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Patient Tolliver hopes 2016 will finally be his year with Orioles


Patient Tolliver hopes 2016 will finally be his year with Orioles

SARASOTA, Fla. –- Nearly seven years after he was first drafted, Ashur Tolliver is finally in his first spring training with the Orioles. 

The 28-year-old left-hander, who was drafted in the fifth round in 2009, is a non-roster invitee to spring training. He never thought that he’d finally get an invitation to major league spring training in 2016.

“It wouldn’t have been exactly how I scripted it coming out of the draft with some of the injuries and setbacks, but I’m really thankful to still be an Oriole. I like the players here. I like the coaches. The organization has stuck with me through a lot of ups and downs,” Tolliver said.

Tolliver pitched a scoreless eighth inning on Friday against Toronto.

It took Tolliver five years to even make Double-A, and last year, his second year in Bowie, he was 1-2 with a 2.59 ERA.

“You just have to stick with the process and trust that what you’re doing is ultimately going to get you where you’re going. I’m thankful the Orioles still stuck with me. I’m really grateful to still be here. I was a free agent after last year, and I knew they wanted me back, and I was glad about that,” Tolliver said.

“It’s been tough sometimes with the injuries and stuff. I’m glad they stuck with me because they know what I’m capable of.”

The 2009 draft wasn’t a strong one for the Orioles. Mychal Givens was the first member of that class to make the majors, and it took him six years.

Givens’ recall from Bowie excited Tolliver.

“I remember getting to the field, his locker was empty. Where’s Givens?” Tolliver said.

The two had been minor league roommates and close friends. On the night Givens was recalled, Bowie’s game ended early, and the Baysox retreated to their clubhouse and watched his major league debut on television.

“I recorded it and sent it to him along with 100 other people,” Tolliver said.

Tolliver hasn’t pitched in Triple-A, and he hopes to do that and become the second member of the 2009 class to make the majors.

“We’re kind of running thin. Hopefully a few of us can make it,” Tolliver said.

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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.