ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. All the Orioles had to do was win. If they could beat the Tampa Bay Rays, the Orioles would get to host a Wild Card Game on Friday.Now, they have to travel to Arlington, Texas and face an angry group of Texas Rangers.On Wednesday night, the Orioles lost to the Rays 4-1 before 17,909 at Tropicana Field, sending them to Texas in quite a slump.The Orioles (93-69) finished the regular season with just five hits in their last two games. Five Rangers pitchers combined on a three-hitter, a night after James Shields struck out 15, gave up two hits and lost.Entering the game, the Orioles hoped to tie the New York Yankees for the AL East title and force a Thursday night tiebreaker in Baltimore. The Yankees took an early lead against the Boston Red Sox, and once the Orioles had lost, New York secured the AL East crown. Texas was swept by Oakland and shockingly lost the AL West title and has to host the Orioles. Baltimore lost five of seven to Texas this season, being outscored 56-24. The Rangers are likely to send Yu Darvish, who didnt face the Orioles this season. Buck Showalter hasnt named his starter, but Joe Saunders would be starting on four days rest Friday. Saunders has a horrid 0-6 record with a 9.38 ERA at Rangers Ballpark.For the third straight night, Baltimore did almost nothing againstTampa Bay( 90-72) starter Jeremy Hellickson.Hellickson (10-11) allowed just one hit in 5 13 innings, and that came after Chris Davis fanned on a third strike, but reached on a wild pitch.In this series, Rays starters allowed just five hits in 21 13 innings.Chris Tillman (9-3) lost his first game since Aug. 11. He was pulled after he allowed three home runs in five innings.Evan Longoria hit two of them, in the first and fourth innings. Two batters after Longorias home run, Ryan Roberts hit one.Longoria added a third home run in the sixth off Jake Arrieta. Longoria, who missed much of the season with a partially torn left hamstring, has 17 homers this season. It was his second career three-homer game.Tillman walked one and struck out six.Jake McGee retired all three batters he faced. Wade Davis pitched a hitless 1 23 innings. In the ninth, J.J. Hardy doubled against Joel Peralta. He moved to third on defensive indifference and scored on a sacrifice fly by Adam Jones.After Matt Wieters singled, Fernando Rodney earned his 48th save by getting JimThomeon a fly ball to left.NOTES:-Davis saw his home run streak end at six games. In the first inning, he hit a ball to one of the Tropicana Field catwalks and was called out.-The Orioles have allowed two home run games, to Longoria and Texas Adrian Beltre, and a four homer game to the Rangers Josh Hamilton. -Jones became the first Orioles player to appear in all 162 games since Miguel Tejada in 2006. Showalter jokingly said he would prevent Jones from a long consecutive games streak.
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."
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