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Machado scores winning run on his own Garden Gnome Day

Machado scores winning run on his own Garden Gnome Day

BALTIMORE—Didn’t you just know that on Manny Machado Garden Gnome Day that the Orioles third baseman would score the pivotal run?

Machado singled to lead off the eighth, and scored the go-ahead run to lead the Orioles to a 3-2 win over the Los Angeles Angels before  43,288 at Oriole Park on Saturday. 

With the game tied at 2, Machado led off with a single off Joe Smith (1-4). With one out, Chris Davis singled sending Machado to third, and Jonathan Schoop lined a single to center to score Machado. 

The win ensures that the Orioles (50-36) will go into the All-Star break leading the AL East. They lead Toronto and Boston by two games. 

“It doesn't matter at all, right? Just make our guys and fans be able to look at the paper or the internet a little more fondly. I might even look at it,” manager Buck Showalter said. 

“Obviously it's the end game we're after but reality, it comes back to you that if the season were to end today three teams from the American League East are in. And two of them are a streak away from being right back in it. Tampa is getting ready to get all their people back before we play them. But we have to be ready tomorrow. I'd like to get a win before a well-deserved break for these guys.”

Schoop, who has hit safely in 19 of his last 20 games was delighted to drive in his best friend on the Gnome Day. 

“Driving him in on this day, Manny had good at-bats to get us going. With CD, Manny ran first to third and scored and we got a win. This was a big win for us,” Schoop said. 

Brad Brach (6-1) pitched a scoreless eighth for the win. Zach Britton picked up his 26th straight save. 

Brach, who’s heading to his first All-Star Game, is 18-5 in his three years with the Orioles. 

“Good things seem to follow him around in a lot more ways than one. He's getting everything he deserves because it's what Brad puts into it. Very competitive guy. Expects perfection every time out,” Showalter said. 

Yovani Gallardo pitched five shutout innings, allowing three hits and walking three before coming unglued in the sixth.

Kole Calhoun and Mike Trout singled to sixth, and Albert Pujols walked. Daniel Nava singled off the right field wall scoring Calhoun and Trout, and the Angels (37-51) led 2-1. 

Gallardo has completed a sixth inning just twice in his nine starts. 

Nick Tropeano gave a home run to Mark Trumbo to lead off the second. It was Trumbo’s 28th, which leads the major leagues, and came the Orioles 135 home runs, the most the team has hit before the All-Star break. Trumbo has homered in three consecutive games. 

Tropeano allowed five hits in six innings. 

Mychal Givens relieved Gallardo after Nava’s single, and got out of the inning without further damage. 

Schoop and J.J. Hardy started the seventh with singles against JC Ramirez. Joey Rickard bunted both runners to second. Shortstop Andrelton Simmons made a marvelous play on Matt Wieters’ pop to short center. 

Joe Smith relieved Ramirez, and before his first pitch to Adam Jones, he dropped the ball, allowing Schoop to score the tying run on a balk. 

“I’m surprised it doesn’t happen more often. In the whole scheme of things, I’m all about fairness. What advantage was he trying to gain? The balk, to me, I wish we’d reexamine it. Because a guy drops the ball or doesn’t step off at the exact time, what advantage is he trying to gain? I see a balk when you’re trying to keep a guy from stealing second or you’re able to pick him off with a bent knee move or whatever, but if you really break it down,” Showalter said. “I like to think we’d have figured out a way anyway.”

It’s been a most challenging year for the Orioles, and for Gallardo, who spent about two months on the disabled list with a shoulder injury. 

“Of course, anytime you’re in first place, it’s always a good situation. As far as myself, it’s been a rough year,” Gallardo said. 

“It’s just a matter of finding that good rhythm. It seems like to me that one inning. That one inning I have to keep under control. Being in first place going into the All-Star break, it’s good, but we all understand we’ve got a long way to go. We got plenty of race left. It’s not over. We’ve got to come back tomorrow and hopefully get that other victory.” 

NOTE: Tim Lincecum (1-2, 7.50) pitches against Chris Tillman (11-2, 3.55) on Sunday in the final game before the All-Star break.

MORE ORIOLES: WHEN WILL O'DAY RETURN?

 

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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.

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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.

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Manny Machado to switch from third base to shortstop in final season with Orioles

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USA Today Sports

Manny Machado to switch from third base to shortstop in final season with Orioles

BALTIMORE -- Even if Manny Machado doesn't switch teams this season, he almost certainly will be changing his position in the infield.

Baltimore Orioles manager Buck Showalter said Saturday that Machado will move from third base to shortstop this spring, and shortstop Tim Beckham will be shifted to third.

The shuffle will become permanent unless something goes wrong -- or Machado gets traded to another club.

"There could be some adjustments if we don't like the feel of it, but that's where we're going to head into it," Showalter said at FanFest, an annual offseason event designed to promote interest in the club.

Machado and second baseman Jonathan Schoop did not attend.

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Machado becomes a free agent after this year and is sure to demand a huge contract. The Orioles have entertained trade offers for the 25-year-old, who's been an All-Star in three of his six seasons with Baltimore.

Dan Duquette, vice president of baseball operations for the Orioles, has to decide whether to deal Machado sometime between now and September or seek to sign him to a long-term deal.

"That's a big decision for the organization, obviously," Duquette said. "But we're planning on Manny being with the club. We explored all those options. We think the strongest option is for Manny to be on the ballclub."

Machado played in 156 games last season, offsetting a career-low .259 batting average with 33 home runs and 95 RBIs. He has averaged 35 home runs and 92 RBIs over the past three years.

Machado avoided arbitration this month by agreeing to a $16 million contract for 2018. He received $11.5 million last season.

Drafted as a shortstop as the third overall pick in 2010, Machado played third base with Baltimore next to slick-fielding J.J. Hardy, whose contract expired after last season.

So when they return to the field next month in Florida, the Orioles will have Machado at shortstop with Beckham on his left. Beckham came to Baltimore from Tampa Bay in July and played shortstop for the injured Hardy over the final two months.

"I think Tim would rather play shortstop, as Manny would," Showalter said. "Tim's big thing is getting an opportunity to play every day at one position. We need to settle both those guys into a spot and let them get into it."

Showalter said Machado was enthusiastic about the switch.

"All indications are, he's really excited about this," Showalter said. "I can't imagine him being in a better frame of mind or setup to do this. I think out of his respect for J.J. the past few years he's been very professional about it. But it's not like he's changing positions. He's going back to the position he's equipped to play."

RELATED: ZACH BRITTON TEARS ACHILLES

Deciding what to do with Machado is only one problem Duquette has faced this offseason. He's also been trying to fill out a starting rotation that currently consists of Dylan Bundy, Kevin Gausman and perhaps Miguel Castro, who made his first major league start on Sept. 30 after pitching in relief for 75 games over three seasons.

"Obviously we have work to do to address some of the deficiencies on our ballclub," Duquette said. "We're going to continue to build our pitching staff, most notably the starting pitching."

If Castro joins the rotation, the Orioles will be further pressed to fill out the back end of the bullpen. Closer Zach Britton tore his Achilles tendon during an offseason workout and will likely miss the entire 2018 season, leaving setup man Brad Brach the odds-on favorite to take over as the stopper.

"I'm hoping I get a shot to close. I'd be lying if I say I didn't," said Brach, who served significant time as a closer in 2017 while Britton was sidelined with elbow and knee issues.

Brach had 18 saves but blew six chances.

"I think I did all right," Brach said. "Hopefully, I get another chance to do it."