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Orioles play crisper game, still lose seventh straight


Orioles play crisper game, still lose seventh straight

SARASOTA, Fla. – The Orioles still haven’t won a spring training game. But, at least Ubaldo Jimenez delivered a strong start.

Jimenez, who retired only one batter in his first start while allowing six runs, rebounded with the Orioles’ first three-inning outing of the spring against the Minnesota Twins

He allowed a leadoff double to Byron Buxton and a second inning walk to Oswaldo Arcia while striking out three.

While the starting pitching was better, the offense wasn’t. The Orioles had just six hits—all singles—and lost to the Twins 3-0 before 6,121 at Ed Smith Stadium on Monday.

The Orioles have lost seven straight and are 0-7-1 this month.

Before Monday’s game, manager Buck Showalter said that he thought there would be fewer runs scored than in previous ones because the wind was blowing in.

The Orioles had allowed 21 runs in their previous two home games.

Another unpleasant streak continued. Hyun Soo Kim was hitless in two at-bats, and the South Korean is 0-for-18 in American baseball.’

“I thought Kim hit the ball hard twice today,” Showalter said.

Kim is making the difficult adjustment, and must learn U.S. pitchers and play left field in difficult ballparks.

Showalter is trying his best to counsel Kim.

“We all do. We have. It’s not like we haven’t,” Showalter said. “Everybody’s trying to make his path easy. He’s got to cooperate a little bit. He will.”

Kim, who has struck out three times in 18 at-bats, has yet to walk.

“It’s tough for him. You try to have some empathy for it, but there’s a lot of time. He’ll get it going,” Showalter said.
You can tell his reactions when he hits the ball hard and they catch it…We’ve got a lot of time. He’ll get it going at some point.”

The Orioles have a huge investment in Kim. While the $7 million salary over two years isn’t enormous, they already have a large question in right field, and they thought their left field quandary was answered when he signed.
“The thing that allows you to make an easier transition is being able to perform at this level,” Showalter said.

Jimenez was relieved after his quick outing against Minnesota. It reminded him of last spring training when he struggled in his first outing before improving the rest of the way.

“It felt like every time to the mound I was able to command the fastball and get ahead and stay ahead. That’s what I did today,” Jimenez said.

“Every time you go out there you are working on something, but at the same time you want to see a result. Because that’s going to make you more comfortable, more confident when the season comes. You know you are going to be able to go out there and compete and be there for your team.”

Jimenez was the Orioles’ leading winner a year ago when he won 12.

“He was one of our most consistent pitchers. You could make the case that he was last year and it’s good to see him have a good outing,” Showalter said.

Minnesota starter Phil Hughes sped through his three innings. He needed only 26 pitches to retire the Orioles.

Most of the Orioles regulars have gotten few at-bats in the first week of spring training. They’ve played only three home games, and Chris Davis, J.J. Hardy, Adam Jones, Manny Machado and Matt Wieters have combined for just 39 at-bats. None has played on the road.

Of the regulars, only Jonathan Schoop and Mark Trumbo, who both played at Dunedin against the Toronto Blue Jays last Friday, has gone on the road.

Kim has played in four road games, but that’s because Showalter wants to acclimate him to American baseball. Kim and Rule 5 draft choice Joey Rickard have by far the most at-bats.

This week, the Orioles play four home games, and Showalter thinks the team will respond better.

Yovani Gallardo will pitch on Wednesday in Clearwater against Philadelphia, and Chris Tillman throws in a “B” game with the Pirates on Thursday morning.

Showalter says that pitching Tillman and Kevin Gausman against Pittsburgh instead of against the New York Yankees isn’t designed to keep Tillman away from the American League East.

“I’m not a big proponent of that completely. This fits real well. It has nothing to do with playing a team in our division that day. It’s that we can control the environment the first time out,” Showalter said.

NOTES: Miguel Gonzalez pitches against Boston’s Roenis Elias on Tuesday as the Orioles play back-to-back home games. … Showalter said that Brian Matusz, who is out with a back injury is improving nicely.

MORE ORIOLES: Oliver notices Showalter's hands-on approach

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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."


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Orioles Spring Training Schedule 2018

USA Today Sports Images

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