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Wieters' home run gives Orioles three-game sweep


Wieters' home run gives Orioles three-game sweep

WASHINGTON –- In the last 15 games, the Orioles have put themselves back in contention for the final wild-card spot. On September 8, the Orioles had lost 15 of 18, and fallen seven games under .500.

Sixteen days later, the Orioles have won 11 of 15 and moved back to .500 for the first time since Aug. 26.

They’re still 3 ½ games behind Houston and also trail Minnesota and Los Angeles with 10 games to play.

On Thursday, the Orioles pulled off a three-game sweep against the Nationals, needing a long two-run home run by Matt Wieters in the eighth for a 5-4 win before an announced crowd of 28,456 at Nationals Park.

“I still like our storyline, especially when you put a little chip on the shoulder, and people keep counting them out. There’s a lot of passion and energy out there,” manager Buck Showalter said.

Back when the team was reeling, Showalter said offhandedly the Orioles might just win 15 straight. Since then, they’ve lost only four.

“You punch back. Our guys have been punching back. They’re refusing to give in, still trying to get to our goal that we started in Sarasota a long time ago,” Showalter said.

There were no histrionics, no repeat of the tension that enveloped the ballpark on Wednesday night when Jonathan Papelbon hit Machado and was tossed from the game.

“I don’t know if chip is the right word. They certainly helped us make it bigger last night,” Showalter said. “But I think after what went down last night, I think it really helped our guys really come in with extra focus to try to win a ballgame.”

Washington (78-74) scored two runs in the seventh off Chaz Roe to take a 4-3 lead.

Steve Pearce began the eighth with a single off Blake Treinen (2-4), and Matt Wieters hit a long home run to center, his seventh, and the Orioles led 5-4.

Wieters had just two RBIs since Aug. 9, but even though he jokingly said that he might have gotten jammed, his homer was measured at 445 feet. “I was trying to get something up. I missed one earlier in that at-bat, then I was fortunate to get another one up. Like I said, if he’s down then it’s a lot tougher to get a ball elevated off of him,” Wieters said.

Gerardo Parra led off the first with a double off Tanner Roark. He scored on Machado’s single.

In the fourth, Wieters singled to lead off, and Jonathan Schoop hit his 15th home run to center for a 3-0 lead.

Tyler Wilson allowed three hits and two walks in the first four innings. In the fifth, he gave up two runs when Wilson Ramos and Trea Turner led off with singles. Ramos scored on Anthony Rendon’s sacrifice fly. Yunel Escobar’s RBI single scored Turner, and the Orioles lead was 3-2.

Wilson allowed two runs on six hits in six innings.

Ramos’ 14th home run of the year off Chaz Roe (4-3) in the seventh tied it at 3.

Matt den Dekker walked, and Rendon singled against Mike Wright (3-5).  Yunel Escobar’s doubled scored den Dekker, but Rendon was out at the plate, and Washington led 4-3.
After the Nationals took a two-run lead, Jayson Werth sharply lined to third to end the seventh, and Machado forcefully pounded his glove.

“I think Manny is a little frustrated. He loves to win and the fact that winning three games is the best ‘back at ya,’” Showalter said.

Brad Brach allowed a double to Clint Robinson to start the eighth. Pinchrunner Wilmer Difo was thrown out at third on Ian Desmond’s bunt.

The Orioles hope to have Adam Jones back on Friday when they begin a three-game series with the Red Sox. An MRI on his back showed nothing alarming, and he remains day-to-day.

Zach Britton, who wasn’t available for this series, hopes to play catch on Friday. Britton has a strained left lat.

Showalter is trying to get by without his All-Star closer, and with a combination of Brach, O’Day and Mychal Givens plus perhaps some unexpected contributions, hopes to stay competitive.

“We’ve been a sum of the parts team,” Showalter said.

Darren O’Day worked a perfect ninth for his sixth save, his third in as many days with Britton sidelined.

“It was definitely unexpected. I couldn't imagine it would happen. Three saves means three wins, so it's obviously really exciting,” O’Day said.

Will there be a fourth straight save?

“We'll see tomorrow. We'll find out about 5:15 when I play catch,” O’Day said.

NOTES: Kevin Gausman (3-6, 4.26) faces Rich Hill (1-0, 1.93) as the Orioles play the first of three in Boston. … The Orioles are at .500 for the 16th time this season.

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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