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Gausman wanted the ball, and got the Orioles to postseason

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USA Today Sports

Gausman wanted the ball, and got the Orioles to postseason

NEW YORK—Three days after they finished off an exciting three-game series in Toronto, the Orioles will go back to Canada for the wild-card game on Tuesday. 

The Orioles had polished off the New York Yankees 5-2 to secure their third postseason berth in five seasons, but the players didn’t go wild on the field. 

They did go wild in the clubhouse, spraying champagne and beer on each other while hoping the Boston Red Sox could beat the Toronto Blue Jays. 

Toronto won 2-1, forcing the Orioles to go on the road for their wild-card game. 

The Orioles haven’t played well in Rogers Centre this year—until this week when they won two of three. 

On Saturday, the Orioles lost to the Yankees 7-3, and after the Blue Jays beat the Red Sox Saturday night, it was up to Kevin Gausman. 

Gausman delivered a solid performance, allowing two runs in 7 1/3 innings. 

RELATED: ORIOLES GET TO THE POSTSEASON THANKS TO MATT WIETERS, KEVIN GAUSMAN

“Knowing that the Jays won last night kind of put a different spin on it,” Gausman said.

“When I woke up I was ready to go. I wanted the game to start at 12 o’clock. I was pacing back and forth in here a long time and I wanted the ball today.”

Gausman (9-12) yielded to Zach Britton, who came in for the last five outs. It wasn’t a save situation for Britton, who allowed two hits in the eighth that led to a run, but finished off the Yankees (84-78) quickly in the ninth and got to celebrate the postseason clincher

“It was pretty cool. I’m disappointed I couldn’t save that run there for Gaus-y, he deserved a better fate than that. So I was pretty disappointed in that. I got a little bit ahead of myself there. But as a whole, I’m pretty happy with it, but I’ll be even happier if we get deep into the postseason,” Britton said. 

If the Orioles (89-73) win Toronto on Tuesday, they’ll advance to the American League Division Series two days later in Arlington, Tex. against the Rangers, who have the best record in the American League. 

Manager Buck Showalter hasn’t announced a pitcher for the wild-card. Chris Tillman and Ubaldo Jimenez are the likely options. Toronto manager John Gibbons can probably choose between Francisco Liriano and Marcus Stroman. 

The Blue Jays won the season series, 10-9. 

Matt Wieters hit two two-run homers, becoming the first Oriole to hit home runs from both sides of the plate since Roberto Alomar on July 25, 1999. Wieters hit one in the fourth against Luis Cessa (4-4) and another in the sixth off Tommy Layne. 

“Any team that makes the playoffs after 162 games, you’ve been through the ups and down and this team is no different. We’ve been through it all. It’s not time for the postseason. We’ll enjoy it tonight and then move on to the postseason,” Wieters said. 

Two years ago, Wieters missed the run to the American League Championship Series after Tommy John surgery. Four years ago, the Orioles made it to the Division Series against the Yankees, but lost in five games. 

Wieters is a free agent for the second straight season. A year ago, he surprised many observers by accepting a qualifying offer. Even if that option is available to him next month, he may choose to explore other options after eight season with the Orioles. 

“I didn’t know going out of last year what the future was going to hold for me this year. I can’t imagine anything better than this right here except for doing it after a World Series with these guys,” Wieters said. 

Adam Jones, who along with J.J. Hardy, will be the only Orioles regular to play in all three postseasons, was as always, thoroughly enjoying himself. 
“We’re a little older and a little more veteran. The experience in this locker room has helped us win,” Jones said.
 
Few preseason prognosticators predicted that the Orioles would end the regular season with a chance to play on. The team didn’t have enough starting pitching and relied too much on the home run. 

“People say that every single year, I really don’t know why, but for some reason they like picking against us. It’s fine with us. We’re kind of used to it. But this team is a lot of fun and we have a lot of quality guys,” Gausman said. 

Jones enjoys tweaking those who doubt the Orioles.

“We just proved ourselves right. I don't think we cared about anyone else’s thoughts, we got to play the game no matter what others say. You got to get between the lines and these men right here showed up every single day. Sometimes it wasn’t pretty, I wasn’t pretty. But at the end of the day we got the job done,” Jones said.

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

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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."

RELATED: VEGAS SETS OVER/UNDERS FOR 2018 MLB SEASON

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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