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Orioles rookie shows he has the Wright stuff in MLB debut

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Orioles rookie shows he has the Wright stuff in MLB debut

BALTIMORE –- Mike Wright started his day by reading a Harry Potter novel. He ended it by walking off the mound to an enormous ovation.

Wright made his major league debut an unforgettable one by pitching 7 1/3 scoreless innings. He allowed just four hits, struck out six and didn’t walk a batter as the Orioles beat the Los Angeles Angels 3-0 before 41,733 at Oriole Park on Sunday.

He was pitching because Chris Tillman’s back stiffened up. Wright, who was recalled on Tuesday, but hadn’t pitched, learned Saturday that he’d be pitching instead of Tillman.

“That’s everything you dream of going into it, and it was really fun,” Wright said.

After Wright had thrown 90 pitches, manager Buck Showalter hopped to the mound and called for Brad Brach. It was time for Wright to bask in the cheers.

“I knew what to do. I knew to walk back into the dugout, but I just wanted to kind of savor it. Most of the advice I got was that you only make your debut once. There’s plenty of games, but you only make your debut once, so soak it all in and that’s definitely what I tried to do, I tried to, you know, like look up and see what was going on so I could make sure I remember that forever,” Wright said.

He retired his first nine batters, striking out three. Mike Trout, the game’s second batter, was his first. In the fourth, Wright faced his only real trouble when Kole Calhoun singled to center, and with one out, Albert Pujols doubled. Erick Aybar grounded to third, and Manny Machado threw him to nab Calhoun in a rundown. He ended the inning with a strikeout of Johnny Giavotella.

“That was amazing. Honestly, that ball Pujols hit I thought was gone. I missed with a fastball but when that stayed in I was like, ‘I really need to get through this and that was one of my really good sliders (for) a strikeout in that inning. So I was pretty pumped about that,” Wright said.

Wright (1-0) retired eight straight before Aybar singled with one out in the seventh, but Giavotella hit into a double play.

After Wright struck out David Freese to start the eighth, Joyce singled, and Showalter went to the bullpen for Brad Brach, and the cheers began.

“I was trying to tell J.J. [Hardy], it's safe to say they aren't yelling for me. They're probably unhappy about [him] coming out of the game. When you stop getting your hair to stand up and goose bumps, you need to go do something else. You're lucky to be there for that. Hopefully we can say we were there for his first outing one day,” Showalter said.

Brach struck out Carlos Perez and Marc Krauss to end the eighth.

Zach Britton retired Los Angeles (19-18) in the ninth for his eighth save, but not before Pujols and Aybar singled with two outs.

Before the game, Showalter spoke of his hopes for Wright.

“He wants to pitch a shutout and make us not send him back out. I got it. I want him to, too,” Showalter said.

Five hours later, Showalter joked when asked about Wright’s future.

“Well, he didn't pitch a complete game, so he's out of here. No. We'll look at it, we'll start talking about it,” Showalter said.

Tillman probably won’t pitch until at least Thursday. Miguel Gonzalez and Wei-Yin Chen will pitch the first two games against Seattle on Tuesday and Wednesday though Showalter hedged slightly on Chen.

Bud Norris, who was scratched from Saturday’s game with bronchitis, has lost considerable weight, but was in the bullpen for an emergency.

The Orioles (16-19) scored the only run Wright needed in the fourth when Adam Jones had an infield single with one out. He moved to third on Delmon Young’s single and scored on a wild pitch by Garrett Richards (3-2).

In the eighth, Machado singled with two outs, Jimmy Paredes beat out an infield single and Jones doubled to left to score two, and the Orioles led 3-0.

The runs were big. Wright’s outing was bigger.

“I’ve seen him pitch in spring training. I’ve seen him pitch against a lot of good hitters. What I’m impressed with the fact that he went out there and went 7 1/3 innings,” Jones said. “He was economical. He threw strikes. He kept the defense in the game.”

NOTES: According to STATS, Wright is the first Orioles starter to win his major league debut at home since Jake Arrieta on June 10, 2010. … The Orioles have rescheduled their May 28 doubleheader. The first game starts at 1:05 p.m. … Orioles pitchers haven’t walked a batter in their last two games for the first time since Aug. 1-3, 2010.

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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."

RELATED: VEGAS SETS OVER/UNDERS FOR 2018 MLB SEASON

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Orioles Spring Training Schedule 2018

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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