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Orioles lose 1-0 in 13 innings as pitcher is ejected


Orioles lose 1-0 in 13 innings as pitcher is ejected

MIAMI – What was stranger? Mike Wright pitching brilliantly for the second straight time? Or Oliver Drake throwing three scoreless innings in his major league debut?

No, it was Brian Matusz getting ejected from the game in the 12th inning for having a foreign substance on his arm.

T.J. McFarland, who replaced Matusz allowed a bases-loaded single to Martin Prado in the 13th as the Miami Marlins beat the Orioles 1-0 before 21,356 at Marlins Park on Saturday night.

Matusz entered the game in the 12th and got the first two outs, and at the request of Marlins manager Dan Jennings, was examined by the umpires.

Crew chief Paul Emmel summoned manager Buck Showalter to the mound, and Matusz was removed from the game. McFarland got the third out in the 12th.

It came in the same week that Milwaukee’s Will Smith was suspended for eight games for having a foreign substance on his arm.

McFarland (0-1) allowed a leadoff walk to Adeiny Hechavarria in the 13th. McFarland struck out Carter Capps (1-0) and Dee Gordon. Ozuna singled, and Giancarlo Stanton was walked intentionally. Prado drove a ball to center, and the Orioles (19-21) had a painful defeat.

"It's horrible. For me, it kills me because I know everybody out there did everything they could to win today and we played one hell of a game. That's the worst part for me. It hurts that I wasn't able to come through for the team. But we've got a game tomorrow and we can finish out the series with a win and put this one past us. But yeah, this is a tough one,” McFarland said.

Wright pitched seven shutout innings, allowing just three hits. In his first two starts, Wright has given up just five hits in 14 1/3 innings.

That may be forgotten because of Matusz’s ejection. So might Drake, who after eight seasons of toiling in the minor leagues was called up on Saturday and delivered three scoreless innings.

Wright gave the Orioles a chance to win, but they had nine hits—and just two in the last seven innings against five Miami (17-27) relievers.

Before the game, Wright relaxed in the dugout, his earbuds on, reading his Harry Potter book. He ended up walking three, but two were intentional and hitting a batter. He struck out four in his seven scoreless.

“That’s what everybody’s striving for, so for me to get that really big. I wish we could have pulled out with a win. That’s the most important thing regardless of me going scoreless or not,” Wright said.

Drake allowed two hits in three scoreless innings in his debut. His highlight was covering home plate when a pitch to Marcell Ozuna ended up in the dirt just in front of home plate.

Caleb Joseph recovered the ball, and Drake scrambled to tag Hechevarria.

“It was kind of a blur. I just kind of saw the ball in the dirt. Caleb’s great. You have a 100 percent faith in him when you’re throwing a splitter down. Blocked it, kept it close and also saw the guy taking off from third, and I knew I had to get to the plate and got the tag on it,” Drake said.

Drake’s outing helped a tired Orioles bullpen which may more reinforcement because of a possible Matusz suspension.

“It was awesome. I’ve been dreaming of getting in these games ever since I was a little kid and so, I was thrilled when they told me get going, and I was in the game. I just went out there and did what I had to do to get them out and put up a zero,” Drake said
Wright also had his first major league hit, a sixth inning single that nearly scored Travis Snider, but he was thrown out at the plate.
“That was big. I was pretty excited running down to first. I felt for sure we were going to score, and unluckily, he made a really good throw, and they made a really good play to block him from scoring,” Wright said.

The Marlins broke an eight-game losing streak, five under new manager Dan Jennings.

Manny Machado, Jimmy Paredes and Travis Snider each had two hits. Chris Davis was hitless in six at-bats and struck out four times. He has 61 in 39 games.

Wright reflected on the unlikeliness of what he had just seen.

“Baseball’s a crazy game. I think everyone is going for a shutout every time. I would believe that part. Drake’s got really, really good stuff, so I definitely believe that part. It [stinks] what happens to Matusz. I didn’t see much. It [stinks] that it happened and he got ejected, but we’ll come back out tomorrow and try to be better,” Wright said.

MORE ORIOLES: Orioles pitcher ejected for foreign substance on arm

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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."