to keep playing our game,” Joseph said.

NOTES: Britton has successfully recorded 21 straight saves. … Reimold had his first three-hit day since Apr. 20, 2012. … The Orioles have a major league-leading 28 outfield assists. … Alex Wood (7-6, 3.78) faces Kevin Gausman (1-2, 5.18) as the Orioles begin a three-game series with Atlanta.

MORE ORIOLES: Orioles will find out more about Pearce on Monday

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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