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Orioles win their third straight, 5-2 over Red Sox

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Orioles win their third straight, 5-2 over Red Sox

BALTIMORE – Suddenly, the Orioles are what passes for hot. For the second time this season, they have a three-game winning streak and won five of six.

Timely hitting, brilliant defense and a wonderful performance by the bullpen contributed to the Orioles 5-2 win over the Boston Red Sox before 22,201 on Wednesday night.

The Orioles (28-30) are still in fourth place, 4 ½ games out of first, but are showing signs of life.

It was keyed by that defense, particularly in the second inning.

Xander Bogaerts drove a ball against the center field wall. Adam Jones retrieved it and fired it to J.J. Hardy, who was covering second.

Initially called safe, a 25-second replay review gave Jones an assist. A moment later, Pablo Sandoval singled to left. Travis Snider threw to Ryan Flaherty to tag out Sandoval. Mookie Betts hit a drive to center that Jones ran down to end the inning.

“That’s probably the key inning, probably as key as anything,” manager Buck Showalter said.

Jones was at it again to start the fifth. Betts drove a ball to right-center, and Jones dove and made a spectacular catch.

"He doesn't cede anything: 'Here's a ball over my head and that's a double. Now let me get to a place where if it comes off clean I've got a play,’” Showalter said. “It's infectious.”

Snider, playing his first season alongside Jones, both in left and right field, has become a convert after 2 ½ seasons in Pittsburgh

“I told him I would have caught that ball standing up but he didn’t believe me. No, getting to play next to Andrew McCutchen and now Adam Jones, I’m pretty spoiled getting to watch these guys play each night. And he’s just a tremendous ballplayer and that was a tremendous play,” Snider said.

Tommy Hunter and Darren O’Day combined for four spotless innings in relief of Wei-Yin Chen (2-4). Over the last two nights, the bullpen has gotten 26 outs and allowed just one hit.

Showalter has had to be inventive playing a man short because of Brian Matusz’s eight-game suspension. The Orioles are 4-1 in the first five games of the ban, but they may have to disable Miguel Gonzalez on Thursday to add a bullpen piece.

O’Day, who picked up his second save of the season, has seen the atmosphere improve lately.

“We have fundamental players here. You look around at the players that we have, and they’re selected for a reason. They’re guys who pay attention to details, do the little things. For a while we kind of were not doing that. Lately whether it’s game calling, catching the ball, making a good pitch, kind of staying in the moment. I think guys’ games have improved, and it’s showing the result on the scoreboard,” O’Day said.

Chen won for just the second time in 12 starts, but he couldn’t get an out in the sixth.

After Rick Porcello (4-6) struck out the side in the first, Chris Davis began the second by bunting for a base hit. Porcello and catcher Blake Swihart fought over the ball, and Davis was safe at first.

Delmon Young hit into a fielder’s choice, and after he moved to second on Snider’s infield out, Hardy’s double scored him. Flaherty’s single scored Hardy for a 2-0 lead.

Dustin Pedroia singled with two outs in the third and scored on Brock Holt’s double.

Jones’ RBI single scored Manny Machado in the third for a 3-1 lead.

Chen allowed a leadoff double to Pedroia in the sixth. Pedroia is now 17-for-35 (.486) against Chen. Holt’s single moved him to third, and Hunter relieved Chen.

Hunter struck out Hanley Ramirez, and looked as if he would be out of the inning when Mike Napoli bounced to short. Hardy’s relay to second was in time, but Flaherty’s throw to first eluded Davis, and Pedroia scored. Bogaerts ended the inning by grounding to Hardy.

Chen allowed two runs on seven hits in five-plus innings.

The Orioles scored two more in the sixth when Davis, Young and Snider began the inning with singles. Snider drove in Davis. Hardy’s fly to right scored Young, and it was 5-2.

Boston is 27-33.

Jones’ defensive night will stand out.

“You can make good plays when your pitcher is out there throwing strikes, battling and grinding it out. Those type of things happen. When they are walking people and put us on our heels, those things don’t happen. But if they are aggressive, you never know. We are on our toes,” Jones said.

NOTES: According to STATS, the last time the Orioles had outfield assists on consecutive plays was July 18, 2009. Nolan Reimold and Nick Markakis recorded them. … Wade Miley (5-5, 4.67) faces Chris Tillman (3-7, 5.61) on Thursday night.

MORE ORIOLES: Orioles conclude draft by taking mainly college players, pitchers

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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."

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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