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Orioles hit four home runs in 8-2 win over Royals


Orioles hit four home runs in 8-2 win over Royals

BALTIMORE – For the first time since late July, the Orioles have won consecutive series. After winning two of three against the New York Yankees, they did the same against the Kansas City Royals, who own the American League’s best record.

The Orioles hit four home runs off Johnny Cueto, equaling the most he’s given up. In two starts off Cueto in the last 18 days, the Orioles scored 14 runs in 11 1/3 innings.

While the Orioles still are six games out of the second wild card spot, the 8-2 win over Kansas City before 22,496 at Oriole Park on Sunday night, was still gratifying.

Wei-Yin Chen (9-7) allowed two runs on six hits in seven innings. It was just the second time in his last 11 starts he completed seven.

Chen said he was pleased by the outing.

“Yes, I am. Because I haven’t been pitching well for some period of time and during the past few games, my teammates were doing well. They were scoring runs, but I didn’t do my job well. Today they are still doing great and today I am happy that I can do my part of the job and win this game,” Chen said through his translator.

Jonathan Schoop had two home runs, Adam Jones and Chris Davis each had one.

Cueto (2-6), acquired by the Royals just before July’s trading deadline, has lost five straight.

Schoop is 4-for-5 against Cueto. He’s not sure why.
“I want to know, too. … I want to do that against every pitcher. I want to know,” Schoop said.
The Orioles (69-73) hadn’t won two straight series since late July when they took two of three from Tampa Bay and three straight from Atlanta.

“We have to keep the carrot out there. We got 20 games left and we’re going to try to win every one of them. If you watch the way our guys are going about their business, that’s their idea as much as mine,” manager Buck Showalter said.

“Today's the first time you get a little fall crispness in the air. Tonight was a reminder of what playing in the playoffs was like. It was dark when the game started. There was a certain feel to it. You're playing the team with the best record in the American League. It was good. Beat the Yankees two out of three and beat these guys two out of three."

In the first inning, Jones hit his 27th home run into the Orioles bullpen for a 3-0 lead.

The Royals (84-58) got two runs in the second on three two-out hits. Salvador Perez and Alex Rios doubled, and Alicdes Escobar singled, and it was 3-2.
Schoop led off the second with his 13th home run, and the Orioles led 4-2.

Schoop hit his 14th with one out in the fourth for a 5-2 lead.

Fourteen home runs in 69 games projects to over 30 home runs for a full season. Schoop missed nearly half the season with a right knee injury.

“I don't look at the numbers, like JJ [Hardy] teaches me. I try to be healthy, this year I wasn’t heathy all the way. But everyone tells me, get healthy and at the end of the season your numbers are going to be there. I know I’ve got 14 home runs but I don't want to think about it like I can be a 30 guy. I just want it to happen,” Schoop said.

Davis hit his 42nd home run, the fourth off Cueto, equaling the right-hander’s career high.

The Orioles added two runs in the seventh. Hardy, who had doubled to lead off the inning, scored when second baseman Ben Zobrist dropped Mike Moustakas’ throw and Jones drove in his fourth run with a double.

Cueto was charged with eight runs, seven earned in 6 1/3 innings.

With 20 games left and trailing Texas for the second wild card by four, the Orioles remain alive.

“We’re not mathematically eliminated, so there’s still something to play for,” Jones said.

Schoop is cognizant of the standings, too.

“We went through a tough stretch, losing a lot of games but we’re still in there. We have, what, 20, 21 games? We’re going to play hard because we’re hungry. We want to get to the playoffs. We got a taste last year of what it feels like so we want to be there again,” Schoop said.

NOTES: It was Schoop’s second two home run game. ... Norfolk tied its playoff series with Columbus at two games apiece with a 6-5 win over the Clippers. The decisive fifth game is Monday night in Columbus. … The Orioles and Boston Red Sox begin a three-game series on Monday night. Eduardo Rodriguez (9-5, 4.05) faces Kevin Gausman (2-6, 4.33).

MORE ORIOLES: Bowie advances to Eastern League championship series

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Baltimore Orioles add to their rotation, sign RHP Andrew Cashner

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.


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."


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

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.


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."


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."