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Orioles end road trip with spectacular performance by Gausman

Orioles end road trip with spectacular performance by Gausman

BOSTON—Rick Porcello is a leading candidate for the American League Cy Young Award. In the future, Kevin Gausman may be. 

On Wednesday night, Gausman outpitched Porcello as the Orioles took the second of three games at Fenway Park, cutting Boston’s lead in the American League East to one game. 

Porcello allowed just one run on Mark Trumbo’s 42nd home run and four hits in eight innings, but that run stood up in the Orioles 1-0 win over the Red Sox before 37,973. 

The Orioles (80-65) concluded their most successful road trip with six wins in nine games—winning two of three in Tampa Bay, Detroit and Boston. They trail the Red Sox (81-64) by one, and will play them four more times in Baltimore beginning Monday. 

In the wild card race, the Orioles lead Toronto by a game. 

“The guys have earned the right to play these types of games. It’s a very quiet confidence. They’re not guys who toot their own horn. They kind of like when people sell them short. And now we’re going back to a place, our city, that gets them and gets what they’re doing for the last four years. It’s been a tough, challenging trip,” manager Buck Showalter said. 

Gausman, who has now won five straight decisions and hasn’t lost since Aug. 13, gave up four hits in eight shutout innings. He struck out six and walked one, throwing a career-high 120 pitches. 

“Once we scored one, in the back of my mind I kept telling myself, that’s all we needed. So I just tried to attack these guys,” Gausman said. 

He didn’t allow a hit until Mookie Betts’ single in the fourth. Travis Shaw singled in the fifth. 

Gausman (8-10) walked Hanley Ramirez leading off the second, but Shaw quickly hit into a double play. The only other baserunner in the first six innings was David Ortiz who reached when Matt Wieters dropped a pop foul in the wind in front of home plate in the first. 

Hanley Ramirez beat out an infield single with one out in the seventh, and after Gausman struck out Shaw, Chris Young lined a ball to center for a single. Gausman struck out Sandy Leon to end the inning. 

In the eighth, Xander Bogaerts pop was caught in foul ground by Jonathan Schoop who was run into by Chris Davis, but Schoop held onto the ball, ensuring Gausman would get through eight innings. 

“Every year I’ve always gotten better as the year has gone on but this year it’s kind of all clicking for me. I think I’m reading hitters swings a little bit more and I think my rhythm is a lot better too. I think sometimes I’ll get in the mood of shaking off too many pitches and right now I’m kind of locked in and getting the ball going,” Gausman said. 

Zach Britton quickly retired Ortiz on a grounder to first, Betts on a fly to left and struck out Ramirez for his 43rd consecutive save. 

“To think you can make one run stand up in this ballpark against as good an offensive team they are is a real tribute to how well Kevin and Zach pitched. That’s a tough part of the lineup,” Showalter said. 

Porcello (20-4) hadn’t lost at Fenway Park this season, and he’s now 13-1. Trumbo’s major league leading 42nd home run, which came shortly before Minnesota’s Brian Dozier, who’s been on a tear, hit his 41st, was the Orioles’ first run in the second inning. 

“I got him pretty early in the game. You can’t really foresee what’s going to happen later on, but obviously pretty fortunate to get something on the board early. Not a ton of breathing room for Kevin, but maybe just enough,” Trumbo said. 

Gausman was thrilled to have Trumbo’s homer against Porcello.

“He’s a Cy Young candidate right now so I knew he was going to pitch well so for Trumbo to come up big there was huge. Without him, who knows how the game goes?” Gausman said.

J.J. Hardy lined a ball off Porcello’s leg with two outs in the second, and after that, he retired 17 straight batters until Hardy singled with one out in the eighth. 

The Orioles go home for their longest and final homestand of 2016, an 11-game one. They play four games with Tampa Bay beginning Thursday. 

“It’s an outstanding road trip, no matter where you are in the season or in the standings. It’s fairly well accepted that you try and split on the road if you can. With three-game series, that’s not going to be the case. To win two out of three in each city is tremendous, and it’s exactly what you need at this point in the year,” Trumbo 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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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