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Orioles use the long ball to win fourth straight

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Orioles use the long ball to win fourth straight

BALTIMORE – For the moment, the Orioles are defying the predictions of those who forecast a dire season. The Orioles ran their record to 4-0, one short of the fastest start in team history thanks to four home runs.

The 6-1 win over the Tampa Bay Rays before 17,304 chilly fans at Oriole Park on Friday night came over the acclaimed Chris Archer.

The Orioles are undefeated after four games for the first time since 2011, one short of the 1970 team record according to STATS when they started their championship season with five consecutive wins.

Archer allowed the four homers, a career high, and three of them were hit in the fifth inning.

“There’s no beating around the bush about this lineup. We have, I think, eight of the nine guys who can hit 20 homers – and have done it in the past,” Manny Machado said. “We are going to hit the ball, hopefully when the weather starts getting a little warmer, the ball starts flying a little more.”

Jonathan Schoop began the fifth with a home run into the Orioles bullpen, and with two outs, Nolan Reimold hit one to right-center. Machado followed with a long homer to left. It was the first home run of the season for both Schoop and Reimold and Machado’s second.

Chris Davis hit his second to center field to lead off the second.

Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash inexplicably left Archer in the game after the three home runs, and he walked Davis before Mark Trumbo and Matt Wieters singled. Wieters’ single was lined off Archer (0-2), and Trumbo came up with the Orioles’ sixth run.

“We made him work to be able to get some balls in the middle of the zone. His stuff is great, so you've got to get some balls in the middle of the plate. We have some hitters who aren't going to miss them when they get them,” Wieters said.

After Pedro Alvarez flied to center to end the fifth, Archer’s night was done.

Chris Tillman, who pitched two perfect innings in Monday’s opener, didn’t have his start truncated by rain. Instead, manager Buck Showalter allowed him to go five.

Tillman, who was pitching on fewer than four days rest for the first time, allowed a home run in the first to his old nemesis, Evan Longoria. It was the seventh home run Longoria hit against Tillman in 50 at-bats.

“I didn't think Chris was real sharp command wise for a lot of his outing. He’s capable of better. I thought Matt caught a good game,  worked him through some situations. They are an early swinging club and you better bring your stuff early in the count or you’ll get hurt. Did it tonight with Longoria,” Showalter said.

Tampa Bay (2-3), had runners on second and third with two outs, but Tillman struck out Brad Miller to end the first.

Tillman (1-0) allowed a leadoff single to Steven Souza in the second, walked Logan Forsythe in the third, and then retired his final nine batters. He walked two and struck out five.

“It was OK. The command was a little off, especially early. It kind of got better right towards the end. I was able to command the fastball a little better as well as the changeup. There were some real good changeups late in the game that helped me get through it,” Tillman said.

He wasn’t affected by pitching on short rest.

“I felt good throughout. I felt like I had a lot more in the tank but be smart this time of year. Get you to real late in the season. Don't want to make any mistakes right now,” Tillman said.

He threw 83 pitches, and Showalter thought that was enough.

“I was worried about him being too strong,” Showalter said. “I know he was frustrated by not being able to get deeper in that first game. We really wanted to be careful with him.”

T.J. McFarland gave up a single to his first batter, Logan Morrison, in the sixth, then efficiently retired his last nine.

NOTES: Brian Matusz pitched a perfect seventh inning for Bowie in the second of his two scheduled rehab outings. He’s scheduled to be activated on Sunday. “It felt good to throw back-to-back days,” Matusz said. “It feels good to be healthy.”… Drew Smyly (0-1, 6.75) faces Mike Wright on Saturday night. … Alvarez has started his Orioles career without a hit in 12 at-bats. “Pete takes a lot of confidence in the confidence we have in him and his track record. So, there’s going to come a time when some guys in other places of the order aren’t swinging the bat well and he’s going to need to get it going. He’s close. He’s close,” Showalter said.

MORE ORIOLES: Weather may force Orioles to make a change on Saturday

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Orioles Spring Training Schedule 2018

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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 hecticfew 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

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Baltimore Orioles add to their rotation, sign RHP Andrew Cashner

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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.

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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."

RELATED: ORIOLES TO SHUFFLE UP INFIELD AHEAD OF MACHADO'S FINAL SEASON

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.