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Orioles offense is absent in 2-1 loss to Phillies


Orioles offense is absent in 2-1 loss to Phillies

PHILADELPHIA –- After three wins in four games against the frightful Philadelphia Phillies, the Orioles can turn their attention to the Toronto Blue Jays.

The Orioles and Blue Jays play three games this weekend at Rogers Centre, where Toronto won all three in April.

Those games may be emotional, and they’re likely to be more competitive than the four games were against the Philadelphia Phillies.

Actually one game was competitive, and the Orioles lost it 2-1 on Thursday before 26,220 at Citizens Bank Park.

In the first three games the teams played this week, the Orioles outscored the Phillies 29-7.

Manny Machado hit a leadoff home run against Sean O’Sullivan, but the Orioles (34-32), who had won 11 of 13, never scored again.

"It's been a tough four games, four days. Anytime you play a team four times in a row, you never like to see that on a schedule. We all know they're capable of a lot better baseball and today was a good example of that,” manager Buck Showalter said.

Not until the seventh inning did they get a runner to third, and that was because Chase Utley’s throwing error allowed David Lough to get there. Jimmy Paredes grounded to Utley, and it looked like a double play, but the error put runners on first and third with one out.

Machado and Travis Snider struck out. Snider struck out four times, and counting the last at-bat on Wednesday night, has fanned five times in a row.

J.J. Hardy, who extended his hitting streak to 11 games with a first inning double, singled with two outs in the eighth, but Ryan Flaherty grounded sharply to Ryan Howard for the third out.

Howard’s two-run home run off Bud Norris (2-5) was the game. Norris allowed three hits and two walks in the first five innings. In the sixth, Ben Revere singled, stole second and moved to third on an infield out.

With the Orioles in the exaggerated shift, Howard could have bunted and tied the score, but on a 1-2 pitch, he lined his 12th home run to right field.

“In the past couple of games I made one mistake with the fastball and deeper in the game,” Norris said. “It’s hard to get in that situation, but I know I can make those pitches to execute and get out of it, so I need to build off it and execute a little better in that situation.”

Philadelphia (23-45) broke a nine-game losing streak. The Orioles (34-32) had won 11 of their previous 13.

“It’s hard to take right now because obviously I want to win games and we’ve been playing good ball, so this one we’ll kind of let it be. We played really well against these guys. It was a big series win against them, took two there and one here. We’ll take it as it is. We know we have a tough task here. We’re playing good baseball. We just have to pick our heads up and get going tomorrow,” Norris said.

Jake Diekman (1-1), who was recalled earlier in the day got the win. He retired all three batters in the sixth. Diekman, Luis Garcia, Ken Giles and Jonathan Papelbon combined to limit the Orioles to two hits in four innings.

In the ninth, Papelbon retired Nolan Reimold on a foul pop, Lough on a grounder to first, and struck out Matt Wieters, and he had his 13th save.

A year ago, the Orioles won five of nine in Toronto, the first time they’ve won a season series there since 2005. They must win five of the remaining six to repeat it.

“It’s a big series. All series are big at this point. We just gotta continue doing what we’re doing and I think we’ll be all right,” Hardy said.

NOTES: Miguel Gonzalez (strained groin) threw on the side and will go to Bowie to start on Saturday. ”I need to get back on the mound, get back to pitching. Hopefully I can go five [innings] or 75 pitches, either or. I’m feeling good about myself right now. The bullpen went really well,” Gonzalez said. He is eligible to return on June 25.

-The Orioles signed six more draft choices. The biggest name was ninth-rounder CF Jaylen Ferguson, who was scouted by Nathan Showalter. Others signed were 2B Drew Turbin (14), RF Mike Odenwaelder (16), RHP Juan Echevarria (21), 1B Steve Laurino (25) and C Stuart Levy (27). The Orioles have now signed 23 of their 41 draft choices.

-Machado’s 14th home run and 10th stolen base put him on a pace for 35 home runs and 25 stolen bases.

-The Orioles hadn’t lost in Philadelphia since July 4, 2004.

-Mike Wright (2-2, 4.13) pitches against Marco Estrada (4-3, 4.24) on Friday night in Toronto.

[MORE ORIOLES: Showalter says 'never was' controversy with Chen]

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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."