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Orioles select Florida State outfielder with first pick


Orioles select Florida State outfielder with first pick

The Orioles picked Florida State outfielder DJ Stewart with the 25th pick in the first round of Monday’s First Year Draft.

Stewart, a 6-foot-230 pound left-handed hitter, batted .318 this year with 15 home runs and 59 RBIs in 64 games. He walked 69 times and had an on-base percentage of .500. He also stole 12 bases in 15 attempts.

The junior from Yulee, Fla., batted .344 in his three years at Florida State.

The Orioles hadn’t selected a position player in the first round since Manny Machado in 2010, and he’s the first outfielder taken with their top pick since Nick Markakis in 2003.

“We’re looking forward to watching him play, and I’m sure our fans are going to like watching him play, too,” Orioles scouting director Gary Rajsich said in a conference call early Tuesday morning.

“He’s strong. That’s what we like about him. He’s durable. He should hold up well to the rigors of a major league season.”

Rajsich was concerned for a time that Stewart would be there for the Orioles when it was their time to choose.

“Beginning about seven or eight picks before DJ, we were getting a little nervous because some names were coming off the board,” Rajsich said.

Stewart has a pronounced crouch. That doesn’t bother the Orioles.

“We’ll send him out the way he is. That’s fine with us,” Rajsich said.

The 21-year-old outfielder started using it as a high school freshman.

“The crouch allows me to see the strike zone very well,” Stewart said. “I can concentrate on getting good pitches that I can hit.”

Stewart will most likely start his professional career at short-season Aberdeen. He projects as a corner outfielder, but has no player that he's tried to pattern himself after.

“There’s not really a certain player I try to be like,” Stewart said.

Stewart came in for high praise by his college coach.

“There have been a number of outstanding young men to come through our program, but none better than DJ Stewart in the way that he displayed leadership both on and off the field,” Florida State head coach Mike Martin said. “A two-time Academic All-American with a 3.35 GPA in his last semester at Florida State, knowing that he had a good chance to be a first round pick is a clear indication of his leadership and commitment to Florida State baseball.
“DJ represented his family, his university and himself in a first class manner throughout his career at Florida State. We are extremely proud of DJ and congratulate him on being drafted by the Orioles.”

The Orioles selected Oviedo, Fla. high school shortstop Ryan Mountcastle with the 36th pick in the first round. He was compensation for losing Nelson Cruz as a free agent.

Jonathan Hughes, a right-handed high school pitcher from Flowery Branch, Georgia was the team’s second round pick.

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Orioles bats stay silent against Cleveland

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Orioles bats stay silent against Cleveland

BALTIMORE -- Mike Clevenger pitched a two-hitter in his first career complete game, and the Cleveland Indians hit three solo homers off Chris Tillman in a 4-0 victory over the Baltimore Orioles on Saturday.

Jose Ramirez went 3 for 4 with his team-leading fifth home run. Yan Gomes and Yonder Alonso also went deep for Cleveland, which came into the game ranked second-to-last in the AL in runs and last in batting average.

Clevenger (2-0) hardly needed the offensive support. Pitching on seven days' rest, the right-hander struck out three, walked two and allowed only one runner past first base.

The only two hits he allowed were singles by Manny Machado in the fourth inning and Chance Sisco in the fifth.

It was Clevenger's 35th career start. His previous longest outing was 7 1/3 innings, earlier this month against Kansas City.

While Clevenger is unbeaten in 11 starts since July 31, Tillman has experienced an opposite fate. This was his 22nd straight start without a victory, dating back to his first outing last season.

Tillman (0-4) gave up four runs, eight hits and a walk in six innings. The three home runs were one more than he yielded in his first three starts this season.

Michael Brantley hit a run-scoring groundout in the first inning and Gomes connected in the fourth for a 2-0 lead.

The Orioles put runners on the corners with one out in the fourth, their lone threat against Clevenger, who responded by retiring Tim Beckham on a short fly to left and getting Anthony Santander to ground out.

Ramirez led off the sixth with a drive to left, and Alonso hit a two-out shot that landed on Eutaw Street beyond the right-field scoreboard.

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Orioles pitching falls apart as Tigers complete sweep in Detroit

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Orioles pitching falls apart as Tigers complete sweep in Detroit

DETROIT - Leonys Martin hit his first big league grand slam, Jeimer Candelario had four hits and three RBIs, and the Detroit Tigers beat Baltimore 13-8 Thursday to extend the Orioles' losing streak to six.

Jordan Zimmermann (1-0) gave up four runs and seven hits in 5 1/3 innings, allowing two home runs to Manny Machado and one to Chris Davis. Zimmermann was pitching for the first time since being hit in the jaw by a line drove off the bat of Cleveland's Jason Kipnis on April 11.

Alex Cobb (0-2) made his second start after signing a $57 million, four-year contract in spring training and his ERA rose to 15.43. He allowed seven runs - five earned - and 10 hits in 3 1/3 innings.

Machado had four RBIs for the Orioles, who were outhit 18-14 in the game and outscored 23-15 in the three-game sweep.

Victor Martinez hit an RBI single in the first, but Davis put Baltimore ahead with a two-run homer in the second, his sixth hit and fourth homer in 10 career at-bats against Zimmermann.

Detroit went ahead for good with four runs in the bottom half after third baseman Tim Beckham's throwing error allowed James McCann to reach base leading off. Jose Iglesias hit a two-run triple, Miguel Cabrera had an RBI single and Nick Castellanos a run-scoring groundout.

Machado's homer in the third cut Baltimore's deficit to 5-2, but Candelario's two-run homer extended the lead to 7-2 in the bottom half. Martin homered off Mike Wright Jr. in a five-run fifth.