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Seven-run sixth dooms Orioles in 8-3 loss


Seven-run sixth dooms Orioles in 8-3 loss

KANSAS CITY, Mo. –- The sixth inning turned in seemingly an instant. Seven straight two-out hits and seven runs changed a winnable game into an impossible obstacle.

The Kansas City Royals had just turned a two-run deficit into a five-run lead that the Orioles couldn’t overcome.

An 8-3 loss to the defending American League champions before 27,797 at Kauffman Stadium on Monday night was the Orioles fifth straight.

“It happened so fast you can’t even talk about it. That was a quick inning man. They were aggressive. They put up seven, in what, about 15 pitches?” Adam Jones said.

Ubaldo Jimenez had a two-run lead entering the sixth, and was a batter away from a quality start.

Eric Hosmer doubled off Jimenez (9-8) with one out in the sixth. After Kendrys Morales’ infield out, Mike Moustakas’ 14th home run tied the score at 3.

Salvador Perez’s infield single and Alex Rios’ double brought Omar Infante up. Infante hit a long drive to center, and as he slid into third with a two-run triple, Jonathan Schoop’s relay went into the Orioles dugout, and presto, it was 6-3.

After Alicides Escobar singled, Brad Brach replaced Jimenez. Brach allowed a single to Zobrist, who took second on a throw. Lorenzo Cain singled for two more runs, and Kansas City (76-48) led 8-3.

“That’s the tough thing about baseball, everything can change. We were one out away,” Jimenez said.

“I probably started leaving the ball a little bit up in the zone and they started putting a good swing on it. I don’t think the pitch to Moustakas was a bad pitch. That’s what I wanted to throw, the pitch up and in. The big mistake I made was 0-2 pitch to Infante, supposed to be up and in, I left it right down the middle.”

The seven runs and eight hits were a season high for an Orioles opponent.

“He was pitching well. He just started elevating some fastballs and they made him pay for it. He was really commanding the ball well and just didn't that inning,” manager Buck Showalter said.

Jimenez equaled a season-high by allowing seven runs on 10 hits. In eight post-All-Star Game starts, Jimenez has an ERA of 7.65.

“I’ve been struggling a little with my mechanics, but tonight I felt really good with it. It wasn’t about mechanics or anything it was just, made a couple mistakes that cost the game,” Jimenez said.

Kris Medlen (2-0) allowed three runs on five hits in six hits.

“The guy made some good pitches. We scored early, and we kept battling. They made some good pitches against us. We didn’t do too much after the fourth,” Schoop said.

Manny Machado hit Medlen’s first pitch to deep center. Lorenzo Cain appeared to catch it against the center field wall, but after a review, he was ruled to have dropped it and Machado was awarded a double.

Two batters later, Jones hit a long home run to left field, his 24th, and the Orioles (62-62) led 2-0.

Jimenez allowed two hits and a walk in his first two innings before Kansas City scored in the third on singles by Zobrist and Cain and a fielder’s choice by Hosmer.

The Orioles took a 3-1 lead in the fourth on Jones’ leadoff single and a one-out double by Steve Clevenger. That was the Orioles’ last hit.

Medlen retired his final seven batters, Franklin Morales set down six straight and Luke Hochevar worked a perfect ninth.

“You're a pitch away from getting out of there and he had been making it most of the night. I thought [Jimenez] was carrying a good, crisp fastball the whole game, but we had five hits. You always tip your hat to the opposition but you get a little tired of doing that,” Showalter said.

The Orioles are tied with Tampa Bay for third place in the AL East, seven games behind Toronto and New York, and they’re 2 ½ games behind Texas for the final wild card position.

With three more games against the Royals, who have the best record in the AL and three with Texas, the Orioles will continue to be challenged on this trip.

“We’re grown men, not kids. We can’t go around here and yell and scream at somebody like you do kids. Hey, we’re grown men. We know what we need to do. We know the objective. We know how to do it. We’re major league players. We’re the cream of the crop. So we just really just have to jell and get it done. There ain’t no other way,” Jones said.

NOTES: Miguel Gonzalez (9-9, 4.73) faces Danny Duffy (6-6, 4.18). … The Orioles are at .500 for the first time since July 27, and for the 15th time this season, third most in franchise history.



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Orioles round out starting pitching rotation, finalize 4-year contract with Alex Cobb

USA Today Sports

Orioles round out starting pitching rotation, finalize 4-year contract with Alex Cobb

SARASOTA, Fla. -- Alex Cobb's comfort and familiarity with the AL East was the deciding factor in his decision to sign with the Baltimore Orioles.

"They used the AL East and the success I've had in it to their advantage," the 30-year-old right-hander said Wednesday after finalizing a $57 million, four-year contract. "They kept challenging me with it and I love the challenge of pitching in this division and they know that over the times we talked. They did a really good job of making me feel like this is where I need to be."

Cobb gets $14 million in each of the first three seasons and $15 million in 2021, and he would earn a $500,000 bonus in each year he pitches 180 innings. Baltimore will defer $6.5 million from this year's salary and $4.5 million in each of the next three seasons.

He gets $2 million of the deferred money on Nov. 30, 2022, and $1.8 million annually on Nov. 30 from 2023-32. If he doesn't pitch at least 130 innings in 2020, an additional $5.25 million of the final's year salary would get deferred, payable $1.75 million annually on Nov. 30 from 2033-35.


Cobb has a full no-trade this year, then can list 10 teams from 2019-21 that he cannot be dealt to without his consent.

He had spent his entire six-season big league career with Tampa Bay and was the last big-name starting pitcher available in a slow-moving free agent market. He joined Andrew Cashner and Chris Tillman, who were signed last month, in a revamped rotation that includes holdovers Dylan Bundy and Kevin Gausman.

Cobb was 12-10 with a 3.66 ERA in 29 starts last season. He pitched 179 1/3 innings in his first full year back after missing nearly two seasons because of Tommy John surgery.

He had turned down the Rays' $17.4 million qualifying offer in November, and Baltimore pursued him from the start of free agency.

"They didn't stop bothering me the whole offseason," Cobb said. "They were very persistent, and I think that you notice that confidence they have in you just by the way they speak to you and the questions you ask and not questioning anything that's gone on. Everyone's got flaws that they come with and potential things you could really harp on that might not be your strong suit, but they never went down that avenue. They always told me how much they like certain aspects of what I do on and off the field, and just kept repeating how well I fit in here."


Cobb is 48-35 with a 3.50 in six big league seasons. Baltimore will lose its third-highest draft pick, currently No. 51, and the Rays get an extra selection after the first round as compensation.

Jose Mesa Jr. was designated for assignment Wednesday to clear a roster spot.

Baltimore opens on March 29 at home against Minnesota, but Cobb won't be ready to pitch then. He has agreed to be optioned to a minor league affiliate to help build up innings.

"I'm going to be pushing it as quick as I can," Cobb said. "That's going to be up to them. They've invested in me for a four-year period and as much as we know how much every game matters even early in April, we're going to have to look out for the overall future of this whole thing and whole contract and whatever they determine to be the way to protect me and my feedback from the bullpens I'm going to be throwing here in the next few days will probably determine the timeline."

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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."