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Orioles run streak to 7 with 9-5 win over Red Sox


Orioles run streak to 7 with 9-5 win over Red Sox

BOSTON – Everything is going the Orioles way. For the last four games, their starting pitcher has failed to go five innings, and still won. On Tuesday night, their shortstop hit his first two home runs of the season—the two shortest in the major leagues.

With Mike Wright getting the win, and J.J. Hardy hitting those home runs, the Orioles ran their franchise best start to 7-0 with a 9-5 win over the Boston Red Sox before 31,114 at Fenway Park.

The Orioles have their longest winning streak since Apr. 22-May 1, 2005 when they won eight straight.

Wright allowed four runs on five hits in five innings, the first time he had started since March 28 against the Red Sox in Fort Myers, Fla.

According to ESPN, Hardy’s two homers, which both cleared the right field fence by the fabled Pesky Pole, were the shortest hit in the majors so far this season, and not close to the long two run shot by Mark Trumbo.

When Hardy came to the bench, his teammates kidded him.

“Both of your home runs didn’t add up to what Trumbo’s was,” Hardy said.

Manager Buck Showalter, who’s delighting in seeing Hardy, who missed 48 games with injuries last season, happy and healthy, enjoyed watching him drive in five runs.

“He said, ‘It’s not my park, I didn’t build it.’ I said don't feel bad, you are going to hit some home runs to straightaway centerfield that someone’s going to track down. You like to see good things happen to good people. He put good swings on those balls. They would have been extra base hits, regardless of the distance,” Showalter said.  

The Orioles (7-0), who trailed 4-2 after five, scored three in the sixth and four in the seventh.

Trumbo is confident his teammates can come back from deficits.

“We’ve shown that we have the ability to. I’m sure it’s not going to happen every night, but if you can kind of keep that mindset, a lot of good things could happen. It’s a really tough team that we’re going up against and we’ve shown the ability to kind of answer, a few times at least,” Trumbo said.

Wright (1-0), threw 97 mph fastballs in the first and allowed David Ortiz’s 48th home run against the Orioles.

The two-run homer gave Boston a 2-0 lead, which held until Hardy hit his first home run of the season. That two-run home run off Clay Buchholz (0-1) tied the game at 2 in the fourth.

In the fifth, the Red Sox (3-4) took a 4-2 lead on an RBI double by Mookie Betts and a wild pitch by Wright that scored him.

The Orioles scored three runs in the sixth. Chris Davis led off with a single off the Green Monster in left. Trumbo hit a long home run to left, his second in as many days.

Matt Wieters walked, and Pedro Alvarez doubled, his first extra-base hit. Wieters came home with the go-ahead run on Hardy’s sinking liner to right.

Hardy and his teammates seem to know that offensively their team can score runs, seemingly by the dozens.

“It’s just every night, you watch the guys just sitting in the dugout watching everybody’s at bats. It’s fun because everybody – one through nine – can do it and it’s fun to watch,” Hardy said.

“We feel confident. It’s a good mindset to feel like we know it’s going to happen, but everybody trusts one another.”

Wieters’ two-run single and Hardy’s home run off Robbie Ross, Jr. in the seventh put the Orioles ahead 9-4.

“I had so much fun after we tied it up and got the lead. That was amazing. This offense is fun to watch. I’m just like every other baseball fan. I like seeing home runs and I like seeing runs scored.  It’s good when it’s your team,” Wright said.

Dylan Bundy pitched two scoreless innings before allowing a run on Ortiz’s RBI double in the eighth.

Only Ubaldo Jimenez has been able to pitch into the sixth inning, and he lasted seven in the season’s third ame.

“Most of that has to do with our pitch count, our workload early in the season. It wasn’t always that they weren’t pitching well enough to stay in the game,” Showalter said.

“We’ve got a number of people that started off performing well out of the pen, six or seven guys, you don’t mind passing around the load. Dylan’s outing was probably the key to the game tonight.”

NOTES: Hardy’s five RBI game was one short of his career high. .. Joey Rickard has hit in all seven games this season. … Jimenez (1-0, 1.29) faces Joe Kelly (0-0, 21.00) on Wednesday night in the final game of the series.


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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."