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Orioles woes continue in 3-1 loss to Tampa Bay


Orioles woes continue in 3-1 loss to Tampa Bay

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – The normally reliable Darren O’Day had a most unusual inning. For the first time in nearly two years, he allowed three hits, and in a shocking turnaround, the Orioles went from holding a tight one-run lead to a three-run loss.

The Tampa Bay Rays’ 3-1 win over the Orioles before 17,838 at Tropicana Field was disheartening because for the second straight start, Chris Tillman was nearly unhittable.

Tillman took a 1-0 lead into the eighth. After allowing just one hit and retiring the final 23 batters in a row last Saturday, Tillman gave up just two hits in seven innings.

After walking the leadoff batter in the eighth, Kevin Kiermaier, he was out of the game, and O’Day, who allowed two hits in just three of his previous 36 appearances, had his roughest inning of an All-Star season.

“He’s so much better than tonight. He gets many mulligans with us,” manager Buck Showalter said.

O’Day’s ERA rose from 1.04 to 1.51.

Joey Butler flied to center, and Kiermaier stole second. Steven Souza struck out, and John Jason singled to right-center, scoring Kiermaier.

Evan Longoria’s single to shallow center put runners on first and third and James Loney was walked intentionally.

Tim Beckham’s single to center hopped off the front of the mound and drove in Jaso and Longoria, and suddenly it was 3-1.

"I made some good pitches. Made a couple really bad pitches. The one to Jaso was pretty bad and the one to Beckham, 0-2, I have to be better than that. Can't leave anything close to the zone where he can win the game like that. Longoria didn't hit the ball hard, but he did his job. He got his bat on the ball with two strikes and extended the inning,” O’Day said.

The Orioles (46-49) have lost four straight and 15 of 20, and for the seventh time in the last eight games, scored three runs or fewer.

“The story is we just haven’t scored any runs,” Showalter said.

The Orioles had a 1-0 lead and Tillman looked to be on the way to his sixth straight win.

Tillman became the first Orioles pitcher since Matt Riley in 2004 with consecutive starts of seven innings, one run and two hits.

“I’m just executing better and when I do get in trouble I’m able to make a pitch to get out of it.  It’s been there for a while now, just kind of carried over from the last couple starts from the first half and we are taking advantage of it,” Tillman said.

Manny Machado, who batted third for the first time in his major league career, had two singles, a walk and was hit by a pitch. He scored the Orioles’ only run in the fourth on Chris Davis’ double.

“We’re just a couple of hits away. We’re just a couple of innings away. We’ve just got to clean it up. It’s just part of the game, it’s part of the grind that we’ve got to get. This is where champions are made right here,” Machado said.

Alex Colome (4-4) got the win for Tampa Bay (49-49) with a scoreless eighth. Jake McGee got his fifth save.

Machado was hit in the left shoulder by Colome in the eighth. He yelled at Colome that the pitch was too close to his head. Colome wagged his finger, saying “no, no, no” to Machado.

Home plate umpire John Tumpane, a fill-in from Triple-A, warned both benches because Beckham had been hit an inning earlier by Tillman.

“I just saw the ball up and in. Nobody likes to get thrown at at the head, but it wasn’t intentional like I said. It’s just part of the game. I’ve got to go out there and take a hit by pitch, go to first base like I did and just move on,” Machado said.

Tampa Bay’s Chris Archer allowed a run on five hits in six innings, striking out nine.

The Orioles remain seven games behind in the American League East, and their clubhouse was perhaps the quietest all season.

Asked to assess the clubhouse’s mood, O’Day said: “Look around.”

Tillman said his teammates’ mood won’t change, said the team will stay upbeat.

“Clubhouse is fine. I’ve never seen it change, win or lose, rain or shine it’s always the same. We got a lot of veteran guys in there that do the job and that’s what’s going on now as well. We are not playing bad baseball. We just aren’t getting the timely hits and timely pitches,” Tillman said.

The one-run losses shouldn’t eat at the Orioles.

“You’d rather be in a close game than a blowout,” Tillman said.

COMING UP: Miguel Gonzalez (8-6, 4.21) faces Erasmo Ramirez (8-3, 3.54) on Saturday at 6:10 p.m.

MORE ORIOLES: Showalter not listening to rumors

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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."


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Orioles Spring Training Schedule 2018

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