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Jimenez wins fans over with six strong innings in Orioles win

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USA TODAY Sports

Jimenez wins fans over with six strong innings in Orioles win

BALTIMORE—Buck Showalter had few choices for a Wednesday night starter. He wanted Mike Wright to stay at Norfolk and last year’s Rule 5 draft choice Jason Garcia wasn’t really an option. Once he had to use Odrisamer Despaigne to rescue Zach Britton on Tuesday night, there was really only one way he could go. 

That was Ubaldo Jimenez, who had been banished to the bullpen after a humiliating one-third of an inning start in Toronto when he allowed five runs to score.

Jimenez’s first outing in relief wasn’t inspiring He gave up five runs in 2 2/3 innings last Friday. 

All that was forgotten by the time Jimenez finished his sixth inning, as he walked off with a start the Orioles sorely needed. 

The Orioles ended up with a 7-2 win over the San Diego Padres before 23,785 at Oriole Park, and Jimenez gave up two runs on four hits, walking four and striking out seven. 

“I just wanted to get the job done, for sure. There’s no more pressure than that. As a pitcher, I know how I was throwing before I got sent down to the bullpen. I was just trying to find a way to survive and get back on my feet,” Jimenez said. 

Jimenez still has nearly a season-and-a-half remaining on his four-year, $50 million contract, and the Orioles want to get a return on that investment. 

“Gave our bullpen a rest. We didn’t have many options down there tonight, so he delivered what we needed. It was good to see him go home and feel good about himself,” Showalter said. 

Jimenez allowed a single to Travis Janikowski on his very first pitch. Two batters later, Janikowski scored on a single by Matt Kemp. 

Eventually Jimenez got out of the inning, and retired the Padres (30-43) in order in the second. 

He walked Travis Jankowski, who easily stole second, leading off the third, but no one else reached in the inning. 

Jimenez (4-7) walked Brett Wallace and Christian Bethancourt with one out in the fourth, but again pitched out of trouble.

A second run scored in the fifth as the pesky Janikowski again led off with a single and stole second, scoring on Kemp’s single.

With two outs, Melvin Upton, Jr. hit a long drive to left that he thought was long gone, but it was ruled foul. 

After a lengthy replay review, the call stood, and Upton struck out a pitch later. 

Jimenez struck out the side in the sixth and left to a warm ovation, and it was something he heard.

“I did, I did. It’s always good. I know I’ve been in the Majors for almost nine years, so I know how things go. If you do good, they are going to be there for you,” Jimenez said. 

Showalter didn’t commit to Jimenez starting again, but says that his spot in the rotation will come up twice before the All-Star break. 

Mark Trumbo hit his 21st home run off Erik Johnson (0-3) to tie the score at 1 in the second. An inning later, the Orioles took a 2-1 lead when Adam Jones, who singled, took off for home when Jonathan Schoop tried for second base.

Jones took his cue from Bobby Dickerson, who was waving him home. 

“I think just my aggression, how I run the bases,” Jones said. “I was coming hard, and as a baserunner you try and make the coaches make the difficult decision. If I slowed down a bit, he would have to stop me, but I didn’t slow down. Hey, good play. Just kept running.”

Matt Wieters’ single up the middle scored Trumbo, who had a leadoff double in the fourth. 

The Orioles (41-30) took a 6-2 lead in the fifth when Ryan Flaherty led off with his third home run of the year. After they loaded the bases, Carlos Villanueva loaded the bases hit Chris Davis with a pitch to score Jones. 

Initially, Jones appeared to score on a wild pitch, but the Orioles challenged the call and swiftly won the challenge. 

Wieters’ sacrifice fly gave the Orioles a 6-2 lead. 

Hyun Soo Kim’s RBI single in the sixth gave the Orioles their final run. 

Brad Brach lowered his ERA to 1.11 with two perfect innings, and Zach Britton, who allowed three runs on Tuesday night, worked a scoreless ninth to close out the Orioles’ 1,000th win at Oriole Park. 

NOTES: Manny Machado returns from his four-game suspension on Friday. The Orioles were 2-2 in his absence. … Darren O’Day (hamstring) will throw off the half-mound on Thursday. … Vance Worley (groin) will pitch a rehab game at Bowie on Saturday. … After Thursday’s off day, the Orioles open a four-game series with Tampa Bay on Friday. Matt Moore (3-4, 4.90) faces Yovani Gallardo (2-1, 6.26). 

 

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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