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Kim's first major league home run helps Orioles to 6-4 win

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USA TODAY Sports

Kim's first major league home run helps Orioles to 6-4 win

CLEVELAND—It was a terrific way to end a challenging road trip. One that begin with winning two of three against the Los Angeles Angels, but derailed in Houston when the Orioles struck out 52 times. 

On Sunday, the Orioles won an exhausting game against the Cleveland Indians, winning two of three this weekend, and setting them up for a four-game series against the Boston Red Sox at home.

There were plenty of highlights. Hyun Soo Kim hit his first major league home run to give the Orioles the lead, and Darren O’Day rescued Brad Brach from trouble in the eighth inning. 

The Orioles’ 6-4 win over the Indians before 18,565 at Progressive Field, keeps them a game behind the Red Sox, who had lost their previous three games. 

Despite actually losing five of nine on the trip, the Orioles (28-20) can feel good about what they accomplished against Cleveland (26-22) a team that’s in contention for the AL Central.

“It’s half full, half empty. It’s behind us and we’re moving on. I don’t look at it any way. I don’t. Somebody will say you won two out of three series and somebody will say you got beat three times in Houston,” manager Buck Showalter said

With the score tied at four in the seventh, Kim lined a 2-2 pitch off Jeff Manship (0-1) to right field, and the Orioles had a 5-4 lead. 

Kim, who began the season as a virtual outcast because he refused to accept the club’s request that he hone his game in Norfolk. 

Instead, Kim mostly watched for the season’s first several weeks, but produced in his occasional appearances. 

During the road trip with the Orioles striking out at a record pace, Showalter inserted the contact hitting Kim into the lineup, and he’s produced. 

While he did strike out twice on Sunday, Kim walked and hit the home run. 
“I can’t lie that I wasn’t looking for one, but I was mainly focused on making a good hit with good contact and hit the ball as hard as possible,” Kim said through his interpreter. 

In South Korea, Kim showed power. Last year, he hit 28 home runs there, but on his first one in the U.S., he trotted around the bases and ran into the dugout while his teammates ignored him. 

A moment later, they rushed to congratulate him. 

“I’ve seen a reaction like that in Korea, so I was aware of it, so I thought maybe I should just step back until they react,” Kim said. 

The 5-4 lead didn’t look as if it would hold up in the eighth. 

Brad Brach had pitched a scoreless seventh, but Jason Kipnis singled to start the eighth, and Francisco Lindor doubled. Darren O’Day came on to face Mike Napoli, and retired him on a ground ball to third. Jose Ramirez was walked intentionally to load the bases. 

Lonnie Chisenhall fouled off six straight pitches, and was finally called out on strikes for the second out, and Yan Gomes struck out to end the inning.

“That’s what being a reliever is all about, just getting out of situations like that,” O’Day said. 

Normally, O’Day enters a game to start an inning, most likely the eight, with no runners on. This time, he didn’t. 

“Usually when I come in, it’s a clean inning and I make it a bases-loaded situation. I’m used to being in those situations,” O’Day said. “It’s tough, but that’s what relief pitching is all about, stranding runners and keeping your cool when the hitter is also anxious to get the job done.”

Nolan Reimold hit his fourth home run of the year off Tommy Hunter in the ninth to give the Orioles some breathing room. 

Zach Britton pitched the ninth for his 14th save, but it wasn’t easy. Marlon Byrd and Rajai Davis started the inning with singles. Carlos Santana hit into a force play, and Britton ended it by striking out Kipnis and Lindor.

The Orioles quickly jumped out to a 3-0 lead off Mike Clevinger. 

Adam Jones walked, and with one out, Manny Machado singled and Chris Davis walked to load the bases. Mark Trumbo slammed a ball off the left field wall scoring all three runners. 

Jonathan Schoop doubled to start the fourth and later scored on Ryan Flaherty’s first RBI of the season, a sacrifice fly to center. 

Chris Tillman (7-1) didn’t allow a hit in the first three innings, but arlos Santana led off the fourth with a home run. With one out, Lindor walked and Napoli homered, and the lead was cut to 4-3.

Kipnis tied the score at four with his seventh home run in the bottom of the sixth. 

Tillman gave up three home runs in his first 10 starts, and then equaled that on Sunday. 

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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 hecticfew 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

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Baltimore Orioles add to their rotation, sign RHP Andrew Cashner

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USA Today Sports

Baltimore Orioles add to their rotation, sign RHP Andrew Cashner

SARASOTA, Fla. -- The Baltimore Orioles signed right-hander Andrew Cashner to a two-year, $16 million contract on Thursday after searching for starting pitching all offseason.

The 31-year-old Cashner is 42-64 with a 3.80 ERA in eight major league seasons with the Chicago Cubs, San Diego, Miami and Texas, including 11-11 with a 3.40 ERA for the Rangers last year. The deal with the Orioles has an option for 2020.

He'll join right-handers Dylan Bundy and Kevin Gausman in the rotation.

"I do know that they need some starting pitching, and here it is, show up every day and whoever I can help out, help out and my job is to come here and pitch and win," Cashner said.

Cashner's deal could be worth $41 million over three seasons if he pitches 200 innings annually. He gets a $3 million signing bonus, payable in equal installments each Jan. 15 from 2020 through 2021.

RELATED: VEGAS SETS OVER/UNDERS FOR 2018 MLB SEASON

Cashner has salaries of $5 million this season and $8 million in 2019, and there is a $10 million option for 2020 that would become guaranteed if he pitches 340 innings combined in the next two seasons. If he reaches 360 innings, it would become a player option.

He can make $5 million in performance bonuses each year.

There are $1,525,000 per season in bonuses based on starts: $250,000 each for 10 and 15, $625,000 for 20 and $400,000 for 30.

Cashner also can make $3,475,000 each year based on innings: $250,000 each for 110 and 120, $275,000 for 130, $350,000 for 140, $750,000 for 150 and $400,000 apiece for 170, 180, 190 and 200.

Cashner was at the Orioles' spring training facility, and was due to head to his Texas home for a few days before returning on Sunday when Baltimore's full squad is required to report. He'll likely work out with the team for the first time Monday.

He has little experience against the Orioles, but said he was excited to join the team.

"It's a lineup you can't really make a lot of mistakes against," Cashner said. "It's a lot of power in there, and I got to pitch (for) San Diego one year in Baltimore. Really cool stadium, really neat, a lot of history. It's one of my favorite places to pitch, so I'm looking forward to making that my home (stadium) every night."

RELATED: ORIOLES TO SHUFFLE UP INFIELD AHEAD OF MACHADO'S FINAL SEASON

Manager Buck Showalter said Cashner would be an ideal addition to the club.

"He's a veteran starter. That's a good deal for both us and him," Showalter said. "He's a guy who's pitched well in the American League. That's something that I think played in his favor."

Cashner said that he began negotiations with Orioles Vice President of Baseball Operations Brady Anderson last fall and in a challenging offseason for free agents, he said patience was vital.

"I don't think it's been difficult. It's been interesting. It's been different," Cashner said.

To make room for Cashner on the 40-man roster, Baltimore placed left-hander Zach Britton (Achilles) on the 60-day disabled list.