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Worley hopes to unleash 'The Vanimal' on Orioles


Worley hopes to unleash 'The Vanimal' on Orioles

The Baltimore media got its first look at Vance Worley at last Saturday’s FanFest, and it was an intriguing one.

Worley had spiked hair and Joe Maddon-style glasses, the 28-year-old right-hander will certainly stand out—if he makes the ballclub.

He was claimed on waivers from Pittsburgh in October, and he can start or relieve.

In 2011, Worley had a superb season with the Philadelphia Phillies, going 11-3 with a 3.01 ERA on a staff that included Roy Halladay, Cole Hamels, Cliff Lee and Roy Oswalt.

He’s never come close to duplicating that year.

The Orioles already have five sure bets for the bullpen: Brad Brach, Zach Britton, Mychal Givens, Brian Matusz and Darren O’Day, and a sixth if Dylan Bundy is healthy.

There will be many competing for that seventh spot.

They have four starters, and are looking hard at adding at fifth.

So, where does the 28-year-old Worley, who agreed to a $2.6 million contract for 2016, avoiding arbitration fit in?

“I know this team can play some defense, and that’s going to play into how I pitch,” Worley said. “I’m not a strikeout guy. I’m not overpowering. I’m rely on my defense to play behind me.”

Worley has a most inventive Twitter handle: @VANIMAL_46.

“It’s a college nickname. I got it my freshman year. We had weights at five o’clock in the morning, and I was one of the few who showed up and wanted to lift,” Worley said.

“It was our strength coach who said: ‘The Vanimal is in here.’”

Worley was told his name and animal just went together.

“I kind of ran with it, and it’s followed with here. I’m O.K. with that nickname if you guys want to call me that,” Worley said.

NOTE: The Orioles announced two adjustments to their spring training schedule. On March 28, they’ll play a game against the Boston Red Sox in Fort Myers, Fla. Instead of playing Philadelphia in Clearwater, and on March 30, they’ll host Detroit at 6:05 p.m. instead of Toronto.

[RELATED: How does Kim change Orioles' lineup?]

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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.

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Orioles fall in Detroit after wild 8th and 9th innings

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Orioles fall in Detroit after wild 8th and 9th innings

DETROIT -- Dixon Machado came to the plate with only one big league homer to his name, but the way this game was going, anything seemed possible.

"Walking to the plate I was thinking, `What if I hit a homer right here?'" the Detroit infielder said. "He threw me a fastball away but when he came in with a pitch I was ready for it and I just hit it hard."

Machado led off the bottom of the ninth with a home run , capping a wild final two innings and lifting the Tigers over the Baltimore Orioles 6-5 on Wednesday. Detroit led 2-1 before each team scored three runs in the eighth and one in the ninth.

Baltimore's Luis Sardinas tied it with a solo shot off Shane Greene (1-0) in the top of the ninth, but then the 26-year-old Machado hit a line drive off Pedro Araujo (1-2) that cleared the fence in left field. It was his second homer in 299 big league at-bats.

The game was moved from 6:40 p.m. to 1:10 p.m. in anticipation of bad weather. Although it was a sparse crowd, to say the least , the sun did come out, and those fans in attendance were treated to quite a few homers.

Miguel Cabrera went deep on his 35th birthday, and Jeimer Candelario and John Hicks also homered for Detroit. Hicks hit a three-run shot in the eighth that put the Tigers up 5-4.

Danny Valencia hit a solo homer for the Orioles, who have lost five straight.

Detroit's Matthew Boyd allowed a run, two hits and three walks in 6 1/3 innings, striking out six. Baltimore's Kevin Gausman allowed two runs and nine hits in six-plus innings.

Cabrera's solo homer put the Tigers up 2-1 in the sixth, but Manny Machado and Chris Davis hit RBI singles as part of a three-run rally by Baltimore in the eighth. The drive by Davis was nearly a home run, but it hit the wall and stayed in play.

"There were obviously a couple bad breaks -- our ball hits the top of the fence and comes back and their ball goes over -- but there were four or five breaks we got during the game on bounces or pitch calls," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "If you lose focus and start feeling sorry for yourselves, every team you play is going to take advantage and step on your throat."