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Mike Wright gets through six, but Orioles lose 4-3

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Mike Wright gets through six, but Orioles lose 4-3

BALTIMORE – Buck Showalter knows how important it is to extend his starting pitchers. He won’t sacrifice games, but in order for the Orioles to contend, six innings is the absolute minimum he can consistently accept.

Mike Wright gave him six on Tuesday night, allowing three runs, but the Orioles still lost their fourth in five games to the Toronto Blue Jays 4-3 before 16,783 at Oriole Park.

Wright, who allowed the three runs in the first three innings, rewarded Showalter with a perfect sixth.

“That was, I wouldn’t say a tough call. We’re trying to win baseball games and we’re trying to develop pitchers, so it was a little bit of both,” Showalter said.

“I’m not looking at for it from appreciation, I’m looking for it trying to make the Baltimore Orioles better and Mike’s got a chance to contribute for us as a starter and I wanted him to kind of cross over that threshold. And hopefully that helps him mentally and emotionally as we go forward.”

Wright gave up three runs on six hits in six innings. Toronto’s Marcus Stroman also allowed three runs on six hits, but he went seven.

“That's very important. You always want a quality start. I would like to go seven, just like Stroman did. The deeper into the game you can go, the better, so going six is definitely a step in the right direction,” Wright said.

After the Orioles (8-4) began the year with seven straight wins, they’ve lost four of five and suffered their first defeat at home.

Manny Machado and Matt Wieters accounted for the Orioles’ runs with a solo shot in the fourth and a two-run homer in the seventh, but Toronto (8-7) scored on Tyler Wilson in the top of the seventh to take a 4-1 lead.

“The tack-on run usually bites you against a good team like that of course,” Showalter said.

Wright (1-1) started strongly and finished well, too. His only 1-2-3 innings were the first and sixth.

In between, he allowed Toronto to score in the second after he loaded the bases on a single and two walks. Chris Davis deftly fielded Ryan Goins’ grounder to first which allowed Edwin Encarnacion to score.

Troy Tulowitzki’s two-run double in the third gave the Blue Jays a 3-0 lead, and it could have been worse, but Mark Trumbo’s throw from right nabbed Tulowitzki as he tried to score on Justin Smoak’s single.

Machado’s fourth inning home run cut the lead to 3-1. His home run, his fifth of the season, gave him a 12-game hitting streak. He’s the only major leaguer to hit in all of his team’s games this season.

“We’re doing well. We’re playing good baseball. I’m swinging the bat well and playing good defense, and the team is as well,” Machado said.

After the homer, the Orioles loaded the bases with two outs, but J.J. Hardy popped out to second.

Stroman (3-0) pitched perfect fifth and sixth innings, and after Adam Jones grounded to short to end the sixth, he left the game.

There were a few anxious moments before it was announced that Jones who missed time with a rib cage injury, had a stomach virus.

“He was battling it a little bit right after batting practice. After he threw up he seemed to be feeling a lot better and had cleared up and then got a little worse after, he ran the bases a lot and had to get him out of there. They took him over to check him a little further and make sure it’s not something else. We’ll see,” Showalter said.

Matt Wieters hit a two-run home run that barely cleared the fence in right field in the seventh. It was Wieters’ first of the season, and cut Toronto’s lead to 4-3.

Wieters liked how Wright worked with him.

“I just wanted him to pitch and not go up there and be a thrower. I think that’s the biggest thing with him is he’s going to learn more and more how to pitch at this level. Everyone knows the kind of arm he has, the kind of stuff he has. But he has to be able to pitch when he doesn’t have his best stuff,” Wieters said.

NOTES: The Orioles have hit 25 home runs in 12 games. … Brian Matusz pitched four shutout innings for Frederick, allowing one hit and striking out nine. “That's what we were looking for. So, he'll get a couple days off and see where we are,” Showalter said. … R.A. Dickey (1-2. 6.75) faces Ubaldo Jimenez (1-1, 3.75) on Wednesday night. … Pitching coach Dave Wallace will miss this series to take care of a family matter. Ramon Martinez fills in.

MORE ORIOLES: Gausman gets one more rehab start Wednesday

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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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USA Today Sports Images

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