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Urrutia's 1st major league HR the game-winner


Urrutia's 1st major league HR the game-winner

BALTIMORE –- Henry Urrutia was surrounded by his teammates. Jumping on top of him, congratulating him.

In his second try at the major leagues, Urrutia had finally hit a home run, and what a time it was.

For the third time in the past six games, the Orioles ended with a home run, and it was Urrutia’s turn on Wednesday night.

The 5-4 win over the New York Mets before 36,165 at Oriole Park had a look that’s become very familiar here over the past several days.

Last Friday, it was Manny Machado. On Saturday, it was Chris Davis’ turn. Now, the man who 2 ½ years ago couldn’t speak any English stood in front of his locker, telling jokes in his adopted language and admitted to being nervous.

“This is the best moment in all my career. I’ve never seen this moment before. So, it's great to be here right now,” Urrutia said.

Carlos Torres (4-5) threw the pitch on 1-2, and Urrutia hit it to the opposite field. It was the Orioles’ sixth game-ending home run this year, tops in the major leagues.

“Before my at-bat, I was thinking, 'Just make good contact.' I know I can hit the opposite field when they throw me away. When I make good contact I was running for the base and in my mind I said, ' I can't believe this,’” Urrutia said.

Urrutia is the fifth Oriole to hit a game-ender as his first major league home run, the first since Chris Hoiles on June 27, 1990.

“That makes this moment bigger for me. A lot of good players come here to this team and played with this organization and in their whole careers don’t have a moment like this. So this moment for me is as special, is bigger than anything,” Urrutia said.

Zach Britton (4-0) pitched a scoreless ninth for the win.

The Orioles (62-57) won despite a second straight shaky start from Ubaldo Jimenez. But, it was the second straight time Jimenez didn’t take the loss thanks to a dramatic homer. He was the beneficiary of Machado’s home run last Friday night.

Jimenez allowed three runs in five innings, but walked four.

“I guess the magic’s back. It doesn’t matter what we do, we find a way to win. That’s the way we win last year. Hopefully, this is the way to keep going the rest of the season,” Jimenez said.

Jimenez gave up a home run to the game’s second batter, Daniel Murphy.

The Orioles loaded the bases with none out in the first off Noah Syndergaard, but Chris Davis struck out and Jonathan Schoop bounced into a double play.

Jimenez walked three in the fourth inning and paid when Wilmer Flores’ RBI single scored Travis d’Arnaud from second. d’Arnaud’s walk was the second of the three.

Adam Jones doubled to start the fourth. Davis walked, and after Jonathan Schoop struck out, Steve Clevenger’s single scored Jones, and New York led 2-1.

Curtis Granderson doubled to start the fifth and scored on Murphy’s single to give the Mets (64-56) a 3-1 lead.

Davis doubled to start the sixth, and Schoop homered to left, his ninth, and the score was tied at 3.

Schoop bounced back from his two errors on Tuesday night, and encouraged Urrutia.

“I have to play better, especially this time [of the year]. I have to focus. I have great teammates, J.J., Jonesy, all those guys who said ‘Everybody has a bad day. Just get a fresh head and go get it tomorrow,’” Schoop said.

He was thrilled with Urrutia’s homer.

“I hope he enjoys it and, not forget about it, but comes back tomorrow and does the same thing,” Schoop said.

Mychal Givens retired New York in order in the sixth, but Flores led off the seventh with his 12th home run of the year for a 4-3 lead.

Jones homered with two outs in the seventh off Hansel Robles to tie the score at 4. It was Jones’ 23rd home run of the year.

The Orioles remain in the midst of the playoff hunt, and begin a four-game series with Minnesota on Thursday night.

“We've got another team fighting tooth and nail to get into the playoffs coming in here. We ain't backing into nothing. You're going to have to earn it and tonight we did against a very good team,” manager Buck Showalter said.

NOTES: The Orioles signed left-handed pitcher Mike Belfiore to a minor league contract. He’ll report to Norfolk. Belfiore pitched in one game for the Orioles in 2013 and was released by Detroit on Aug. 9. … Minnesota’s Tyler Duffey (1-1, 6.75) faces Miguel Gonzalez (9-8, 4.42) on Thursday night. ... The Orioles stole a season-high three bases.

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Orioles agree to one-year deal with pitcher Chris Tillman, according to reports

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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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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